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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:

Beggar's Opera 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

The film was banned by the Nazi Party in 1933 and prints of the film were destroyed. The film was restored and reconstructed in the 1960s. 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 CBS Television Workshop: The Beggar's Opera (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
First grub, then morals
28 June 2013 | by lreynaertSee all my reviews

G.W. Pabst's version of 'The 3penny Opera' is simply sublime with a formidable casting and a magnificent cast with: Ernst Busch as a street singer, Carola Neher, who died in a soviet prison, as Polly and Lotte Lenya as Jenny. The mass scenes (without the help of computer games) are nothing less than masterful. But, above all are the texts of Bertolt Brecht and the magical songs by Kurt Weill; just delicious stuff.

This eternal masterpiece doesn't paint a rosy picture of human affairs, with a city (pars pro toto – the world) in the hands of people with shark teeth, venal civil servants and a corrupt police force. Bertolt Brecht formulates in simple words the rules of the game, the basics of human society: first grub, then morals. If the primary conditions for human survival (food, safety) are not available, then there is absolutely no ground for any kind of morality. For Bertolt Brecht, in a 'free for all' society the poor, the vast majority of the population, can only survive by (organized) begging and stealing, by dirty works ('Missetat'). After fighting one another, the crime bosses find a far better solution for the consolidation of their power. They make a super deal, pool their resources and create a financial syndicate of criminals, in other words, a bank, with the former corrupt police chief as CEO. What an awesome prophetic idea! With brilliant theatrical histrionics and a perfect 'London' atmosphere, G.W. Pabst shot an ageless movie masterpiece based on an everlasting opera. A must see.


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