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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)
2:15 | Trailer

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



(novel), (screenplay)
889 ( 270)
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 ...
Charlie Baker ...
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
See  »

Did You Know?


Bruno's parents are named Ralf and Elsa, but in the credits of the film they are listed as "Father" and "Mother." This is a tribute to the novel, in which the narrative focuses solely on Bruno's point of view. 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 »


Referenced in Backfire! (2016) See more »


Rhythm For You
Written by Eddy Christiani, Frans Poptie
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

19 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I read the book "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" after coming across it in the library almost a year ago, and it amazed me. The unique approach taken by Mr Boyne put the subject matter across in a fresh and, if it is possible, even more heart-wrenching fashion. When I heard they were making the book into a film, I was very anxious, as I thought that they couldn't possibly convey the book onto the screen appropriately.

I am delighted to say that I was entirely wrong. I have just this minute returned home from seeing the film and I am absolutely stunned. The film is practically identical to the book, which was wonderful to see, and I thought that the acting was superb. Vera Farmiga and Asa Butterfield were, I thought, exceptional. The film was handled fantastically and I believe that the feel of the novel was not lost in the translation to screen.

Seeing the film was a lot more intense than reading the book and, even knowing what was coming, I found myself sobbing at the end, as were my father and step-mother, the latter of whom had never read the book, and was utterly shocked. This is the first film I have ever seen in which the whole audience were silent from beginning to end, and then, when the film ended, not a single person moved for a long time afterwards.

The film is an incredibly powerful, moving story, told superbly well by a stellar cast and crew. I would recommend it immensely to everyone.

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