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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  26 November 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 120,296 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 375 user | 182 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.



(novel), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zac Mattoon O'Brien ...
Leon (as Zac Mattoon-O'Brien)
Domonkos Németh ...
Henry Kingsmill ...
Zsuzsa Holl ...
Berlin Cook
László Áron ...
Palm Court Singer
Iván Verebély ...
Béla Fesztbaum ...


Young Bruno lives a wealthy lifestyle in prewar Germany along with his mother, elder sister, and SS Commandant father. The family relocates to the countryside where his father is assigned to take command a prison camp. A few days later, Bruno befriends another youth, strangely dressed in striped pajamas, named Shmuel who lives behind an electrified fence. Bruno will soon find out that he is not permitted to befriend his new friend as he is a Jew, and that the neighboring yard is actually a prison camp for Jews awaiting extermination. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jew | boy | nazis | poison gas | fence | See All (149) »


Zäune trennen, doch Hoffnung eint. (Fences divide, but hope unites.) See more »


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material involving the Holocaust | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£513,653 (UK) (12 September 2008)


$9,030,581 (USA) (16 January 2009)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the concentration camp where the movie is set is never actually mentioned by name throughout the movie, we know it is Auschwitz because it was the only Nazi death camp with 4 crematoria. The SS officers are discussing the building's construction in the Commandant's office when Bruno's mother interrupts the meeting. In the book it is referred to as "Out-With" (coming from the P.O.V. of Bruno, who is only nine years old and can't pronounce some words properly). See more »


In a running gag Shumel is seen near the fence doing nothing. In reality Jews that were slacking off were killed by the Germans. See more »


[first lines]
Mother: Hello, sweetheart.
Bruno: Mum, what's going on?
Mother: We're celebrating.
Bruno: Celebrating?
Mother: Mm, your father's been given a promotion.
Gretel: That means a better job.
Bruno: I know what promotion is.
Mother: So we're having a little party to celebrate.
Bruno: He's still going to be a soldier though, isn't he?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Quotation displayed before the opening titles: "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows - John Betjeman" See more »


References The Führer Gives the Jews a City (1944) See more »


Mein Regiment, mein Heimatland
Adapted from Traditional Soldier's Song
Performed by Singschar der Kradschützen-Kompanie der Aufklärungs Abt.3
Courtesy of The Tomahawk Films
WW-II German Archive, UK
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A movie that everyone must watch
14 September 2008 | by (Glasgow, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was sitting at the very back row of Cineworld, Dublin screen nine and struggling with my tears. I thought it would be extremely embarrassing if people see tears in my eyes. But I was so wrong! The lady sitting beside me was crying like anything. Finally we ended up with the move and it started showing casts on its black screen. But, not a single person moved from his seat or probably lost their (including myself) power to move. The only sound I heard was the sound of people's emotion. Guy sitting one row before me hugged his girlfriend who were crying like a little kid. The guy himself was also in tear. I saw a girl from Cineworld cleaning staff with horrifying red eyes. Everyone was spellbound there!

I am talking about the movie THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, unexpectedly a too good movie. I didn't have a single clue about the movie itself and just tried to explore something new. Fortunately or unfortunately, Bruno (main cast of the movie), a young 8-years old kid who love to explore new world explored too much for us that made us all cry while leaving the cinema. I just don't want to spoil your entertainment by giving hints about the story. Rather, I would suggest you to watch the movie and discover some critical facts that sometime we forget in this heartless world.

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, a movie from an Irish writer and an English director; everyone must watch. If you tell me to rate, I would say, 1 to 10 scale is not enough to rate this movie. We better keep it above rating!

147 of 204 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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