6.9/10
11,058
100 user 44 critic

Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)

A man named Billy Pilgrim tells the story of how he became unstuck in time and was abducted by aliens.

Director:

George Roy Hill

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (novel), Stephen Geller (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Sacks ... Billy Pilgrim
Ron Leibman ... Paul Lazzaro
Eugene Roche ... Edgar Derby
Sharon Gans Sharon Gans ... Valencia Merble Pilgrim
Valerie Perrine ... Montana Wildhack
Holly Near ... Barbara Pilgrim
Perry King ... Robert Pilgrim
Kevin Conway ... Roland Weary
Friedrich von Ledebur ... German Leader (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Ekkehardt Belle ... Young German Guard (as Nick Belle)
Sorrell Booke ... Lionel Merble
Roberts Blossom ... Wild Bob Cody
John Dehner ... Prof. Rumfoord
Gary Waynesmith Gary Waynesmith ... Stanley
Richard Schaal ... Howard W. Campbell Jr.
Edit

Storyline

Using his own terminology, Billy Pilgrim is "unstuck in time", which means he is moving between different points in his life uncontrollably, although he is aware of it at certain of those points as witnessed by the letter to the editor he writes to the Ilium Daily News about his situation. Primarily, he is moving between three general time periods and locations. The first is his stint as a GI during WWII, when, as a pacifist, he was acting as a Chaplain's assistant for his unit. This time is largely as a POW, where he was in Dresden the day of the bombing, spending it with among others an older compassionate GI named Edgar Derby, and a brash loudmouth GI named Paul Lazzaro. The second is his life as an optometrist in Ilium in upstate New York, eventually married to the wealthy and overbearing Valencia Merble, and having two offspring, Robert, who would spend his teen-aged years as a semi-delinquent, and Barbara, who would end up much like her mother. And the third is as an abductee on... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Man Becomes Unstuck In Time In The Film That Became A Classic. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matadero cinco See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario - edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Sacks, who plays Billy Pilgrim, is eleven months older than his on-screen daughter, played by Holly Near, and he is actually four months younger than Perry King, who plays his son. See more »

Goofs

When the siren sounds, the American-turned Nazi propagandist Howard Campbell goes into the bomb shelter with the rest of the American POWs. But after the bombing is over and the men come out of the shelter, he is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Tralfamadorian speaker: We know how the world ends and it has nothing to do with Earth, except that it gets wiped out too.
Billy Pilgrim: Really? How does it end?
Tralfamadorian speaker: While we're experimenting with new fuels, a Tralfamadorian test pilot panics, presses the wrong button, and the whole universe disappears.
Billy Pilgrim: But you have to stop him. If you know this, can't you keep the pilot from pressing ...
Tralfamadorian speaker: He has always pressed it, and he always will. We have always let him, and we always will let him. The moment is structured that way.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Devil's Pass (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Goldberg variations, BWV 988 - Variation No. 18 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Sesta
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Glenn Gould, Piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pleasantly Surprised
9 July 2004 | by mmoore18See all my reviews

Like most of those who have posted before me, I am an avid Vonnegut fan and went into this movie with a guarded optimism that it would just be decent.

But George Roy Hill did an excellent job conveying the overall feel of the book -- the time jumping was flawless and I didn't find it hard to follow at all. The actor who played Billy Pilgrim captured Billy's passive, calm and vaguely anti-social demeanor. Lazarro, Montana and Billy's wife are also well played.

George Roy Hill had a knack for directing movies made from great books -- e.g., "The World According to Garp" -- and in the end, I was pleasantly surprised how well this movie turned out.

As far as the Vonnegut adaptations go (I know of four -- this one, "Mother Night," "Breakfast of Champions" and the god-awful "Slapstick") this one is the best of the bunch.

I've always wanted to see a movie version of "Sirens of Titan," but it'll probably never happen -- so "Slaughterhouse Five" is my only chance to "see" Trafalmadore.

Recommended to any true Vonnegut fans. Other people probably won't appreciate it.


55 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 100 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed