This time around I’ve got a review for you for what is widely considered to be one of the best submarine films of all time – Das Boot. Specifically, I’m reviewing the Director’s Cut, being that’s the director’s definitive vision, rather than the longer “Uncut” version that has the added footage done for European TV around the same time.
I’m going to tweak my formatting a little bit this time, by putting the plot summary above the cut. Oh, and I’m putting a movie poster on the right to make things look more perdy – and I’ll be putting my Amazon Affiliate links there too. Make things a little more “elegant”.
In 1941, the third year of the war, Lt. Werner, a war correspondant, comes aboard U-Boat U-96 to cover the crew and their efforts. What he gets is sheer unmitigated boredom, with occasional breaks of absolute terror. The ship goes through gigantic Atlantic storms, a massive lice infestation, depth charges after more depth charges, and occasionally they get to attack something.
The sheer amount of detail on the film is fantastic. I hadn’t seen a lot by Wolfgang Petersen before (the only other film I’d seen was “The Neverending Story”), but the amount of detail they put into the set interiors were fantastic. Also, the performances here are superb. The specific performances I want to single out for their quality are Jurgen Proctrow’s performance as the Captain, Herbert Grönemeyer’s performance as Werner, Erwin Leder as Johann, and Martin Semmelrogge as the 2nd Watch Officer. Though, really, all the performances here are good, those are the ones that really stand out to me, in terms of the quality of the performances, and what they bring to the film. The film’s action is also, if you forgive the expresion, riveting. Between the multiple depth charge attacks the ship undergoes, to getting stuck at the bottom of the Atlantic. It is an excellent film, and deserving of its reputation as the best submarine film of all time.
Not a lot, actually. My one complaint is the length of the film – the director had a good reason to pack that much material in there, but it’s still a very long film, and I cannot imagine sitting through a movie of that length in theatres without an intermission for a bathroom break.
I don’t particuaryly have anything for this category this time around. Except maybe how unattractive U-Boat life is depicted – though that is how it actually was.
Buy this movie. It’s an excellent film, one of hte best films of all time and, again, the best submarine film of all time. Note to Columbia Studios/Sony Pictures: Get this movie out on Blu-Ray please, thank you.