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Das Boot (1981)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  10 February 1982 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 146,977 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 415 user | 88 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Top 250 #71 | 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:

Wenn Jäger zu Gejagten werden. 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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

To simulate the storm in the Atlantic, a model of the tower was splashed with water from a large tank. Actor Jan Fedder lost his grip on the railing and was washed off the model, breaking a few ribs in the fall, one of the other actors instantly shouted "Man Overboard". At first Petersen didn't realize it was an accident but enthusiastically yelled "Good idea, Jan. We'll do that one more time!". Peterson still kept the scene and rewrote Jan Fedder's part in the film, so that his character spent a short portion of the movie in bed. The actor actually had to be brought back and forth from the hospital every day because of concussion. The painful expression on his face is real and not acted. (The scene which features him bedridden is available on the uncut edition.) See more »

Goofs

U-32 is stated to have made contact with an enemy convoy. Following the convoy attack, Kriechbaum reads a report from U-112. U-32, a Type VIIA boat, actually sank in October 1940, a year prior to the events of this film. U-112 was a proposed Type IXB boat, which was designed to be a seaplane carrier but was never completed. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

It's a Long Way to Tipperary
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
Performed by The Red Russian Army Choir
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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