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Jacob the Liar (1974)

Jakob, der Lügner (original title)
A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Beyer

Writers:

Jurek Becker (novel), Jurek Becker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vlastimil Brodský ... Jakob Heym
Erwin Geschonneck ... Kowalski
Henry Hübchen Henry Hübchen ... Mischa
Blanche Kommerell Blanche Kommerell ... Rosa Frankfurter
Manuela Simon Manuela Simon ... Lina
Dezsö Garas Dezsö Garas ... Frankfurter
Zsuzsa Gordon Zsuzsa Gordon ... Mrs. Frankfurter
Friedrich Richter Friedrich Richter ... Dr. Kirschbaum
Margit Bara Margit Bara ... Josefa
Reimar J. Baur Reimar J. Baur ... Herschel Schtamm
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Roman Schtamm
Hermann Beyer Hermann Beyer ... Wachhabender
Klaus Brasch Klaus Brasch ... Najdorf
Jürgen Hilbrecht Jürgen Hilbrecht ... Schwocj
Paul Lewitt Paul Lewitt ... Horowitz
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Storyline

A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central Europe. In order to keep his companion in misfortune, Mischa, from risking his life for a few potatoes, he tells him what he heard and announces that he is in possession of a radio - in the ghetto a crime punishable by death. It doesn't take long for word of Jakob's secret to spread - suddenly, there is new hope and something to live for - and so Jakob finds himself in the uncomforting position of having to come up with more and more stories. Written by c.winter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

Language:

German

Release Date:

17 April 1975 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacob the Liar See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original screenplay was rejected by the East German production company DEFA. Author Jurek Becker published it as a novel, which became a huge success, prompting DEFA to reconsider. See more »

Quotes

Mischa: Listen to me now. I'm glad you're sad he went. You didn't know him.You just knew his snoring. People disappear each day in the ghetto. We can't get worked up about everyone.
Rosa Frankfurter: You are hard and uncaring.
Mischa: I know. If it weren't for curfew at 8, you'd get up and leave right now.
Rosa Frankfurter: Correct.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Príbehy slavných: Bróda (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good, though a tad sanitized
20 November 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This East German movie is a very unusual movie about the Holocaust because it focuses on life within the ghetto. However, the film seemed a bit sanitized in how the residents looked and how they were treated. Unlike some later films, some of the Jews in this film looked awfully well-fed and conditions didn't seem all that bad. The cattle car where the remaining Jews were placed seemed rather spacious and not all that bad either--even though in reality many died on the cars due to conditions. In addition, some of the German soldiers seemed pretty nice. Perhaps this might have been that the Soviet-dominated East Germans were more willing to talk about their sordid past but were still struggling with fully accepting it. Whatever is the case, this aspect of the film did surprise me a bit.

Now as for the rest of the film, it was marvelous and provided an odd insight into life in the ghettos. The acting was excellent and the film is very much worth seeing, though not nearly as compelling as THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET, SCHINDLER'S LIST or AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS. I have not seen the recent remake starring Robin Williams, so I can't really compare the two, but my inclination is almost always to go with the originals.

PS--The English captioning for this film is pretty poor. Instead of directly translating what is said, it's often summarized or even wrong. My knowledge of German isn't too bad, and several times what they said did not correspond at all to the captioning. You can't blame the film makers for this, but the company that released the film.


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