Das Boot


2h 30m 1982
Das Boot

Brief Synopsis

The crew of a World War II German U boat finds boredom is its greatest enemy.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Boat, Boot, Das Boot - The Director's Cut (1997), U-båten, bateau
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
War
Foreign
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
1982
Distribution Company
Columbia-Emi-Warner; Constantin Film Development, Inc.; Constantin Film Development, Inc.; Cts; Cts; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; Sony Pictures Releasing; Triumph Films; Wanda Visión S.A.

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 30m

Synopsis

In 1941, a German U-boat undertakes a dangerous mission from La Rochelle to Spain and back. The Captain, a sensitive man hardened by the responsibility of too many underwater missions, must command and inspire his crew while trying to carry out nearly impossible orders. The Correspondent, a pink-cheeked newcomer, will face more tragedy and horror than he can ever imagine.

Crew

Alan Balsam

Editor Consultant (English Version)

Monika Bauert

Costumes

Karl Baumgartner

Special Effects

Jurgen Bieske

Unit Manager

Michael Bittins

Co-Producer

Karl Böhm

Technical Advisor (Navy)

Werner Bohm

Sound Recording

Peter Bond

Sound Effects Editor

Milan Bor

Sound Recording

Georg Borgel

Assistant Director

Jan Michael Brandt

Production Assistant

Rudolf Braun

Production Design Team

Daniel Braunschweig

Production Crew (France)

John Brownjohn

Screenplay (English Version)

Lothar-gunther Buchheim

Source Material (From Novel)

Knud Christiansen

Production Design Team

Eva Claudius

Sound Editor

Mark Damon

Executive Producer (English Version)

Arlette Danis

Production Crew (France)

Jeff Davidson

Screenplay (English Version)

Maggie Dickie

Screenplay

Maggie Dickie

Adaptation (English Version)

Klaus Doldinger

Music

Eric Dussart

Production Crew (France)

Illo Endrulat

Sound Editor

Ortwin Freyermuth

Producer (Director'S Cut)

Nicole Front

Production Crew (France)

Thomas Gitt

Other

Max Gretmann

Special Effects Team

François Hamel

Production Crew (France)

Lutz Hengst

Executive In Charge Of Production

Peter Horrocks

Sound Effects Editor

Erhard Hose

Production Design Team

Pius Hungerl

Production Design Team

John W. Hyde

Executive Producer

Jan W Jacobson

Other

Fritz Kirschke

Special Effects Team

Tommy Klemt

Music

Hans Kramski

Sound Effects

Achim Krug

Technical Advisor (Navy)

Jorg-m Kunsdorff

Other

Ludwig Kurtz

Other

Mel Kutbay

Sound Effects

Jean Lara

Production Crew (France)

Mike Le Mare

Sound Editor

Stanislav Litera

Sound Recording

Leander Loosen

Additional Photography

Peter Maiwald

Additional Photography

Nick Middleton

Special Effects Team

Kate Morris

Post-Production Administrator

Kurt Musegg

Production Design Team

Gerhard Neumeier

Other

Gerhard Neumeier

Miniatures

Willi Neuner

Special Effects Team

Bernhard Neureiter

Production Design Team

Gerard Nicolas

Production Crew (France)

Hannes Nikel

Editor

Theo Nischwitz

Other

Hans Nothof

Miniatures

Hans Nothof

Other

Oliver Nothof

Miniatures

Oliver Nothof

Other

Maria-antoinette Petersen

Assistant Director

Wolfgang Petersen

Screenwriter

Joel Picaud

Production Crew (France)

Edward Pressman

Executive Producer

Trevor Pyke

Sound Recording

Alfred Rasche

Makeup

Rudolf Roemmelt

Other

Gunter Rohrbach

Producer

Heinz Schafer

Production Design Team

Alfred Schallmeier

Other

Alfred Schallmeier

Miniatures

Ernst Schmid

Additional Photography

Erwin Schnetzer

Miniatures

Erwin Schnetzer

Other

Heinz Schurer

Sound Recording

Sebastian Schwerte

Other

Pierre Sicre

Production Crew (France)

Gerhard Sromm

Additional Photography

Karola Storr

Sound Effects Editor

Ernst Stritzinger

Additional Photography

Michael Strohhofer

Special Effects Team

Joseph Teppert

Production Design Team

Friedrich Thaler

Scenic Artist

Wolfgang Treu

Additional Photography

Karsten Ulrich

Sound Recording

Jost Vacano

Dp/Cinematographer

Jost Vacano

Director Of Photography

Albrecht Von Bethmann

Sound Recording

Ago Von Sperl

Makeup

Rudiger Von Sperl

Makeup

Kurt Von Vietinghoff

Unit Manager

Gotz Weidner

Art Direction

Ernst Wild

Miniature Photography

Alan Willis

Music Editor

Egil Woxholt

Additional Photography

Rolf Zehetbauer

Production Designer

Film Details

Also Known As
Boat, Boot, Das Boot - The Director's Cut (1997), U-båten, bateau
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
War
Foreign
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
1982
Distribution Company
Columbia-Emi-Warner; Constantin Film Development, Inc.; Constantin Film Development, Inc.; Cts; Cts; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; Sony Pictures Releasing; Triumph Films; Wanda Visión S.A.

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 30m

Award Nominations

Best Adapted Screenplay

1981

Best Cinematography

1981

Best Director

1981
Wolfgang Petersen

Best Editing

1981
Hannes Nikel

Best Sound

1981

Best Sound Effects Sound Editing

1981

Articles

Das Boot


A gripping thriller set on a doomed German submarine during the final years of WWII, Das Boot (1981) established Wolfgang Petersen's gift for directing action films. Petersen received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay as his film garnered a total of six nominations. Costing almost $12 million to make, Das Boot was the most expensive German film of its time and significantly altered the common perception of the German cinema as anti-Hollywood intellectualism typified by directors like Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

The story for Das Boot was taken from the actual experiences of photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim (played in the film by Herbert Gronemeyer) who chronicled his wartime adventures in a best selling semi-autobiographical novel published in 1973. In addition to the insights into submarine warfare provided in his novel, many of Buchheim's photos of the interior of a German U-boat proved invaluable in recreating the look of life on the sub.

The film centers on the dramatic shifts that occur on board a U-boat patrolling the North Atlantic in 1941 as experienced by the sub's strong-willed Captain (Jurgen Prochnow) and his crew. Das Boot is comprised of moments of extreme tedium, as the crew awaits their next battle or the medic examines the men for venereal disease in the ship's cramped quarters.Petersen's film then shifts suddenly and dramatically to heart-pounding tension as the sub engages in battles with British warships. One of the film's most memorable scenes is a battle that occurs midway through the picture as the U-96 tries to penetrate the British-controlled Strait of Gibraltar by sneaking past a flotilla of enemy destroyers. Petersen's edgy, intense use of hand-held cameras enhances the reality-effect inside the ship and magnifies the tension throughout the film. That sense of veracity was achieved through a great deal of unseen preparation on the part of the film's photographer Jost Vacano who raced back and forth within a claustrophobic submarine interior in order to film the action without injury to self or camera.

The gloomy, doom-filled ambiance of Das Boot, in which every battle seems like the crew's last, was backed up by historical fact. Of the 40,000 members of German U-boat crews who served during WWII, only 10,000 survived.

Das Boot is notable for its sympathetic treatment of the naive, young men aboard the submarine who seem to sense their own impending doom in a near-suicidal self-destructive drinking binge that opens the film. Combining rousing action with an anti-war message, Das Boot conveys the yearning and loneliness of soldiers missing home and wives who have been placed in an inescapably desperate situation by the rulers of the Reich. Strangely enough, the events of the film bear a strong resemblance to a 1933 Ufa production called Morgenrot (Dawn) a film endorsed by Hitler and Goebbels as brilliant military propaganda for the masses.

Many critics of the film upon its original release (a longer Director's Cut was later released in 1997 with newly added footage and redesigned sound effects) noted the absence of any real character development in this cast largely composed of unknowns. The boat itself, some noted, seemed to instead serve as the audience's primary point of identification. But that lack of focused attention to one individual also helps make the film more resonant as a statement about war in which the horrific circumstances of many soldiers are privileged above the unique suffering of just one.

Most of all, Das Boot is revered as a film of remarkable technical proficiency and skill including Rolf Zehetbauer's production design of the U-96 interiors and the rapid editing of Hannes Nikel. Das Boot went on to secure the Hollywood futures of both Petersen (The Neverending Story (1984), In the Line of Fire (1993), Outbreak (1995), Air Force One (1997) and Director of Photography Vacano (Starship Troopers (1997)) as two of Hollywood's most sought after talents. Considered a major influence on the contemporary action film, Das Boot was especially notable for its innovative use of sound to enhance the claustrophobic sense of entrapment inside the small submarine, as with the creaking pressures on the beleaguered sub of tons of seawater crushing in upon its frame.

Das Boot's effectiveness as an action film was best evidenced in the film's public reception. The film went on to be the highest grossing production in the history of the German cinema and the most successful foreign language film ever released in the United States.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Producer: Guenter Rohrbach
Screenwriter: Wolfgang Petersen from the novel by Lothar-Guenther Buchheim
Director of Photography: Jost Vacano
Production Design: Rolf Zehetbauer, Goetz Weidner
Music: Klaus Doldinger
Cast: Jurgen Prochnow (The Captain), Herbert Gronemeyer (Lt. Werner/Correspondent), Klaus Wennemann (Chief Engineer), Hubertus Bengsch (1st Lt./Number One), Martin Semmelrogge (2nd Lieutenant), Bernd Tauber (Chief Quartermaster).
C-209m. Letterboxed.
In German with English subtitles

by Felicia Feaster
Das Boot

Das Boot

A gripping thriller set on a doomed German submarine during the final years of WWII, Das Boot (1981) established Wolfgang Petersen's gift for directing action films. Petersen received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay as his film garnered a total of six nominations. Costing almost $12 million to make, Das Boot was the most expensive German film of its time and significantly altered the common perception of the German cinema as anti-Hollywood intellectualism typified by directors like Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The story for Das Boot was taken from the actual experiences of photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim (played in the film by Herbert Gronemeyer) who chronicled his wartime adventures in a best selling semi-autobiographical novel published in 1973. In addition to the insights into submarine warfare provided in his novel, many of Buchheim's photos of the interior of a German U-boat proved invaluable in recreating the look of life on the sub. The film centers on the dramatic shifts that occur on board a U-boat patrolling the North Atlantic in 1941 as experienced by the sub's strong-willed Captain (Jurgen Prochnow) and his crew. Das Boot is comprised of moments of extreme tedium, as the crew awaits their next battle or the medic examines the men for venereal disease in the ship's cramped quarters.Petersen's film then shifts suddenly and dramatically to heart-pounding tension as the sub engages in battles with British warships. One of the film's most memorable scenes is a battle that occurs midway through the picture as the U-96 tries to penetrate the British-controlled Strait of Gibraltar by sneaking past a flotilla of enemy destroyers. Petersen's edgy, intense use of hand-held cameras enhances the reality-effect inside the ship and magnifies the tension throughout the film. That sense of veracity was achieved through a great deal of unseen preparation on the part of the film's photographer Jost Vacano who raced back and forth within a claustrophobic submarine interior in order to film the action without injury to self or camera. The gloomy, doom-filled ambiance of Das Boot, in which every battle seems like the crew's last, was backed up by historical fact. Of the 40,000 members of German U-boat crews who served during WWII, only 10,000 survived. Das Boot is notable for its sympathetic treatment of the naive, young men aboard the submarine who seem to sense their own impending doom in a near-suicidal self-destructive drinking binge that opens the film. Combining rousing action with an anti-war message, Das Boot conveys the yearning and loneliness of soldiers missing home and wives who have been placed in an inescapably desperate situation by the rulers of the Reich. Strangely enough, the events of the film bear a strong resemblance to a 1933 Ufa production called Morgenrot (Dawn) a film endorsed by Hitler and Goebbels as brilliant military propaganda for the masses. Many critics of the film upon its original release (a longer Director's Cut was later released in 1997 with newly added footage and redesigned sound effects) noted the absence of any real character development in this cast largely composed of unknowns. The boat itself, some noted, seemed to instead serve as the audience's primary point of identification. But that lack of focused attention to one individual also helps make the film more resonant as a statement about war in which the horrific circumstances of many soldiers are privileged above the unique suffering of just one. Most of all, Das Boot is revered as a film of remarkable technical proficiency and skill including Rolf Zehetbauer's production design of the U-96 interiors and the rapid editing of Hannes Nikel. Das Boot went on to secure the Hollywood futures of both Petersen (The Neverending Story (1984), In the Line of Fire (1993), Outbreak (1995), Air Force One (1997) and Director of Photography Vacano (Starship Troopers (1997)) as two of Hollywood's most sought after talents. Considered a major influence on the contemporary action film, Das Boot was especially notable for its innovative use of sound to enhance the claustrophobic sense of entrapment inside the small submarine, as with the creaking pressures on the beleaguered sub of tons of seawater crushing in upon its frame. Das Boot's effectiveness as an action film was best evidenced in the film's public reception. The film went on to be the highest grossing production in the history of the German cinema and the most successful foreign language film ever released in the United States. Director: Wolfgang Petersen Producer: Guenter Rohrbach Screenwriter: Wolfgang Petersen from the novel by Lothar-Guenther Buchheim Director of Photography: Jost Vacano Production Design: Rolf Zehetbauer, Goetz Weidner Music: Klaus Doldinger Cast: Jurgen Prochnow (The Captain), Herbert Gronemeyer (Lt. Werner/Correspondent), Klaus Wennemann (Chief Engineer), Hubertus Bengsch (1st Lt./Number One), Martin Semmelrogge (2nd Lieutenant), Bernd Tauber (Chief Quartermaster). C-209m. Letterboxed. In German with English subtitles by Felicia Feaster

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States February 10, 1982

Re-released in United States April 4, 1997

Released in United States on Video May 12, 1993

Released in United States on Video June 15, 1994

Re-released in United States on Video June 24, 1997

Released in United States 1982

Released in United States 2011

Released in United States February 10, 1982

Re-released in United States April 4, 1997 (director's cut)

Released in United States on Video May 12, 1993

Released in United States on Video June 15, 1994

Re-released in United States on Video June 24, 1997 (director's cut)

Released in United States 1982 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Contemporary Cinema) March 16 - April 1, 1982.)

Columbia Pictures

Released in United States 2011 (Retro)

The Country of West Germany