6.5/10
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90 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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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 ...
...
...
...
...
...
János Gosztonyi ...
Samuel (as Janos Gosztonyi)
...
...
Ádám Rajhona ...
The Whistler (as Adam Rajhona)
Antal Leisen ...
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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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,056,647 (USA) (24 September 1999)

Gross:

$4,956,401 (USA) (29 October 1999)
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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

In spite of careful attention on German cars in the film, the Soviet tanks at the end are T-55 from the 1950s, while original wartime T-34 are easily available in Eastern Europe. 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 Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Rakoczy March
Written by Hector Berlioz
Performed by Cleveland Pops Orchestra
Conducted by Louis Lane
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly the most underrated movie of the last five years

It's always a shame to see movies that we feel bring so much to the table, be given bad reviews or do poorly at the box-office. While people who say the "holocaust film" has become a trite and overdone genre may be correct, this film is an outstanding piece of work that suffered mainly because it was released around the same time as the fairly similar "Life is Beautiful." with Roberto Benini. The story follows a jewish man named Jakob, who had been forced into a ghetto by the nazis. (hollywood's favorite villians by far) After overhearing a radio transmission, he relays the information to his companions that the russians are coming closer to liberating the ghetto. His friends misunderstand this, and believe that he himself has a radio, and press him for more at every turn. He is forced to make up news, in order to give his fellow prisoners hope. This film is not only about one man bringing hope to people who otherwise have none. It is about the sacrifices that some people are willing to make, in order to keep that hope alive. The jewish doctor in this film was actually in the original movie (made in germany in the mid 70's) The sacrifice the doctor makes is very moving, and gives a clear cut message of the film. At the time, many critics disliked this film. If they had a chance to review it again however, I think that they would most likely change their perspective. Nine out of Ten.


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