Rec/Review: Das Boot (film/series)

Posted: May 21, 2009 in German Military, Military, Movie Reviews, War

Das_boot_ver1Ah, yes, Das Boot (1981), one of the most poignant pieces of cinematography in my life. When Wolfgang Petersen’s excellent mini series aired for the first time in 1985, in Germany, the streets were empty.

Surely, everyone must have seen it by now, but in case there is anyone who has only seen the film and not the mini series: go buy the DVDs right now! Don’t hesitate, don’t even think twice, move your finger on the mouse and click on the series. There were several different versions over the years, but to me the one that got me the most was obviously the one I saw for the first time: 1985. I will never forget the impact of the last scenes. No one could believe what they saw, no one.

Wikipedia has this to say, and I shall quote (my emphasis):

One of Petersen’s goals was to guide the audience through “a journey to the edge of the mind” (the film’s German tagline Eine Reise ans Ende des Verstandes), showing “what war is all about.” Petersen heightened suspense by very rarely showing any external views of the submarine unless it is running on the surface and relying on sounds to convey action outside the boat, thus showing the audience only the claustrophobic interior the crew would see.

The actors are amazing, the crème de la crème of their time (and still are, I am being told. Just a little aged … but so am I) and in many ways this film/series made them.

I never saw it in English, I let Mr M do that on his own, because to me that is a sacrilege! and there is no way I’d ever watch it in any other language than German, but according to Mr M it is very good in the dubbed version, one doesn’t actually have to go for the original German with English subtitles. He agreed with me that one should forget about the normal length film (except for the Director’s cut with over 3 hours, that one’s good) and go for the series.



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