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The 3 Penny Opera (1931)

Die 3 Groschen-Oper (original title)
In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'.

Director:

Georg Wilhelm Pabst (as G.W. Pabst)

Writers:

Bertolt Brecht (story) (as Brecht), Léo Lania (adaptation) (as Lania) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Forster ... Mackie Messer
Carola Neher Carola Neher ... Polly
Reinhold Schünzel ... Tiger-Brown
Fritz Rasp ... Peachum
Valeska Gert ... Mrs. Peachum
Lotte Lenya ... Jenny (as Lotte Lenja)
Hermann Thimig ... The Vicar
Ernst Busch ... The Street Singer
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Smith, the Jailer (as Wladimir Sokolow)
Paul Kemp ... Mackie Messer's Gang Member
Gustav Püttjer Gustav Püttjer ... Mackie Messer's Gang Member
Oskar Höcker Oskar Höcker ... Mackie Messer's Gang Member
Krafft-Raschig Krafft-Raschig ... Mackie Messer's Gang Member (as Kraft Raschig)
Herbert Grünbaum Herbert Grünbaum ... Filch
Sylvia Torf ... Whorehouse owner
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Storyline

In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'. Written by Brian rawnsley <rawnsleb@natlib.govt.nz>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

19 October 1956 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The 3 Penny Opera See more »

Filming Locations:

Staaken Studio, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For those who try and translate the title as "The Three Dime Opera" or the "Thirty-Cent Opera," it should be noted that German title "Die 3 Groschen-Opera" translates very well into English as the "Threepenny Opera." 3d (Threepence) in the UK was, in pre-decimal times (pre-1971), the closest equivalent to 3% of a pound. (There were 240 pence in the pound, not 100) See more »

Quotes

Peachum: You too wish to be part of this splendid occasion. You, poorest of the poor, who'd long ago have perished in the sewers of Turnbridge if I hadn't spent sleepless nights devising a way to wring a few pence out of your poverty. For I've shown that the rich of this world have no qualms about causing misery but can't bear the sight of it. They have hard hearts but weak nerves. Well, we won't spare their nerves today! By the thousands we'll tear at their nerves, for our rags do not conceal our ...
See more »

Connections

Version of The Beggar's Opera (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Dreigroschenoper
Composed by Kurt Weill
Libretto by Bertolt Brecht
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pabst filming of Brecht Masterpiece Still The Best
5 April 2004 | by tomreynolds2004See all my reviews

Hard-biting cynicism of governments, crooks, the bourgeoisie, misanthropy, and corruption is as stingingly appropriate today as it was in 1931. The leads are well cast and well executed as gangster Mack the Knife and his bride don't care whose feathers they ruffle. However, both take a backseat to Lotte Lenya's unforgettable portrayal of Pirate Jenny which has stood for 70+ years at finest revenge-dream sequence ever filmed.

Eerily, one of the sycophantic government stooges is a dead-ringer for Donald Rumsfeld. The incomparable Weill score is reason enough to watch this richly textured, ahead-of-its-time operetta. One thing -- this would be a great candidate for restoration because the copy aired on the PBS stations (where I've seen it twice) is frayed so badly that some sequences are very tough to see.

Nevertheless, if you're a student of mankind, Die Dreigroschenoper is one you will not wish to miss!


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