7.6/10
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83 user 84 critic

The Tin Drum (1979)

Die Blechtrommel (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 April 1980 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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:

A savage, sweeping epic of society in chaos. [Video Australia] 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 »

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
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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 Agnes eats eels, a brown bottle is not visible in one cut, even though other nearby objects on the table can be seen. In the same series of cuts, the position of her empty glass and Alfred's beer glass also change. See more »

Quotes

Agnes Matzerath: Don't expect me to touch your eels.
Alfred Matzerath: Don't put on airs.
Agnes Matzerath: I'll never eat fish again. Certainly not eels.
Alfred Matzerath: You've always eaten them, and you knew where they came from!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2010, a director's cut was released in Germany which runs ca. 20 minutes longer. See more »

Connections

Featured in Banned in Oklahoma (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Extraordinary Film making.
5 June 2005 | by victor7754See all my reviews

The Tin Drum is Extraordinary. It captures the perverse side of the individual and the whole. Oskar is conscious inside the womb. He is a product of kissing cousins. He is an inbred. He is a product of a secret love affair. Oskar's expressions capture the evil that would soon devour his home state. It is set in World War II, Poland, a town called Danzig. A town with billowing smoke and towering spiral steeples. A Grimm's Faerie Tale.

The film plays out like a fantasy. To never grow up. The Tin Drum contains some of the most fantastic images found in a feature film; The shattering of the jar with the fetus; The cracking of the teachers glasses ; The eels oozing out of the horses head as the seagulls scream and Oskar bangs his drum. It was an incredible scene to read on the pages of Gunter Grass' novel but to see a filmmaker capture the words and turned it into a real life experience was awe-inspiring. Directed so well.

It is an erotic film. Intense scenes of desire. Primal. It captures the dark side of us all. The scenes where Oskar and his first adolescent love exchange spit and fizz are very perverse and effective.

Oskar does grow up as a man but remains the size of a 3 year old. He bangs his Tin Drum to drown out the craziness around him. World war II must have been horribly felt by those so close. The Nazi regime seemed so frightening. As a three year old who was conscious in the womb, how would Oskar see this direction that man, who once was three years old, has taken. What is wrong with us?

Overall, it is about the next generation wanting the previous one to get over itself and enjoy this paradise called Earth.

The film is mesmerizing. It is a beautiful piece of celluloid art. The magical realism is captured very effectively. How about doing One Hundred Years of Solitude? Here's your director.

Victor Nunnally BFA Film Production and Dramatic Theory, AA in Performing Arts


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