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Das Boot: the Director's Cut

  • Drama
  • 1997
  • Wolfgang Petersen
  • 199 mins
  • 15

Summary

A U-boat caught in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War tries to undermine the British war effort by disrupting shipping lanes and cutting off supplies. Wolfgang Petersen's extended version of his drama based on Lothar-Guenther Buchheim's autobiographical novel, starring Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer and Klaus Wennemann. In German, English and French.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This version of Wolfgang Petersen's sprawling U-boat epic is something of a halfway house between the 1981 theatrical cut and the longer TV mini-series version. With its spruced up visuals, overhauled sound (so essential in submarine movies) and an hour's worth of restored footage, it certainly improves on the original cinema release, particularly in respect of fleshing out the characters. Petersen depicts steely captain Jürgen Prochnow and his crew as courageous conscripts serving a cause to which they are not wholeheartedly committed, while war correspondent Herbert Grönemeyer accompanies them on their descent into hell. Submarine warfare offers film-makers little in the way of variation, and the action, based on actual incidents, inevitably alternates between tense periods of silent stalking and frantic moments of engagement. This claustrophobic existence is brilliantly captured by cinematographer Jost Vacano, who received one of the film's six Oscar nominations - high praise indeed for a foreign-language film.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
CaptainJürgen Prochnow
Lieutenant Werner / CorrespondentHerbert Grönemeyer
Chief EngineerKlaus Wennemann
First Lieutenant / Number OneHubertus Bengsch
Second LieutenantMartin Semmelrogge
Chief QuartermasterBernd Tauber
JohannErwin Leder
UllmannMartin May
HinrichHeinz Hönig
Chief BosunU A Ochsen
ArioClaude-Oliver Rudolph

Crew

rolename
DirectorWolfgang Petersen

Details

Language
German
Guidance
Violence and swearing.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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