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The Book Thief (2013)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 27 November 2013 (USA)
2:11 | Trailer

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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.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay by)
3,669 ( 671)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Narrator / Death (voice)
... Liesel Meminger
... Liesel's Mother
Julian Lehmann ... Liesel's Brother
Gotthard Lange ... Grave Digger
... Priest
... Frau Heinrich
... Hans Hubermann
... Rosa Hubermann
Nico Liersch ... Rudy Steiner
... Football Urchin
Paul Schaefer ... Football Urchin
Nozomi Linus Kaisar ... Fat Faced Goalie
... Alex Steiner
Robert Beyer ... Jewish Accountant


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


From the Studio that brought you The Life of Pi See more »


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladrona de libros  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,005, 8 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Liesel is chastised in the school corridors in the book, not in the playground like in the film. See more »


When Liesel is seeing Hans off at the train depot when he's been conscripted, she is standing several cars down from the engine, facing toward the front of the train as Hans steps aboard one of the passenger cars and we can see at least one other such car between his and the engine. The camera angle then changes and we see Liesel has not moved but as the train begins to move forward, she is beside the coal car. See more »


[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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Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.92 (2017) See more »


Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A must-see movie for anyone interested in the Nazi Era.
29 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

As the daughter of a Holocaust Survivor, I raced to see this movie on Thanksgiving Day.

Our hero, a little girl, has a compelling personal history. Her brother dies on the way of them being placed with foster parents. She also cannot read.

Her foster father becomes her natural ally when he teaches her to read. Then she is befriended by her neighbor, a little boy.

Added to the mix is that her foster parents hide a Jew. The little girl is drawn to him, especially after she learns her own mother, a Communist, most likely became a victim of the Nazis.

The Jewish young man furthers her education with reading and writing lessons. When he falls ill, she reads to him as a lifeline to keep him connected to living.

The historic context of this story is well documented with the Night of the Broken Glass and book burning.

This movie is a must- see for anyone like me who is compelled to learn about the human and historic drama of the Nazi era.

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