6.5/10
13,929
94 user 49 critic

Jakob the Liar (1999)

Trailer
2:15 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Kassovitz

Writers:

Jurek Becker (novel), Peter Kassovitz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Beyer
Stars: Vlastimil Brodský, Erwin Geschonneck, Henry Hübchen
Fathers' Day (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A woman cons two old boyfriends into searching for her runaway son by convincing both that they are the boy's father.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The Final Cut (2004)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set in a world with memory recording implants, Alan Hakman is a cutter, someone with the power of final edit over people's recorded histories. His latest assignment is one that puts him in danger.

Director: Omar Naim
Stars: Robin Williams, Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino
Being Human (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

One man must learn the meaning of courage across four lifetimes centuries apart.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Robin Williams, John Turturro, Kelly Hunter
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter "Patch" Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy's identity come up, the host's life is thrown into chaos.

Director: Patrick Stettner
Stars: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Rory Culkin
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill
Cadillac Man (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Joe's a car salesman with a problem. He has two days to sell 12 cars or he loses his job. This would be a difficult task at the best of times but Joe has to contend with his girlfriends (... See full summary »

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Robin Williams, Tim Robbins, Pamela Reed
Jack (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Because of an unusual aging disorder that has aged him four times faster than a normal human being, a boy enters the fifth grade for the first time with the appearance of a 40 year old man.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Brian Kerwin
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After he dies in a car crash, a man searches heaven and hell for his beloved wife.

Director: Vincent Ward
Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mentally unstable photo developer targets a middle-class family after his obsession with them becomes more sick and disturbing than any of them could imagine.

Director: Mark Romanek
Stars: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan
The Big White (2005)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To remedy his financial problems, a travel agent has his eye on a frozen corpse, which just happens to be sought after by two hitmen.

Director: Mark Mylod
Stars: Robin Williams, Giovanni Ribisi, Holly Hunter
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Jakob
Hannah Taylor Gordon ... Lina
Éva Igó Éva Igó ... Lina's Mother (as Eva Igo)
István Bálint István Bálint ... Lina's Father (as Istvan Balint)
Justus von Dohnányi Justus von Dohnányi ... Preuss
Kathleen Gati ... Hooker
Bob Balaban ... Kowalsky
Alan Arkin ... Frankfurter
Michael Jeter ... Avron
Mark Margolis ... Fajngold
János Gosztonyi János Gosztonyi ... Samuel (as Janos Gosztonyi)
Liev Schreiber ... Mischa
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Kirschbaum
Ádám Rajhona Ádám Rajhona ... The Whistler (as Adam Rajhona)
Antal Leisen Antal Leisen ... Peg-Leg
Edit

Storyline

In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German radio broadcast about Russian troop movements. Returned to the ghetto, the shopkeeper shares his information with a friend and then rumors fly that there is a secret radio within the ghetto. Jakob uses the chance to spread hope throughout the ghetto by continuing to tell favorable tales of information from "his secret radio." Jakob, however, has a real secret in that he is hiding a young Jewish girl who escaped from a camp transport train. A rather uplifting and slightly humorous film about World War II Jewish Ghetto life. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When all hope was lost, he invented it. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Hungary | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una señal de esperanza See more »

Filming Locations:

Poland See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,056,647, 26 September 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,956,401, 31 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to be consistent with Nordic/Germanic pronunciations, Jakob's name would actually be pronounced "YAH-kopp". However, with Jakob being a Polish Jew, it's far more likely his name would have the Polish/polonized form, 'Jakub' (pronounced "YAH-kupp"). See more »

Goofs

The train locomotive in the lower left-hand corner of the DVD cover artwork is correct for southern California when the movie was released in 1999, but it's totally wrong for the movie's setting in 1944 Poland. Its cab profile was used on various diesel-electric models built by General Motors for the North American market from the early 1960s onwards, it has 1990s-style dual low-mounted safety lights, and its red-and-gray paint scheme bears an uncanny resemblance to that used by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the western United States in the late 20th century. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jakob Heym: Hitler goes to a fortune-teller and asks, "When will I die?" And the fortune-teller replies, "On a Jewish holiday." Hitler then asks, "How do you know that?" And she replies, "Any day you die will be a Jewish holiday."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the city and peoples of Piotrków, Poland, the city and peoples of Lódz, Poland and the city and peoples of Budapest, Hungary. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out The Barrel)
Written by Lew Brown, Wladimir A. Timm (as Wladimir Timm), Jaromir Vejvoda & Vasek Zeman
Performed by Will Glahé (as Will Glahe)
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the best movies I've ever seen
5 March 2004 | by 6 6 6See all my reviews

NO SPOILERS, read freely. I had long heard about this movie but I did not have a slight clue of how good it really was. Apart Michael Jeter, Alan Arkin, Robin Williams and Armin Mueller-Stahl I wasn't really familiar with many other faces on the screen but everyone stood up to their role brilliantly. This WWII drama narrates the story of accidental prophet Jakob whose lies bring hope to those living in his Ghetto in a time of hardship. It's a sad story but more than once you are forced to smile by the evvents. Missing out on this one would be a pity. Everything about JAKOB THE LIAR is perfect, it's a very realistic down to earth story, acting and script are also brilliant...not to mention Edward Shearmur's really heartwarming scoundtrack, what a pity it has not been released. (the CD) A must for the lovers of the genre.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 94 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed