6.9/10
11,059
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)
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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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.
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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 »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an early scene when Billy's mother is visiting him in the hospital, she is talking about Billy's Dresden experience to Elliot Rosewater - the title character from Kurt Vonnegut's 1965 novel, "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater", and a character who was later portrayed by Ken Hudson Campbell in 'Breakfast of Champions (1999)'. See more »

Goofs

In the scenes of Tralfamadore, the planet Jupiter (easily recognizable by its giant red spot, which is a massive permanent storm) is visible in the background, but it never rotates. See more »

Quotes

Tralfamadorian speaker: Only on Earth is there any talk of Free Will.
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Connections

References Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto No 3 for Harpsichord in D major, BWV 1054 - 3rd movement 'Allegro'
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Glenn Gould, Piano
Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Vladimir Goldschmann, Conductor
See more »

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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.


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