6.5/10
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91 user 67 critic

Jakob the Liar (1999)

In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hannah Taylor Gordon ...
Éva Igó ...
Lina's Mother (as Eva Igo)
István Bálint ...
Lina's Father (as Istvan Balint)
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Preuss
...
Hooker
...
...
...
...
Fajngold
János Gosztonyi ...
Samuel (as Janos Gosztonyi)
...
...
Ádám Rajhona ...
The Whistler (as Adam Rajhona)
Antal Leisen ...
Peg-Leg
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Storyline

In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German radio broadcast about Russian troop movements. Returned to the ghetto, the shopkeeper shares his information with a friend and then rumors fly that there is a secret radio within the ghetto. Jakob uses the chance to spread hope throughout the ghetto by continuing to tell favorable tales of information from "his secret radio." Jakob, however, has a real secret in that he is hiding a young Jewish girl who escaped from a camp transport train. A rather uplifting and slightly humorous film about World War II Jewish Ghetto life. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ghetto | radio | german | nazi | hope | See All (41) »

Taglines:

When all hope was lost, he invented it. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una señal de esperanza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,056,647, 26 September 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,956,401, 31 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to be consistent with Nordic/Germanic pronunciations, Jakob's name would actually be pronounced "YAH-kopp". However, with Jakob being a Polish Jew, it's far more likely his name would have the Polish/polonized form, 'Jakub' (pronounced "YAH-kupp"). See more »

Goofs

The movie is set in Poland (hence the Polish-languaged signs on buildings, eg Jakob's café), but 'Mischa' is a Russian name (a diminutive form of 'Mikhail'/'Mikal' ('Michael'). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jakob Heym: Hitler goes to a fortune-teller and asks, "When will I die?" And the fortune-teller replies, "On a Jewish holiday." Hitler then asks, "How do you know that?" And she replies, "Any day you die will be a Jewish holiday."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the city and peoples of Piotrków, Poland, the city and peoples of Lódz, Poland and the city and peoples of Budapest, Hungary. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Patch Adams (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gestillte Sehnsucht, Op. 91, NR 1
Written by Johannes Brahms
Performed by Marjana Lipovsek
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Entertainment
27 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

If you are interested in the holocaust, and want to be entertained at the same time, Jakob the Liar is your film. This is not intended to be an historical film. And, to be sure, it isn't.

Just speaking for myself, I wish everyone would educate themselves about this horrible episode in human history. If you have a friend who refuses to watch honest historical films, turn them on to Jakob the Liar. It IS Robin Williams, after all. For sure, this film will encourage them to learn more about the holocaust. Its very entertaining and does give some superficial insight into what the atrocity was all about.

Robin Williams did his best. He did a fine job in this film, and deserves even more credit just for making the attempt. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it an 8.


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