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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?


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 »


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 The Beggar's Opera (1983) See more »


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

User Reviews

A Cynical Musical with Low-life Characters
13 November 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In London, the rascal Mackie Messer (Rudolf Forster) is the king of the thieves and an irresistible pimp. When he meets Polly Peachum (Valeska Gert) on the street, he invites her for a drink and they marry with each other in the end of the night in a warehouse. When Polly's father Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum (Fritz Rasp) a.k.a. the king of the beggars learns about the marriage of his daughter, he presses the chief of police Jackie "Tiger" Brown (Reinhold Schünzel) to arrest his friend Mackie; otherwise he will send a great number of beggars to protest in the coronation of the queen.

"Die 3 Groschen-Oper" is a cynical musical with low-life characters in the underground of London written by Bertold Brecht and directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst. This film was released in Berlin on 19 February 1931 and I saw a DVD with a matrix that was restored in 2006 for the 75th anniversary of this film. In 1986, the Brazilian composer Chico Buarque de Holanda and the director Ruy Guerra released an adaptation of this musical with the successful "Ópera do Malandro", the most expensive Brazilian production until 1986, but without the credit to Bertold Brecht. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Ópera dos Três Vinténs" ("The Opera of Three Pennies")

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (censored) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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