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Das Boot (1981)

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



(screenplay), (novel)
1,997 ( 97)
Top Rated Movies #70 | 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 ...
Bernd Tauber ...
Martin May ...
Hinrich (as Heinz Hönig)
Ralf Richter ...
Frenssen (as Ralph Richter)


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 the crew of one such U-Boat, 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


40 000 men were sent out on German U-boats... 30 000 never returned See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

10 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Boot  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,994, 14 February 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,487,676, 9 November 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more 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
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Did You Know?


A miniature submarine was used for scenes in which we see the submarine from outside. The model was steered from the inside by a diver. After three days, the diver who was hired to steer the model had to quit. He had gotten sea sick for the first time in his two-decades-spanning career. See more »


In the depth charging after the torpedo run, the boat goes deeper and deeper until finally rivets start to 'pop'. In fact, the pressure hull of the Type VIIc boat was welded, not riveted. This was also one of the reasons the type was able to survive depths of 220 meters and beyond in the first place. See more »


[Werner takes pictures of the watch officers on the conning tower]
Captain: Take pictures of the crew returning, not putting out to sea.
Lt. Werner: Why?
Captain: They'll have grown beards by then. It would shame the Tommies to see mere boys give them Hell. Baby faces. Ones that should still suck mama's breast.
Captain: I feel ancient around these kids, like I'm on some Children's Crusade.
See more »


Heimat deine Sterne
Performed by Wilhelm Strienz
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Packing, genuinely, overwhelming!
25 January 2000 | by 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.>

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