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Plot: It is 1942 and the German submarine fleet is heavily engaged in the so called "Battle of the Atlantic" to harass and destroy English shipping. With better escorts of the Destroyer Class, however, German U-Boats have begun to take heavy losses. "Das Boot" is the story of one such U-Boat crew, with the film examining how these submariners maintained their professionalism as soldiers, attempted to accomplish impossible missions, while all the time attempting to understand and obey the ideology of the government under which they served. Runtime: 149 mins Release Date: 09 Feb 1981
on modern "boats" life isn't easy- but compared to the living hell that the German U-Boats were, modern submariners have nothing to complain about. People in certain professions don't like to watch movies about those professions Doctors and Nurses shy away from hospital dramas, for example . Submarine sailors are different. We love to watch every submarine movie ever made, from "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "Destination: Tokyo" to "The Hunt For Red October", "Crimson Tide" and "U-571". Why? Because we can always use a good <more>
laugh. For those in the know, submarine movies are usually absolutely hilarious. Except this one. After being in the Navy for four years, serving with around 350 different men, and being acquainted with a further 200-300, all of them submarine sailors, I think that I can state with absolute certainty that this film is the ONLY submarine movie that ALL submariners take seriously. And that is the highest praise a movie like this can possibly get.
15 years and I'm still thinking about it (by susy-7)
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 <more>
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.
What impresses me the most about the film, as the title makes apparent, is that it's a German made film about a German U-boat. Patriotism for my own country would tend to make me hate the crew on this ship by definition especially if portrayed as typical mindless killing machine Nazis , but these characters are so well developed and played like human-beings facing difficult decisions that I find myself sympathizing with these guys.I love the flow and pacing of the Director's Cut; it takes its time, and does not feel like typical Hollywood formula "first major plot point at <more>
minute 12" cookie-cutter routine. Das Boot gives us plenty of time to know these characters, discover how they kill time while waiting for orders, how they feel about their job and each other. Then when the action finally starts: how they deal with the possibility of dying deep underwater, how they react to the sounds of a sub going deeper than it should, the look on their faces as a destroyer is heard pinging them, and dozens of little personality quirks--subtle details that bring the crew to life. It truly does feel like an epic about a submarine crew, and I'm interested in some day viewing the 6 hour TV version.The underwater battles somewhat remind me of Sergio Leone in that Wolfgang Peterson takes forever and a day to get the fights started. Unlike Leone, once the torpedos are launched and the depth charges dropped, the cat-and-mouse game is ongoing and relentless, but never boring.And despite the fact that most of the film takes place inside a cramped submarine, Das Boot is never boring to look at; in fact, it's a visually spectacular film given the dated special effects, who hold up reasonably well and add to the old-school charm . And the freedom of the camera in those tight corridors came as an incredibly pleasant surprise. The color and composition of the shots in those tight quarters -- particularly upon approaching the first destroyer when we get the first real glimpse of the interior prepped for war -- it is both haunting and beautiful.Jurgen Prochnow delivers the most believable performance of a ship captain I've ever seen on film. All the emotions register on his face--his concern for his own life, ship, and crew; his hatred for the decisions he's forced to make; the disbelieving joy of beating the overwhelming odds--while simultaneously holding it back so the crew sees a strong unmoving man forever in control of the situation. His performance is, in a word, brilliant.The rest of the cast also delivers amazingly believable performances, and trust me, I could write an entire review on the film's characters and their portrayals. It's both disappointing and satisfying that I'm not given enough space to do so I wish I could state that about a tenth of the films I've reviewed here on IMDb. I liked the entire crew of this U-boat, the war correspondent and his character arc as he realizes the truth behind these "heroes", the chief and his longing to return to his wife, Johann and the story of his redemption--all well cast, well acted, and believable.Another aspect I adored about Das Boot - the controversial scenes simply rolled by with no more or less emphasis than any other statement the film makes. In fact, I saw the film before really reading anything or researching it and found myself somewhat shocked to hear about these "talked about" scenes. Granted, the film does pose some moral questions, but I felt the film handled it with grace and great subtlety, showing what it needs to get the point across and not a step further . . . unlike typical Hollywood where controversy gets bold print, italics, and a highlighter. Maybe I should move to Germany.I can go on for a long while: Over three hours of wonderful visuals and strong performances, a sparse but great score this film's lack of music is quite appropriate, making the presence of music much more impactful in its key places . Realistic writing from people who lived the experience first hand. As I said, I can go on for awhile but I'll sum it up and end this review with one statement: Das Boot is the definitive submarine movie.
When you go to a liquor store to buy Vodka you can purchase one of several brands or you can purchase Stoli. That's what Das Boot is when it comes to Submarine films. You can watch any one of several or you can watch Das Boot. Like Stoli Vodka it's in a class by itself. Superb film either way you see it i.e. subtitles or the dubbed version. See the directors cut if you can. The German crew could be any nationality the film is so well done it doesn't matter. Andy Rooney once said that when you're in a war you live life at 100%. The opening scene of this film demonstrates that. <more>
The men are living life at 100%. I never saw any other war movie that captured that like Das Boot.
War movies have been biases to one side or the other. This movie does not make hero's or enemies of the German U-boat sailors. Instead, it grips the viewer with realistic depictions of what it was like to be a U-boat sailor for the Gemans in WWII. It starts off with young 17 year old to 25 year old who have been filled with propaganda about the war effort and glorious battle. After this young crew of immature sailors start to experience the true horrors of war, you can not only see, but experience with them the boredom, laughter, camaraderie, team work and death. In a world where you <more>
have no windows, where your ears have to be your eyes, where a cat and mouse game is played and the looser dies, these young men age 10 to 15 years It makes the viewer realize the horror of submarine warfare in WWII. The most realistic war movie I have ever seen.
I've decided not to review the 1981 dubbed cinematic release of DAS BOOT . Instead I've decided to review Wolfgang Petersen's director's cut which is far closer to the miniseries version which most readers will be familiar with When someone makes an anti war statement it's important that they differentiate between being " anti war " and " anti military " . The Brits don't seem to know the difference and seem keen to make anti- military / anti - soldier self loathing war movies with Paul Greengrass's RESURRECTED a good example . Having suffered <more>
the tragedy of Vietnam the Americans finally made anti- war movies that were a million miles removed from the old John Wayne and Errol Flynn star vehicles where a man wipes out 30 enemy soldiers single handed without suffering a scratch . But when it comes to making anti - war movies that shows the horrors of war and the courage of men in battle the Germans are top of the league , heads and shoulders above everyone else . This is because present day Germans realize that the enemy isn't the other side - it's war itself that's the enemy and DAS BOOT is a great example of this thinking The story starts slowly by introducing us to the crew via the war correspondent who are celebrating a last night ashore before they sail on their mission to sink British convoys sailing from America to Britain carrying vital supplies for the war effort against Nazi Germany . This is where DAS BOOT is superb , I really felt empathy for these crew man . Okay I didn't want them sinking British ships but I didn't want them to die either an opinion that shouldn't be taken lightly since my paternal grandfather was a merchant seaman during the war while my maternal grandfather was a crewman on a destroyer . The fact the crew of U-96 are presented as being utterly human and for this Brit hoping they make it home in one piece is a great achievement DAS BOOT was nominated for several Oscars and it's not difficult to see why. Watch it on widescreen television with stereo surround and you'll be amazed with the very clear sound effects and sound editing . Perhaps the best technical aspect is the cinematography where during moments of crisis the camera shoots along the length of the U- boat as it follows crewmen rushing about . When a foreign language movie is nominated for several Oscars you just know it's good!!!!! SLIGHT SPOILERS !!!!This is a superb movie but it's not perfect . Being a German movie Nazis feature at one point but none of them are crew members , the only Nazis featured are the crew of a supply ship who have who have never seen a days fighting in their lives . It's understandable for German film makers to play down the courage of Nazi party members of the Second World War but it should also be remembered that the Waffan SS were exclusively composed of party members and they were the most feared fighting force of the conflict . CROSS OF IRON My favourite movie featuring WW 2 does make the valid point that because someone isn't a fan of the Nazis it doesn't necessarily make them a good person either . The screenplay also drags due to the fact that there's two subplots of U-96 being damaged and stuck on the Atlantic seabed when one subplot of sinking and then resurrecting the vessel would have sufficedBut the pros far outweigh the cons and I recommend this movie to people who have never seen a foreign language film in their life . It's placing in the IMDb top 250 is well earned . You may be shocked to know that director Wolgang Petersen later went onto to make Hollywood crap like OUTBREAK and A PERFECT STORM
Longer Director''s Cut The Version To See & Hear (by ccthemovieman-1)
This 1985 effort was re-issued with a longer VHS version in 1997 with surround sound and 60 minutes added to the original video, then put on DVD with 5.1 surround sound. All these improvements made a good movie even better.Considering most of this 209 minute film is done inside a U-boat, a submarine, it's very nicely filmed. Jurgen Prochnow, who plays the lead character - the captain of the boat - is a manly, rough-looking but compassionate human being who's always attention-getting. Just as interesting as him are the sounds as the noises from the boat echo through all the surround <more>
speakers.There are several tense, long drawn-out scenes, sometimes drawn out too long. In that respect, this movie might have been better had it been shorter and tighter. The language is "crude" in here in spots, so beware of that.I would recommend going with the German language track with English subtitles. The dubbed version has English spoken with a German accent and isn't easy to understand, anyway.....so stick with the way it was made and go with the subtitles if you don't understand German.In summary: a little long but generally moves at a decent pace and features a good ending to all of it. Recommended.
Incredibly Intense WWII Submarine Action Drama (by ShootingShark)
In 1941, Britain and Germany are battling for control of crucial Atlantic supply routes. German submarine U-96 leaves the French port of La Rochelle; its mission, to inflict as much damage as possible on cargo-ship convoys.This is a unique movie and for my money one of the best war pictures ever made. Whilst maintaining a very high level of drama and suspense for a long film, it also seems so real and credible, and the filmmakers went to great lengths to convey this authenticity. It is based on an autobiographical novel by Lothar-GÃ¼nther Buchheim who was a real-life war correspondent. The <more>
stunning submarine set by Rolf Zehetbauer was built with incredible attention to period detail and as an enclosed space, restricting the camera-work but adding tremendously to the crucial atmosphere of confinement. The great cast gave everything to the picture for example, they were not allowed out in the sun during the shooting and their transformation as it progresses into haggard, bearded, weary ghosts is startling and unsettling. Prochnow is stunning as the unnamed Captain; a man who has the respect of his crew yet is essentially alone, but the entire ensemble are brilliant - I especially like Wennemann the chief engineer , Tauber the navigator and Hoenig the radio-operator all of whom give quiet, thoughtful, understated performances, very atypical in an epic movie filled with action. The eerily effective use of sound adds to the movie's tension, and there is brilliant claustrophobic camera-work by Jost Vacano. The depiction of the crew's struggles - alternating intolerable boredom with sheer terror when the alarm is raised, evading depth charges and destroyers, running dangerously deep to avoid detection, repairing the ship literally everything breaks at some point , following suicidal orders - is the heart of the film. U-Boat crews had a one in four chance of surviving, and the movie's heartbreaking conclusion is deeply profound and moving, regardless of your views on World War II. This is a film about people, not politics, which is why it's such a great war movie. Shot as both a 145-minute feature released first, and as a six-hour TV miniseries screened later; this review is of an even better 200-minute version recut by Petersen and re-released in 1996.
Could have been one of the most incredible films ever made...but isn't (by symonm)
After 20 years or so, having finally gotten around to watching it properly again, as it should be seen: in full Directors Cut/Original German language mode, I was initially totally engrossed in the beautiful nature of this film. Wonderfully shot, eerie compelling drama, very real human emotions, even given the nature of the whole Nazi/Master race subject matter here and then...that "Commando Comics" ending. For any non-Brits reading this, "Commando" was a series of WWII comic books for young boys that always made sure the 'nasty baddies' got their comeuppance in <more>
the end, usually in some typically gung-ho moment of literary redemption. What a shame it had to end like that. All that effort, all that time 3.5 hours , spent empathising with the crew and especially with U-96, feeling their fear and their worries and then a random US fighter plane comes out of nowhere, kills them all and sinks the sub when it's home and dry. Shocking Cop out Herr Peterson and it means you don't get the 10 your film should've deserved.Other than that, it's a masterpiece. Great shame.