Das Boot (1981) 4.76/5 (3)


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Rating: The Good – 84.5
Genre: War
Duration: 149 mins
Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer,

Wolfgang Peterson’s account of life aboard one of Germany’s infamous WWII U-boats provides the perfect metaphor for the confusion of war. Jürgen Prochnow plays the submarine’s captain charged with attacking the heavily protected Allied convoys in the Atlantic while contending with the often uninformed orders of his fleet command. Director Wolfgang Peterson wonderfully creates the sense of claustrophobia that came with being cooped up in such small quarters for extended periods of time. He is equally adept at using that claustrophobia to augment the boredom of the quieter scenes and the terror of the battle sequences as the boat dives ever deeper to avoid the depth charges of the Allied battle cruisers circling above. The release of that mental and physical pressure is also spectacularly captured on the occasions when the U-boat surfaces and Prochnow leads his boat through the waves from the top of his conning tower to Klaus Doldinger’s magnificent score. All this makes Das Boot a unique film going experience and one that stays with you long after seeing it.

© Copyright 2014 Derek D, All rights Reserved. Written For: movieshrink.com

2 thoughts on “Das Boot (1981)”

  1. Das Boot is one of my personal favorite movies. In my opinion, it’s the most suspenseful film in cinematic history. The performances were brilliant, the score was thrilling, the SFX and cinematography was perfect, and the dialogue was pretty intense. I just love everything about Wolfgang Petersen’s masterpiece 🙂

    1. I agree with everything you’ve said. I also think it’s up there with the most suspenseful though there are some others I’d have to consider before I give it the crown:) I think the submarine setting, particularly the tin-can setting of WWII sub, really facilitates that type of deep (no pun intended) suspense – especially when depth charges are falling either side of it. The Enemy Below (from which Das Boot got a lot of good ideas) reflects that too.

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