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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 117,908 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 374 user | 182 critic | 28 from

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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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 (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Lines may divide us, but hope will unite us... 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Vera Farmiga who plays the boy's mother is shown wearing her wedding band on her right hand. For Germany, this is correct and an excellent accurate detail. See more »


The "hero" sandwich that Bruno attempts to smuggle out for Schmuel appears to be about six inches long. When it is later discovered on the ground after having fallen out of Bruno's pocket it is several inches longer. 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

Perfectly weighted film...
13 September 2008 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I'm a man's man, and it takes something really exceptional to break my emotionless machine persona. This film ripped me apart and reminded me (and my partner) of humanity inside even the most hardened man.

Perfectly weighted film in every way, from pace to acting and all framed with a wonderful score. The subtlety of the looks passing between the actors and a finale that ensured silence until the final credit rolled, makes this one of the best films i've seen in a long time.

This is the first review I have never written and i cannot think of a better way to have opened my account.

318 of 388 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why germans speaking in english? fabio-1
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Bruno's Father.. keriannxo
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