7.2/10
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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 »
Reviews
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 ... 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 ... 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:

See all certifications »
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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

Kowalski: Who hears the news first? All the news you get at the factory originates from Jakob. Is there another radio?
Man getting shaved: No idea.
Kowalski: News get get changed on he way. It is passed on from person to person. Everyone adds some detail. So it gets changed until it is quite different.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Großes Kino made in DDR (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Radio and Cotton Balls
15 February 2016 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1944, in Poland, the Jew Jakob Heym (Vlastimil Brodský) breaks the curfew in the ghetto where he lives and a guard in the lookout sends him to see the chief of the guards. Jakob is released by the German, but overhears a radio broadcasting that the Russians are advancing towards their town. On the next morning, his comrade Mischa (Henry Hübchen) wants to risk his life to steal a couple of potatoes in a German store, Jakob tells that the Russians are coming and confides that he has a radio. Soon the secret Jakob has told to Mischa is known by the residents of the ghetto and Jakob notes that his lies give hope to the Jews, reducing the number of suicide. Meanwhile his niece Lina (Manuela Simon), who is sick, gets better with Jakob stories and believes that clouds are made of cotton balls.

"Jakob, der Lügner" is a dramatic film with a beautiful and heartbreaking story of hope and survival in one of the saddest and darkest moments of the contemporary history. The analogy between Jakob's radio that gives hope to his comrades and the cotton balls that helps his niece to live a fairytale is the summit of this tale and the open conclusion where the viewer does not know what he will tell to Lina are amazing. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Jacob, o Mentiroso" ("Jacob, the Liar")


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