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Das Boot (Director's Cut) [DVD] [1998]

4.7 out of 5 stars 366 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge
  • Directors: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Writers: Wolfgang Petersen, Lothar G. Buchheim
  • Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Günter Rohrbach, John W. Hyde, Mark Damon, Michael Bittins
  • Format: Letterboxed, Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, Hindi, Turkish, Icelandic
  • Dubbed: French, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Dec. 1998
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (366 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CXLA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,578 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

At the height of WWII, a young submarine crew heads out to sea on a top-secret mission that all but ensures most will never make it home alive. Ordered to patrol the Atlantic and destroy an allied armada bringing supplies to Britain, these raw recruits must band together, bracing themselves against a depth-charge assault from an unseen enemy. Oscar ® - nominated director Wolfgang Petersen’s epic adventure deftly explores tension as pressure builds to an explosive climax, packing a visceral punch few movies can match.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 bestselling 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.

On the DVD: The 200-minute "Director's Cut" version of the movie not only has several major scenes restored that were not in the theatrical release but also has been digitally remastered with significantly improved sound (new sound effects have been added) and anamorphic picture. (The six-hour TV version has yet to be released.) Here, the viewer can watch the movie in the original German, with or without subtitles, or in an English dubbed version that uses the voices of many of the original cast. On the utterly engrossing commentary track, director Wolfgang Petersen and star Jürgen Prochnow talk animatedly and in great detail about every aspect of making this epic story--from model shots using Barbie dolls to meeting the Captain of the original U-boat. This is one of the most consistently rewarding commentaries on disc. Also included is a five-minute featurette that promotes this new version. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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"Das Boot" is German for "The Boat" - written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen this epic World War Two movie follows the dramatic events of a German submarine and it's crew during incredibly dangerous times in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

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.
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At the beginning of Das Boot we read that of the 40 000 German sailors sent out on U-boats in the Second World War, 30 000 never returned. The film then shows us one such boat sent out into the Atlantic in the autumn of 1941, and for most of the running time we do not leave this space - there are just 20 minutes or so at the beginning and a short scene at the end that are set ashore. It lasts for 200 minutes, but the time is not too long, allowing us to build a deeper sense of who these men are, and a sense of concern for them as individuals. The characterisation is very good, and builds gradually. The rhythm of the film goes between two modes: periods when nothing is happening, and there is a sense of boredom and claustrophobia, and sequences when the boat is under attack, which are very vivid, and convey the fear and nightmarish quality of being trapped beneath the sea as well as it could be done.

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.
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love this film
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Good Film a real SUB title!
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Amazing atmosphere.
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Excellent
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Best war movie ever.
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'Das Boot', Wolfgang Petersen's stunning evocation of the tensions and miseries suffered by a German U-Boat crew during the 'Battle Of The Atlantic' in WWII, is rightly regarded as one of the most important German films of the last 25 years. It is significant that the film's influence has reached a worldwide audience since its premier in 1981; for it is a story about the absurdity of war, and that particular truth transcends all national boundaries. It is simply one of best war films ever made.
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.
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