The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) Poster

Frequently Asked Questions

Showing all 8 items
Jump to:


  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a 2006 novel by Irish novelist John Boyne. Boyne claims to have written the first draft of the book in all of 2½ days. The book was adapted for the screen by director Mark Herman.

  • Those who have both read the book and seen the movie say that, other than some minor details, such as the ages of the boys, the movie is remarkably similar to the book, even down to the ending. Note: The book, being of a textual medium, obscures enough details of the setting and circumstances that the reader might not realize, until the end, that the titular character is a prisoner under the Nazi regime.

  • Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is the 8-year-old son of a Kommandant (David Thewlis) of a Jewish concentration camp. He and his family live just outside the camp, and Bruno is very much alone. Across the fence in "Out-with", Bruno's term for "concentration camp", he can see people wearing striped pyjamas. One day when Bruno is bored silly by his tutor, Herr Liszt (Jim Norton), he goes exploring and meets a boy named Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), one of those people who always wear striped pyjamas. Seeing as they're both lonely and would like someone to hang around with, they quickly become friends.

  • It is a British-made film. Although it was filmed in Hungary, most of the actors are British and can't speak German. Making the film in German would require subtitles in English, so viewers would actually have to read them.

  • Schmuel's father goes missing, so Bruno offers to help find him. The next time they meet, Schmuel brings an extra pair of pyjamas and Bruno digs a hole under the fence in order to get into the compound. It begins to rain. The boys, along with several other prisoners, are rounded up and marched off to the showers, which they believe is just a place for them to be sheltered from the rain. Meanwhile, Bruno's mother (Vera Farmiga) notices that he is missing. She alerts his father, and they go looking for him. While his mother and sister (Amber Beattie) search the yard, eventually finding the hole under the fence, his father enters the camp and makes it to the gas chamber. It is too late.

  • To Americans, "pajamas" is the correct spelling. To the British, "pyjamas" is the correct spelling. Since this story was written by an Irish author and filmed by a Brit, it's "pyjamas".

  • While the movie seems to suggest he lost his privileged position at the camp either because of his dinnertime revelation regarding his Father's shunning of National Socialism or revealing to the Commandant's wife regarding the true purpose of the camp, the book strongly implies he may well have been having an affair with the Commandant's daughter. Either way, his fate was most likely reassignment to the Eastern front.

  • It is implied that she is a Jew as she looks down and speaks softly in front of the soldiers but however this is not clearly stated in the movie.


See also

Awards | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews