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Das Boot (1981)

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The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director:

Wolfgang Petersen

Writers:

Wolfgang Petersen (screenplay), Lothar G. Buchheim (novel)
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Popularity
1,718 ( 54)
Top Rated Movies #73 | Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jürgen Prochnow ... Capt.-Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock - Der Alte
Herbert Grönemeyer ... Lt. Werner - Correspondent
Klaus Wennemann Klaus Wennemann ... Chief Engineer Fritz Grade - Der Leitende-Der LI
Hubertus Bengsch Hubertus Bengsch ... 1st Lieutenant - Number One-1WO
Martin Semmelrogge ... 2nd Lieutenant - 2WO
Bernd Tauber ... Kriechbaum - Chief Quartermaster-Navigator
Erwin Leder ... Johann
Martin May Martin May ... Ullman
Heinz Hoenig ... Hinrich (as Heinz Hönig)
Uwe Ochsenknecht ... Chief Bosun
Claude-Oliver Rudolph ... Ario
Jan Fedder ... Pilgrim
Ralf Richter Ralf Richter ... Frenssen (as Ralph Richter)
Joachim Bernhard ... Preacher
Oliver Stritzel ... Schwalle
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Storyline

It is 1942 and the German submarine fleet is heavily engaged in the so-called "Battle of the Atlantic" to harass and destroy British shipping. With better escorts of the destroyer class, however, German U-boats have begun to take heavy losses. "Das Boot" is the story of the crew of one such U-Boat, with the film examining how these submariners maintained their professionalism as soldiers and attempted to accomplish impossible missions, all the while attempting to understand and obey the ideology of the government under which they served. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

40 000 men were sent out on German U-boats... 30 000 never returned See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some war violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Twin Brothers

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | English | French

Release Date:

10 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boat See more »

Filming Locations:

Bodensee, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,994, 14 February 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,487,676, 9 November 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,482,661
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (video) | (Original Uncut Version) | (Original Uncut Mini-Series Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (director's cut)| Dolby (original release)| SDDS (director's cut)

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rutger Hauer was offered to play the Captain, but turned it down to do Blade Runner (1982). See more »

Goofs

Werner's "fifth day at sea" is October 23, 1941, as the Upper Command trumpets through the radio. His first day aboard must have been the 19th. Yet the calender displayed "14" during his first meal. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain: Out boatswain's mate. Been on quite a bender tonight.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the DVD release the subtitle content is significantly different from the version shown on cable. Hitler is not disparaged the same way at the going away bash for example. See more »

Connections

Edited into Das Boot (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Westerwaldlied
(O, du schöner Westerwald)
(uncredited)
Written by Josef Neuhauser
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
15 years and I'm still thinking about it
8 September 1999 | by susy-7See all my reviews

Das Boot is not just a great war film: it's a great film period. Maybe it is true that epic themes make the greatest novels and films. Here is a movie that explores heroism, duty, patriotism, hope, fear and the futility of war--all grand themes--explored in the confined, and collapsing, spaces of a German u-boat.

I saw this film when I was a freshman in college during a weekend that I later dubbed my "depressing movie festival." (The Wall and Apocalypse Now were the other weekend "entries.") Of these films, it was Das Boot that haunted me--when I laid down at night, I saw Jurgen Proctow's pained blue eyes. When I woke in the morning, I felt as if I were escaping through the hatch of the submarine. I could not shake the images, and now some fifteen years later, I still remember how completely meaningless the movie made everything seem, and the nihilistic message stayed with me for a long, long time. How few films are there which affect the viewers on this level. To say this film is "powerful" seems so weak a description.

Part of the "power" of the film comes, I think, from a certain restraint in the direction. So often, films which aspire to move the audience quickly fall into melodrama, over-acting, and overblown images. Too much. These often succeed in the immediate response (usually crying) but fail to impact the viewer on anything more than a surface level. Here, it is the small moments which fill the screen. Everywhere, all around is War, but for these men as we witness them, war does not begin with a capital "W". It is reality, not a grand concept. The director lets the story shock and horrify the audience, not by forcing it, but by letting the story just tell itself. Drama, tension and resolution occur naturally in Das Boot, which contributes to the very real impact of the film.

Story is a 10, direction is a 10, acting is a 10 and the cinematography is a 10. One of the all-time greatest films.


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