In the 1840s, Lübeck is a dominating commercial town on the Baltic coast, and the Buddenbrooks are among the town's first families. Consul Jean Buddenbrook has two sons, Thomas and ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Waschke ...
Raban Bieling ...
Léa Bosco ...
Gerda Arnoldsen / Buddenbrook
Maja Schöne ...
Nina Proll ...
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Martin Feifel ...
Elert Bode ...
Krijn ter Braak ...
Teresa Harder ...


In the 1840s, Lübeck is a dominating commercial town on the Baltic coast, and the Buddenbrooks are among the town's first families. Consul Jean Buddenbrook has two sons, Thomas and Christian, and one daughter, Antonia, called Tony. Even though he dearly loves them, he expects his children to sacrifice personal happiness for the sake of the company if necessary. The first to learn this is Tony, who is married off to Hamburgian businessman Bendix Grünlich. Her brothers have meanwhile learned the trade in Amsterdam and London respectively. Crushed by Tony's marriage disaster and several unlucky transactions, Jean Buddenbrook makes over the business to his eldest, Thomas. Thomas marries the dutch heiress Gerda, who is a passionate violin player. But Thomas never forgets his first love, a flower girl. After having spent time in Valparaiso, Christian returns to Lübeck, too. Thomas soon learns that his brother is much more interested in the theatre and actress Aline than in the company, ... Written by emkarpf

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Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 December 2008 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Buddenbrook család  »

Box Office


€16,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs


| (TV)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bendix Grünlich: I'm disrupting, I'm stepping into a family circle, one is chatting, I have to ask forgiveness.
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Version of The Buddenbrooks (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Flat, ways too fast and bad acted
21 March 2016 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I didn't expect too much from a modern adaptation of the famous novel of Thomas Mann, but this movie is simply a bad joke. What a kitsch, what a flatness! The original novel is told slowly with a lot of humor, wit and delicacy; the movie instead tries to squeeze the whole plot into two hours, which results in an unbearable speed of pictures, scenes, half-told stories and fast & colorful scenes without sense, simply not nice to see any more. It takes twenty minutes until some recognizable scene shows up. Half of the story is invented, which is of course disappointing when you know the novel.

It could have been a good movie despite of all this, when you forget the novel and see it as a different story. But here, why on earth is the acting so poor? The actors talk, laugh, move and behave like an average 21th century German film-cast. No one talks the northern dialect and there is no sign of class differences in the language. They try, but they don't succeed. Just think of Gosford Park / Downtown Abbey, one of my favorites, where every detail just fits into the time picture.

Most ridiculous scene: main characters who play the violin but can't. Total no-go. Moving around with a bow, holding the instrument without moving the fingers, while great melodies are heard, come on, you can do this in some cheap production or in a TV commercial, but not in a movie that wants to be taken serious.

I tried to watch it anyway, just for enjoying some historic sites, but impossible. Stopped halfway. Boring, kitsch, annoying. Please excuse my poor English, I am still too upset... man... incredible.

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