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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'.


Georg Wilhelm Pabst (as G.W. Pabst)


Bertolt Brecht (story) (as Brecht), Léo Lania (manuscript) (as Lania) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Forster ... Mackie Messer
Carola Neher ... Polly
Reinhold Schünzel ... Tiger-Brown
Fritz Rasp ... Peachum
Valeska Gert ... Frau Peachum
Lotte Lenya ... Jenny (as Lotte Lenja)
Hermann Thimig ... Der Pfarrer
Ernst Busch ... Der Straßensänger
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Smith (as Wladimir Sokolow)
Paul Kemp ... Mackie Messers Platte
Gustav Püttjer Gustav Püttjer ... Mackie Messers Platte
Oskar Höcker Oskar Höcker ... Mackie Messers Platte
Krafft-Raschig ... Mackie Messers Platte (as Kraft Raschig)
Herbert Grünbaum Herbert Grünbaum ... Filch


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


Comedy | Drama | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 ...
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Version of Driestuiversopera (1969) See more »


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

User Reviews

lumbering movie but great visually
4 May 2011 | by buxtonhillSee all my reviews

The movie isn't a filmed version of the stage play and doesn't pretend to be. It moves along at a sometimes creaky, sometimes disjointed pace. And when does it take place? There was no coronation of anybody in Victorian England, and I don't believe they had telephones. But those are quibbles. The thrill of it is the art direction - the expressionistic sets, set decoration and costumes are wonders. All those steep staircases! Those "London" streets! Terrific.

I wonder if some of the disjointed sequences and odd pacing of the movie result from the fact that it's a reconstruction, the original having gone the way of all entartete art in Nazi Germany.

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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

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Technical Specs


| (censored) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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