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
Acclaimed Polish-British actress Beata Poźniak made her movie debut as an extra when scenes were shot right outside her home. See more »
When Oskar and Maria are at the beach, a modern day cargo ship is clearly visible in the background, although this movie is set around 1937. See more »
Look, if you please, at this extraordinary potato... this swelling, luxuriant flesh, forever conceiving new shapes... and yet so chaste. I love a potato, because it speaks to me.
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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 »
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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