7.6/10
19,686
85 user 83 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.
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Alfred Matzerath
... Agnes Matzerath
... Oskar Matzerath
... Maria Matzerath
... Jan Bronski
Tina Engel ... Anna Koljaiczek (jung)
Berta Drews ... Anna Koljaiczek
Roland Teubner ... Joseph Koljaiczek
Tadeusz Kunikowski ... Onkel Vinzenz
... Lina Greff (as Andréa Ferreol)
... Greff
Ilse Pagé ... Gretchen Scheffler
Werner Rehm ... Scheffler
Käte Jaenicke ... Mutter Truczinski
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:

 »
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Details

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

11 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tin Drum  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally banned by the irish film censor but released uncut theatrically in Ireland in 1981 after successfully appealed. See more »

Goofs

While the German soldiers besiege the Polish post office, a German soldier is seen firing an MG42 machine gun from his shoulder. The weapon itself was not in use by the German army before 1942, while the scene in the film takes place in 1939. Additionally, the weapon is not supposed to be fired standing as depicted, and the film shows the wrong sound and firing cadence for the weapon. See more »

Quotes

Bebra: You must join us, you must!
Oskar Matzerath: You know, Mr. Bebra... to tell the truth, I prefer to be a member of the audience, and let my little art flower in secret.
Bebra: My dear Oskar, trust an experienced colleague. Our kind must never sit in the audience. Our kind must perform and run the show, or the others will run *us*. The others are coming. They will occupy the fairgrounds, they will stage torchlight parades, build rostrums, fill the rostrums, and from those rostrums preach our destruction.
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Connections

Featured in Cannes... les 400 coups (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully disturbing
15 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

It's been a while since I've seen this German film but I am still struck by key images in the film and the overall tone set forth casually against a backdrop of the chaos of Nazi Germany's rise and fall.

I do wonder how much of my love for this film is owed to the Gunter Grass novel on which it's based It's a quirky slab of magic realism to be sure, like the film, but I have no idea how closely it hews to the original.

The performances are nuanced and striking in places. The cinematography is appropriately dreary and the editing crisp and unadorned. The centerpiece though, is the performance by the child actor at the core of the film. How much is owed to his voice-over narrative, I don't know, but the man growing inside of the still-grown little boy was handled just beautifully.

It's a disturbing and strangely uplifting movie at once. I recommend it -- especially for those who have seen only black and white view of World War II and the typically American view of our adversaries in German.


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