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The Lives of Others (2006)
"Das Leben der Anderen" (original title)

8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 195,860 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 375 user | 211 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

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Top 250 #53 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 70 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Thomas Thieme ...
Hans-Uwe Bauer ...
Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert ...
Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner ...
Karl Wallner
Charly Hübner ...
Udo
Herbert Knaup ...
Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost ...
Häftling 227
Marie Gruber ...
Frau Meineke
...
Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)
...
Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Martin Brambach ...
Einsatzleiter Meyer
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Storyline

In the early 1980s, Georg Dreyman (a successful dramatist) and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland (a popular actress), were huge intellectual stars in (former) East Germany, although they secretly don't always toe the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more. Written by fippi2000

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

writer | police | party | germany | 1980s | See more »

Taglines:

Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany's Secret Police Listened to Your Secrets See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 2006 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Lives of Others  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£223,586 (UK) (13 April 2007)

Gross:

$11,284,657 (USA) (7 September 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire budget of the film, about 2 million dollars (1.6 million Euro), was possible only because the actors were willing to work for 20% of their customary salary. See more »

Goofs

The literal translation of "Das Leben der Anderen" into English would be "The Life of Others." However, the pluralization rules for collective nouns are different in German than in English, so "The Lives of Others" more accurately conveys the sense of the German title and is thus the better translation. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: [subtitled version] Stand still. Eyes to the floor.
[pause]
Guard: Walk on.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #5.146 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Gral
Written by Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky
Performed by Manfried Ludwig Sextett feat. Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I didn't fall for them.....
25 February 2007 | by (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Memories of the 70's and 80's visits in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) flood my mind while watching this film. Some are revolting, some comical and others are frightening. As a student of German, I visited the GDR several times to see pen pal friends. I remember one friend looking around and whispering to me in the S-Bahn - just in case one of the many "IM's" (unofficial workers of the Stasi) was listening in.

I visited a representative of a magazine for western countries about the GDR and spent one memorable weekend sightseeing with her. Near the end of my visit, she asked me if I would work for them regularly by writing my opinion of "GDR Review" and its suitability for readers in the West. I would be paid in GDR money to use during further visits. After politely refusing this "offer" ("The police at home might not like it!"), I always had a sneaking suspicion that that was an attempt by the Stasi to recruit me.

Years later I applied to see my "Stasi File". I will never forget the feeling deep inside me when I read in it: ".….is not suitable for our use due to his apparent connection to the police in his homeland." The beautiful, friendly lady in Dresden had been a Stasi informer all the time! All of my visits to the GDR and the people I visited were listed in that file. For me "The Lives of Others" is an authentic representation of that totalitarian state. I am glad that those times have ended.

Congratulations on a well deserved Oscar!


41 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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