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Das Boot (1981)

8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 138,915 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 406 user | 86 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Das Boot (1981)

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Top 250 #69 | Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Klaus Wennemann ...
Hubertus Bengsch ...
1st Lieutenant - Number One-1WO
Martin Semmelrogge ...
2nd Lieutenant - 2WO
Bernd Tauber ...
Kriechbaum - Chief Quartermaster-Navigator
Erwin Leder ...
Johann
Martin May ...
Ullman
Heinz Hoenig ...
Hinrich (as Heinz Hönig)
...
Chief Bosun
Claude-Oliver Rudolph ...
Ario
...
Ralf Richter ...
Frenssen (as Ralph Richter)
Joachim Bernhard ...
Preacher
Oliver Stritzel ...
Schwalle
Edit

Storyline

It is 1942 and the German submarine fleet is heavily engaged in the so-called "Battle of the Atlantic" to harass and destroy British shipping. With better escorts of the Destroyer Class, however, German U-Boats have begun to take heavy losses. "Das Boot" is the story of one such U-Boat crew, with the film examining how these submariners maintained their professionalism as soldiers and attempted to accomplish impossible missions, all the while attempting to understand and obey the ideology of the government under which they served. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Eine Reise ans Ende des Verstandes See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some war violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

10 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Boot  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 245,271 (Germany) (2 January 1998)

Gross:

$11,433,134 (USA) (25 April 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(director's cut)| (original release)| (director's cut)

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally to be directed by 'Don Siegel (I)' for German producers. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Werner returns the packet of letters to Ullman that he volunteered to forward to Ullman's pregnant girlfriend, it was only half the size of the original bundle. See more »

Quotes

[the crew has finished resupplying, so fresh food is everywhere]
Kriechbaum: Hey! Move this stuff now! Clear the map! I can't navigate on bananas!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Primeval: Episode #5.2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

La Paloma
(uncredited)
Written by Sebastián Yradier (as Sebastian de Yradier) and Michael Jary
Performed by Rosita Serrano
Published by Edition Cinema
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
15 years and I'm still thinking about it
8 September 1999 | by (Southwestern Indiana) – See all my reviews

Das Boot is not just a great war film: it's a great film period. Maybe it is true that epic themes make the greatest novels and films. Here is a movie that explores heroism, duty, patriotism, hope, fear and the futility of war--all grand themes--explored in the confined, and collapsing, spaces of a German u-boat.

I saw this film when I was a freshman in college during a weekend that I later dubbed my "depressing movie festival." (The Wall and Apocalypse Now were the other weekend "entries.") Of these films, it was Das Boot that haunted me--when I laid down at night, I saw Jurgen Proctow's pained blue eyes. When I woke in the morning, I felt as if I were escaping through the hatch of the submarine. I could not shake the images, and now some fifteen years later, I still remember how completely meaningless the movie made everything seem, and the nihilistic message stayed with me for a long, long time. How few films are there which affect the viewers on this level. To say this film is "powerful" seems so weak a description.

Part of the "power" of the film comes, I think, from a certain restraint in the direction. So often, films which aspire to move the audience quickly fall into melodrama, over-acting, and overblown images. Too much. These often succeed in the immediate response (usually crying) but fail to impact the viewer on anything more than a surface level. Here, it is the small moments which fill the screen. Everywhere, all around is War, but for these men as we witness them, war does not begin with a capital "W". It is reality, not a grand concept. The director lets the story shock and horrify the audience, not by forcing it, but by letting the story just tell itself. Drama, tension and resolution occur naturally in Das Boot, which contributes to the very real impact of the film.

Story is a 10, direction is a 10, acting is a 10 and the cinematography is a 10. One of the all-time greatest films.


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