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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 120,115 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 374 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) »


A story of innocence in a world of ignorance 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:

, ,  »
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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 »


The exterior of the house is far too modern from the inside during that period of time. 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 »


Referenced in Friendship Beyond the Fence (2009) See more »


Horst Wessel Lied
Written by Horst Wessel
Melody adapted from Hessian Marching Song
Performed by Kappelle der SS-Standarte 4.
Courtesy of The Tomahawk Films
WW-II German Archive, UK
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

22 September 2008 | by (Lincoln, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although it starts of slow,you soon get wrapped up in the story and feel as if you are there. It's amazing to see the different points of view and the acting is so believable you feel as if it is all happening there and then. I have cried at films in the cinema before but this is the only film that has made me want to sob. When it finished and the credits started rolling, no one moved from their seats or said anything. We were all shocked, and when people did start to get up an leave the cinema, still no one said anything. It is the best film i have ever seen and recommend everyone sees it.

Sophie x x x

125 of 164 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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