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Das Boot [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Wolfgang Petersen's harrowing and claustrophobic U-boat thriller Das Boot was released as both a theatrical film and a six-hour mini-series, and remains the most expensive production ever made by a German studio. The expanded "Director's Cut" of the movie was re-released 1997 and it is this version that is available for home viewing. This epic story became an instant classic on its first release, provoking critical and audience acclaim worldwide for its sympathetic and entirely truthful portrayal of a German U-boat crew. Faithfully adapted from the best-selling novel by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, Petersen and his committed cast (led by the amazing Jürgen Prochnow) were concerned to ensure that every detail was rendered with painstaking accuracy--both physical and psychological--and the result is not only the best submarine drama ever made but also arguably the finest cinematic portrait of men at war and the terrible madness they must endure. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The German submarine tracks British destroyers, and you feel you are one or two hundred metres under the sea with the crew. It is all incredibly realistic and you can understand the silent tension as the crew wait to be attacked by the British. The shudder and impact as the torpedoes and depth charges hit the submarine make for terrifying viewing.
A harrowing episode occurs when the captain has to decide whether to save survivors from a boat he has sunk. This scene shows how unpleasant the choices in war can be. Also, the difference in class and rank from the submariners and high ranking German soldiers is well revealed when the crew stop briefly for a banquet in Vigo Harbour, Spain. The captain is asked what it is like to be underwater - there appears to be a dangerous war for the seamen and an opulent safe one for the high ranking officers on shore.
The submarine is ordered to pass through the dangerous Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea, and this is where the crew endure their worst struggles, being sunk and somehow having to rescue themselves. Even right at the end, unpredictable drama occurs - much like in a real life war.
Wonderful acting performances from all the cast are headed by Jürgen Prochnow as the submarine's captain. He shows the tension and almost impossible decision-making that needed to be made under extreme pressure - the lives of all the crew were in his hands.Read more ›
It is above all a humanist drama, though, focusing on these men, none of whom are meant to be much over thirty. They become almost like friends to the viewer - not that it is possible to imagine being able to withstand what they go through: the captain, played by the amazing Jurgen Prochnov, who conveys tremendous reserves of strength behind his war-weary cynicism; the main character, a reporter called Werner who is somewhat naive to start with, the chief engineer, three 'watch officers', a navigator, and a number of other named characters: Hinrich, Pilgrim, Johann, Frennsen ... and a young cadet called Ullmann, very perturbed because he has left behind a French girl whom he got pregnant, who doesn't want an abortion. We become involved in their lives, and see how they think about what they do and relate to each other. Unsurprisingly, there is little time for discussion or politics.Read more ›
The production of 'Das Boot' on DVD is a fascinating tale in itself. The Director's commentary, in which Jurgen Procknow (who played the Captain) particpates, presents an interesting, and often amusing, insight into the production of a film that really launched the careers of many of those that were invloved. Of particular note is the filmakers' impromptu discussion on the reaction the film received in Germany when it was first shown. There were at the time certain conventions that needed to be observed in German cinema when dealing with the subject of WWII. 'Das Boot' did to some extent challenge these and this led to quite a disparity between the German public's reaction and those of the critics.
Technically the DVD production is superb. It seems that Wolfgang Petersen is certainly an enthuiast for the new digital medium. He and his team have re-cut the film, using the original negative as the source, to produce a 'film' version that Petersen appears to be very content with. The result is a 3-hour experience of superb visual quality. However, it does not end there. The entire sound track has been re-engineered for Dolby Digital 5.1 - and an English dubbed Dolby Surround mix is included as well. Only the original dialogue track and some music stems were retained.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
poor quality DVD, doesn't play very well on my DVD player..... which is a good one!Published 10 days ago by mrs j parker
Directors cut superb. The extras give a good insight to the production and concepts behind the film.Published 3 months ago by Puffertrain
Really pleased to see this on Blu-ray, slightly shorter than the TV mini series, but overall good job on the picture and sound.Published 4 months ago by M. Armstrong