Das Boot

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Overview

Das Boot is one of the most gripping and authentic war movies ever made. Based on an autobiographical novel by German World War II photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the film follows the lives of a fearless U-Boat captain Jurgen Prochnow and his inexperienced crew as they patrol the Atlantic and Mediterranean in search of Allied vessels, taking turns as hunter and prey. There's very little plot, so the movie's power comes from both its riveting, epic battle scenes and its details of the boring hours spent ...
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Overview

Das Boot is one of the most gripping and authentic war movies ever made. Based on an autobiographical novel by German World War II photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the film follows the lives of a fearless U-Boat captain Jurgen Prochnow and his inexperienced crew as they patrol the Atlantic and Mediterranean in search of Allied vessels, taking turns as hunter and prey. There's very little plot, so the movie's power comes from both its riveting, epic battle scenes and its details of the boring hours spent waiting for orders or signs of the enemy. With the exception of one staunch Hitler Youth lieutenant, none of the crew is particularly loyal to the Nazis, and some are openly hostile toward their Fuhrer; this allows viewer sympathy with the men as they perform their laborious, monotonous duties in cramped, filthy quarters, or await death as depth charges explode all around the sub. Prochnow is excellent as the nerves-of-steel commander, and many of the supporting actors -- all German -- are solid as well, although the characterizations border on war movie clichés the young crewman who has left behind his pregnant girlfriend, the Chief Engineer whose wife is seriously ill. The real star, however, is cinematographer Jost Vacano, who makes the sub's grimy, claustrophobic interior come to vivid life, as his camera follows the crew through hatches, up ladders, into bunks, and under pipes, creating a palpable sense of claustrophobia while injecting it with movement. Originally edited by writer/director Wolfgang Petersen as both a two-and-a-half hour theatrical release and a six-hour German miniseries, Das Boot was re-released in a restored version in 1997 with nearly one hour of added footage which made it even more suspenseful than before.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Das Boot is among the most realistic of all World War II films and one of the most spectacular object lessons in manipulating and choreographing the space on the screen. Director Wolfgang Petersen manages to convey the long periods of boredom for the crew of a submarine while making that boredom interesting for the audience. The film is largely unconcerned with the issues surrounding World War II, instead focusing on the individual sailors aboard the sub. Cinematographer Jost Vacano is continually creative in finding new things to reveal aboard the cramped quarters of the sub, and the film's intensity is impressive. The scene in which the sub's captain (Jürgen Prochnow) sinks what he thinks is an unoccupied enemy ship, only to find that it isn't, is among the most memorable scenes in any war film. There are few films that can maintain interest for such a lengthy running time with so few sets to work with, but Das Boot does exactly that for all 210 minutes of the expanded, post-release director's cut.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/27/2001
  • UPC: 043396222038
  • Original Release: 1981
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Presentation: Director's Cut / Dubbed
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jürgen Prochnow The Capt.
Herbert Grönemeyer Lt. Werner/Correspondent
Klaus Wennemann Chief Engineer
Hubertus Bengsch First Lt. /Number One
Martin Semmelrogge 2nd Lieutenant
Bernd Tauber Chief Quartermaster
Erwin Leder Johann
Claude-Oliver Rudolph Ario
Jan Fedder Pilgrim
Ralf Richter Frenssen
Heinz Hoenig Hinrich
Martin Hemme Bruckenwilli
Lutz Schnell Dufte
Oliver Stritzel Schwalle
Otto Sander Thomsen in "Bar Royal"
Rita Cadillac Monique
Edwige Pierre Nadine
Günter Lamprecht Capt. of the Weser
Joachim Bernhard Preacher
Uwe Ochsenknecht Boatman
Martin May Ullman
U.A. Ochsen Chief Bosun
Technical Credits
Wolfgang Petersen Director, Screenwriter
Monika Bauert Costumes/Costume Designer
Karl Baumgertner Special Effects
Michael Bittins Co-producer, Production Manager
Mark Damon Executive Producer
Klaus Doldinger Score Composer
Lutz Hengst Executive Producer, Production Manager
John W. Hyde Executive Producer
Willy Neuner Special Effects
Hannes Nikel Editor
Edward R. Pressman Executive Producer
Trevor Pyke Sound Mixer
Dean Riesner Screenwriter
Günter Rohrbach Producer
Jost Vacano Cinematographer
Götz Weidner Art Director
Rolf Zehetbauer Production Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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