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



(screenplay), (novel)
1,812 ( 159)
Top Rated Movies #69 | Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The other side of the Battle of the Atlantic. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

10 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Boot  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$68,369 (USA) (4 April 1997)


$11,433,134 (USA) (25 April 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (VHS) | (special uncut DVD) | (Original Uncut Version)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


With production costs of 31 million DM, it was for a long time the most expensive German movie ever made. It was beaten in 2006 by Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), which, however, was a German-French-Spanish co-production shot in English. See more »


At the first very deep dive (1h50m) when bolts starts bursting, one hit and break the glass of the command center clock. Later in the movie the glass is intact. See more »


[last lines]
[La Rochelle is under attack. Werner and the crew take refuge in the U-boat bunker; several of the men are injured]
1st Lieutenant: Come over here! We need help!
Schwalle: Medic! Medic!
See more »


Spoofed in Abbuzze! Der Badesalz Film (1996) See more »


La Paloma
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

Packing, genuinely, overwhelming!
25 January 2000 | by (Marburg, Germany) – See all my reviews

Using the term 'authenticity' in connection with any kind of art is rather difficult and daring as well. Sometimes it looks posed or is by certain purposes manipulated. Referring to Petersen´s "Das Boot" however, I consider it justified to call it authentic and true. I think this statement can be strengthened mainly by the fact that Lothar Gunther Buchheim was consulted. He composed the novel this breathtaking movie bases on and he himself was employed as a war correspondent in the Second World War.

The entire plot has no weak points. Starting at "Bar Royal" at the very night before the forces living journey of the submarine crew begins, the director fittingly manages to confront the audience with the protagonists and their way of dealing with the pounding uncertainty. Once put to sea, the character of the scenes changes abruptly. Every member of the crew and the audience as well comes into very close contact with the tightness of the action space. At this point it is necessary to underline the excellent work of the cameramen. The fast and partial hectic cuts draw an exact picture of the drama on board. Too do not forget the outstanding lighting. However besides this abundance of obvious suspense, there are also a number of moments going into in-depth psychology and thoughtfulness. To outline only a few of them: At "Bar Royal", when the chief engineer reflects about the uncertain fate of his family, or when the captain, with a kind of 'Weltschmerz' in his eyes, is astound and proud of the unbelievable efforts of the crew. It would probably be too laborious to refer to the decisive symbols the director uses, therefore I recommend this movie to everybody, especially those who are interested in the Second World War.

It presumably sounds pretty weird, yet I suppose that mankind gladly participates on the misfortune of others, without being closely involved with it. This closing notion may account for the huge success of this movie.>

112 of 127 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about a dish the officers were eating sheyenne
Overblown and overrated piotr2009
Did you watch it in English, or in German with subtitles? motleycruefan
Please help: Point of the 'Coup de Grace' suse33
Who pitied German crew and characters in this movie ? merdiolu
Just watched the 393 minute version! 5 hours+++ AMAZING! MUST SEE!!! cowboyerik
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