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The Book Thief (2013)

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While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents.

Director:

Brian Percival

Writers:

Markus Zusak (based on the novel by), Michael Petroni (screenplay by)
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3,310 ( 177)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Allam ... Narrator / Death (voice)
Sophie Nélisse ... Liesel Meminger
Heike Makatsch ... Liesel's Mother
Julian Lehmann Julian Lehmann ... Liesel's Brother
Gotthard Lange Gotthard Lange ... Grave Digger
Rainer Reiners ... Priest
Kirsten Block ... Frau Heinrich
Geoffrey Rush ... Hans Hubermann
Emily Watson ... Rosa Hubermann
Nico Liersch Nico Liersch ... Rudy Steiner
Ludger Bökelmann ... Football Urchin
Paul Schaefer Paul Schaefer ... Football Urchin
Nozomi Linus Kaisar Nozomi Linus Kaisar ... Fat Faced Goalie
Oliver Stokowski ... Alex Steiner
Robert Beyer Robert Beyer ... Jewish Accountant
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Storyline

In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, "The Gravediggers Handbook", which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man. Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Mayor's wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the tale of the Book Thief, as narrated by death. And when Death tells a story, you really have to listen. It's just a small story really, about, amongst other things: a girl+an accordionist+some fanatical Germans+a Jewish fist fighter+and quite a lot of thievery. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladrona de libros See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,005, 8 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,488,481

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,586,316
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Everyone mainly speaks English in the film. But the English speakers always say "Ja" and "Nein" for Yes & No. See more »

Goofs

While in the basement, Hans comments that the snowman will not melt because "it's freezing down here," yet no character's breath can be seen in the air, despite the fact that all are breathing heavily. The visibility of breath in the cold is determined by not only the temperature, but also the relative humidity, so it is possible for it to be cold without the characters' breath showing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: One small fact: you are going to die. Despite every effort, no one lives forever. Sorry to be such a spoiler. My advice is when the time comes, don't panic. It doesn't seem to help.
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Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode dated 19 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber (as Franz Xaver Gruber)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Touching and warm story - for the most part
6 November 2013 | by Palidan400See all my reviews

For the most part, you will come out seeing this film with what you expect. "The Book Thief" takes place during the Holocaust, a subject seen in many other renowned films, but the beauty of this story comes from the perspective viewers get - that of a child's.

There is an excellent blend of different pieces that move the film along well - the violence and the intensity of the time period, the touching relationships between friends and family, and the humor they all share. Though it's nothing new, the writing and lines are still great and make the characters very likable. Performances by the entire cast, no matter how small or large a role they play, are certainly deserving of praise. Even with all the dramatic events surrounding them, it is easy to get caught in the relationship between Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as the familiar nagging parents of Liesel.

The various sets of the film - backed up with some clean, beautiful cinematography (yet nothing too astounding) - show several different parts of the town, but you are still left wanting to see more of this world. Which is where the film falls in general. For the majority of the movie, you are invested into these characters and you follow their time through WWII, and much goes on. The ending, however, comes rather quickly and you are left with that same feeling of wanting to know more. Not just of the ending, but everything before. It seems every time a moment - of suspense, of sadness, or happiness - comes, it holds on for a short while, but cuts off before you can fully take it in.

Still, the film gives a touching story to watch. The subject matter is obviously very serious, but the story of "The Book Thief" allows a wide range of people to watch this and understand, be it a young child or an adult. The characters are the best part of this film and I found them very enjoyable. The film is rather traditional and almost doesn't fit in with the rest of today's movies, but rather reminded me of many other older classics.


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