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The Tin Drum (1979)

Die Blechtrommel (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 April 1980 (USA)
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1:29 | Trailer
In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mario Adorf ... Alfred Matzerath
Angela Winkler ... Agnes Matzerath
David Bennent ... Oskar Matzerath
Katharina Thalbach ... Maria Matzerath
Daniel Olbrychski ... Jan Bronski
Tina Engel Tina Engel ... Anna Koljaiczek (jung)
Berta Drews Berta Drews ... Anna Koljaiczek
Roland Teubner Roland Teubner ... Joseph Koljaiczek
Tadeusz Kunikowski Tadeusz Kunikowski ... Onkel Vinzenz
Andréa Ferréol ... Lina Greff (as Andréa Ferreol)
Heinz Bennent ... Greff
Ilse Pagé Ilse Pagé ... Gretchen Scheffler
Werner Rehm Werner Rehm ... Scheffler
Käte Jaenicke Käte Jaenicke ... Mutter Truczinski
Helmut Brasch Helmut Brasch ... Der Alte Heilandt (as Helmuth Brasch)
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Storyline

Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with full intellect right from his birth he decides at his third birthday not to grow up as he sees the crazy world around him at the eve of World War II. So he refuses the society and his tin drum symbolizes his protest against the middle-class mentality of his family and neighborhood, which stand for all passive people in Nazi Germany at that time. However, (almost) nobody listens to him, so the catastrophe goes on... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Academy Award Winner Best Foreign Language Film 1979 See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

German | Italian | Hebrew | Polish | Russian | Latin

Release Date:

11 April 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tin Drum See more »

Filming Locations:

Wedding, Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,881
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (1980 cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Bennent has a condition which cause him to grow very slowly. When he appeared in this film at age 11, he measured 1.14 meter (3' 9''), but he continued to grow to 1.55 m (5' 1''), and was still growing while well in his thirties. See more »

Goofs

When Oskar breaks the teacher's glasses, the pattern of spots on his face change. See more »

Quotes

Oskar Matzerath: There once was a drummer. His name was Oskar. He lost his poor mama, who had eat to much fish. There was once a credulous people... who believed in Santa Claus. But Santa Claus was really... the gas man! There was once a toy merchant. His name was Sigismund Markus... and he sold tin drums lacquered red and white. There was once a drummer. His name was Oskar. There was once a toy merchant... whose name was Markus... and he took all the toys in the world away with him.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although reluctant to do so the BBFC were forced to remove 19 secs from UK cinema and video versions under the Protection of Children Act to remove a scene showing Oskar pressing his face against Maria's pubic region. The cuts were waived in 2003 when it was decided that the scene did not constitute an indecent image. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.184 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Grotesque yet beautiful
21 January 1999 | by Oliver1984See all my reviews

Having read the greater-than-life novel by Günther Grass, this film is an interesting viewing for many reasons. Reason number 1: the most important reason is of course, how on earth did they manage to get anyone to play Oskar? The director has shown us a stroke of geniosity by casting a 12-year old boy as Oskar, who besides is a brilliant actor (I wonder whatever became of him). Reason number two: how could anyone ever visualize the grotesque and chaotic scenes in the book? Once again the director comes up with something brilliant, he makes the scenes as graphic as possible, he doesn't care about the MPAA, he doesn't care about movie-watchers with heart problems, and he's not afraid of overdoing anything. He puts as much force and effort in the scenes as possible, and they come out brilliantly. Reason number 3: How does he capture the moods of the multi-layered book? He simply stays very faithful to the books text and uses camera angles, lighting effects and music perfectly to accompany the visions of Günther Grass. Those are the most apparent reasons and because of those, the film is brilliant. The only flaw is leaving the story unfinished (although, the ones who never read the book, won't notice that). Altogether, an interesting, stylish and rewarding film experience.


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