Das Boot (1981)

Das Boot (1981)
  • Time: 149 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama
  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Cast: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann


It is 1942 and the German submarine fleet is heavily engaged in the so-called “Battle of the Atlantic” to harass and destroy British 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 and attempted to accomplish impossible missions, all the while attempting to understand and obey the ideology of the government under which they served.

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  • War movies very rarely glorify war. They recognise that war is hell and they attempt to convey that to the viewer. Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 film Das Boot aims to do just that, by placing the viewer in the wretched conditions of a WWII U-Boat, a confronting experience that is as visceral as it is terrifying.

    Lt. Werner (Herbert Grönemeyer) is a war correspondent who has been assigned to the crew of German U-96 submarine to document life on a U-Boat. The captain (Jürgen Prochnow) is cynical about the state of the war, and is often concerned about keeping his crew of “boys” safe. The 1st Watch Officer (Hubertus Bengsch), the German equivalent of Frank Burns, is a staunched Nazi and as such often gives the Captain flak about not doing enough to maintain discipline.

    Joined by a variety of other characters (it’s basically an ensemble piece), each with their own unique struggles, the crew spend a significant time attempting to attack a British envoy, with the harsh, life-threatening conditions rapidly breaking down morale. Then there’s the nerve-racking approach to the Strait of Gibraltar as the men hope to return home in time for Christmas. It’s one of the first genuinely sincere German war films.

    Read the full review at http://www.thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au

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