24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Achievement
This film is amazing.
I served in the US Navy's submarine force, and Petersen's movie is the closest you can get to being in a sub without actually signing enlistment papers. This is one of the few war movies that is not relentlessly propagandistic. Petersen presents a story of humans--not stereotypes, not jingoistic misrepresentations of sailors. By the end of...
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Jude C Toche
3.0 out of 5 stars Hours of boredom, tedium, and unpleasantness
The makers of this film did an amazing job. Most of the movie takes place in a cramped submarine. It feels very real.
I did not enjoy the movie very much, though, because the theme it explores, namely life on a submarine during WWII, is thoroughly unpleasant.
Things I didn't like:
- The first part of the movie is about the boredom of being on a submarine...
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Charles John Gervasi
Most Helpful First | Newest First
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Achievement,
This film is amazing.
I served in the US Navy's submarine force, and Petersen's movie is the closest you can get to being in a sub without actually signing enlistment papers. This is one of the few war movies that is not relentlessly propagandistic. Petersen presents a story of humans--not stereotypes, not jingoistic misrepresentations of sailors. By the end of the film, you'll probably find yourself cheering for the Kriegsmarine crew, or at least hoping that they get home safely. As an American, raised after World War Two, I grew up with nothing but negative images and stereotypes of WWII Germany and Germans. Petersen and his cast do an amazing job of breaking through those representations and portraying a story of young, proud men who defy the odds and the elements and do what they perceive of as their duty, even though they find no glory--just despair.
I would recommend that you read Herbert Werner's memoir Iron Coffins in addition to watching this movie, especially if you are unfamiliar with the Battle of the Atlantic. Also, after the end of the movie, you should go outside, stand in the sunshine, and be glad that you are.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best War Movie Ever!!!,
This is most definetly the best war movie I have ever seen. I have never seen anyone that has not taken interest in war after watching this movie. I have seen this movie many times and each time I learn something new. It is interesting to see how the other side was during WWII. I recommend this movie for anyone that has time to watch it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very authentic,
My father in law served in German u-boots in WW II. He was one of the lucky ones who survived. He watched the director's cut, in German of course, and he said it was very authentic. All the things in the movie would not happen on any one boat, but he said that if you combine the stories of any 5 or 6 boats, you would have a move like that.
I have watched the movie in its dubbed version and German version. I much prefer the German version. I also have the original uncut version. I highly recommend you only watch that in its German version or you will miss a lot.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gosh!!!,
Dang i just bought the superbit edition...which is 3.5 hours long.. and i thought this version will never be release.
oh well, screw it, i might as well buy it again..Das Boot is the BEST WW2 related movie ever. its a Masterpiece.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Anti-War Movie Yet?,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Is this the greatest war (or rather, anti-war) movie yet? I certainly think so. Before I saw Das Boot, my favourite movie with a war theme was actually Judgment At Nuremberg. But great as that movie was, it fell to second place even when the first time I saw Das Boot, it was a very badly annotated version.
Here we have the director's cut and the full suspense, horror and tragedy of Wolfgang Petersen's masterpiece has captivated me once again. The suffocating atmosphere of a WWII German U-boat is so real, you almost have to open a window in your home just to get through watching it. One can only imagine the stench in that tiny space crammed with dozens of men eating, drinking (and of course, defecating) whilst pouring with the sweat of effort and sheer terror.
You finish up wondering how it is that men can put themselves through such a ghastly experience in such a terrible environment. And then you realize that throughout the history of warfare it has always been so. From the hopelessness of the Spartans holding off the Persians at Thermopylae to the grisly trenches and massive casualties of WWI, the maxim that old men of dubious morals have always been able to convince young men of the glory and excitement of participating in war and of the moral right of doing so.
Only when they experience the reality of actual combat do these young men realize how truly human (even child-like) they really are and the horror of what they've gotten themselves into. And when you see the talents that many of them have, from the mechanics, electricians and other specialists that keep the boat running while at sea, to the human-management capabilities of the senior officers, you realize what a truly wasteful endeavour the practice of war is.
For those of us who have been fortunate enough never to have had to go to war, this film will reinforce our gratitude.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unerring View to Life Inside a U-boat of the Kriegsmarine,
Das Boot (The Boat) presents us with a view of German submariners as was never done before. Forget the two-dimensional, semi-robotic Nazis perpetually portrayed in Hollywood films. These are men, ordinary men, serving in extraordinary times. Whatever the reasons that compelled them to go to war, here they are cast in all their glory with their human frailties facing up best they can to War and her unimaginable cruelties & painful ironies.
The best anti-war films are actually the ones that depict war the most realistically, and here, Wolfgang Petersen & his team really outdid themselves. From the decors that would have you believe a real U-boat appeared out of its legendary past to the first rate performance of all the actors involved. Nothing looks, or feels, fake about this movie. You simply have the impression of being really there getting your soul shaken to its very foundation by the Allied depth charges.
Having said this, this full-length version is only for the true fans of this type of saga. Mainstream viewers may find this a bit lengthy. After all, the movie is almost 5 hours long! Also, I was disappointed by the special features in this DVD. It just contains a re-hash hastily put together of material presented in earlier releases of the film. They could have done something a bit better as a complement to such a masterpiece of cinematography.
This movie, a classic in its` genre, is a fitting tribute to Dönitz`s Grey Wolves of the Kriegsmarine.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Matter Of Perspective,
The first time I saw director Wolfgang Petersen's epic film, Das Boot, I was about 13 years old. My cousin had a copy on laserdisc. When it was all over, I remember saying that I couldn't wait to see it again, so almost imediately, I had my cousin start it all over. There have been a number of "submarine" movies made over the last 20 years, however, none have even come close to matching the sheer brilliance of Das Boot (aka the boat). I alredy own The Director's Cut on DVD, but I was still curious to take a look at this 282 minute version, since I like the film so much.
Captain Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel, (Jürgen Prochnow) commands German U-Boat 96, during World War II. For him, this is a mission to defeat the enemy and bring glory to Germany. For his young crew, they are in this for respect and adventure. The U-Boat's mission is to engage and destroy all allied troops that they can. But they are being hunted as well DAS BOOT is intense and gut wrenching The film may be told from the German perspective, rather than the allied point of view, but it's really a story of courage and perseverance,. It's told in a way though, that anyone can feel for this crew. The film really does have a clausterphobic feel to it. As a viewer, you do get a true sense of what it must have been like for these men on this boat. The battle sequences seem quite realistic and have never been topped since the film's theatrical release in 1981
For anyone who wants to know how the three different versions of the film stack up: The director's cut (running 209 minutes) also on DVD, incorporates 60 minutes of footage, not seen in the 149 minute theatrical version. Most of this footage lets us get to know the crew better than ever before. Das Boot The Original Uncut Version allows the major events of the story to build a little more, rather than giving us any new crew insight or additional plot revelations. Like the director's Cut disc, the movie also boasts a remixed soundtrack, that sounds great, even without a home theater system. Viewers can watch the film with its original German language track or in its English form. The brief featurette on the making of the movie makes a return visit for this 2 disc set. It's a shame that the really interesting and enjoyable commentary track from Petersen and Prochnow was not included here for those checking it out for the first time. This is another great presentation for the BEST sub movie ever made. Period. Buy this if you like sub movies. As for me, I'm glad I rented the uncut set, but in the end, I'm still sticking with the Durector's cut as my favorite way to watch Das Boot. Highly Recommended in any form.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best war movies EVER!,
This is not only one of the best war movies ever, but among the very best films period. The story is based on a true story of a German Submarine and its crew during WWII. The plot is simple. A bunch of ordinary young guys are crammed into a little tin can and go out and do their duty while trying to avoid getting killed.
It tells the tale of live aboard the "boat" from the boredom, the fear of death, the hell they go through trying to sink allied ships and the insane fear of the boat being crushed by the water pressure as you go too deep.
This film is unique in that it is done from the German perspective. Most films about WWII are from the Allied perspective since they were produced in Hollywood or England. What is striking about this film is how it depicts war as a human event rather than a nationalistic conflict. It makes us realize that for the foot soldier and sailor on the battle lines, no matter what side, war is the same. It is more a matter of survival than glory.
Highly recommend - my second favorite war movie.
4.0 out of 5 stars Thinking of buying the Uncut Version?,
This review will attempt to assist those who already own the Director's Cut (or Superbit version), but who are thinking about also buying the newer "Original Uncut Version" (293 minutes on 2 DVDs).
The first thing you should know is that the English dub has been largely redone; if you are familiar with the Director's Cut dialogue, you will immediately notice that the English dub's script has been changed in many places within the Uncut Version. In particular, the saltier comments throughout the movie have been deleted and replaced with much more 'polite' translations. Moreover several of the characters (Werner the war correspondent, Kriechbaum the Navigator, the boat's second-in-command [whom is referred to as "Number One"], as well as the comical red-haired Second Officer, etc.) have received new voices in the English dub (if only in select places), and their scripts have been changed in numerous instances as well. I raise this as a concern because I realize diehard fans may find these (sometimes unnecessary) dialogue changes irritating. This is the main flaw of this edition, in my opinion.
While the Uncut Version soundtrack includes new sound effects, and adds frequent narration in old footages areas (largely excerpts from Werner's diary), short pieces of the new footage have not been remastered and look very grainy. Most of the new footage is however seamless and not of unacceptable quality (contra another reviewer). The sections that have been neglected are mainly external shots of the uboat -- in one such instance an obvious blue line spans the vertical width of the screen for about 20-30 seconds.
The new footage that appears in the Uncut Version is not simply superfluous addition either, but in a few instances actually clarifies or adds completely new elements to the Director's Cut storyline (I won't ruin that for you, suffice to say that some very interesting plot elements are introduced in this newer edition). This cut is also much more pointed in depicting the stress, paranoia, poor morale, and sheer boredom of the crew, who are shown praying, making mistakes, complaining, and doing many stupid things just to pass the time and ease the strain of being a submariner. Of interest is the enthusiasm that the crew eventually displays at the prospect of going into battle: not because that is what they have trained to do, but because anything is preferable to the endless waiting and resulting apathy between enemy contacts. Numerous conversations between various characters have been added, and minor characters that didn't make it into the Director's Edition appear in the Uncut Version. A few treats exist as well, such as a shot where the Second Officer can be more clearly seen using a Kreigsmarine four-rotor ENIGMA machine to decode a transmission. Most importantly of all, the new footage emphasizes the sense of watching the story unfold through the eyes of the war correspondent, which is what Director Wolfgang Peterson originally intended. The new footage adds considerably to the picture's atmosphere, and contributes important characterization -- particularly for Johann the Chief Engineer, the second-in-command, and Grade, the Chief of the Boat.
German with English subtitles is the default option, but an English dub with French subtitles is also available. The English track has been upgraded to Dolby 5.1.
This 2-DVD Uncut Version is highly recommended, but isn't for everyone -- note that it is deliberately aimed at the fan base. This special-interest group is likely the only one this version of the film will please. If you've never seen Das Boot, borrow a friend's copy of the shorter Director's Cut first; when you've cultivated an appreciation for this benchmark in WWII filmmaking, come back and get this edition. I would not recommend buying this version if you've never seen the movie -- it might turn you off due to its sheer length and relatively slower pace. Neither should the fan looking solely for special features purchase this Uncut Version - the featurette entitled: "The Making of Das Boot: Behind the Scenes" is a little over seven (7) minutes long, and is mainly a justification for the re-release of the full length cut.
A member of the Das Boot 'cult' would be very pleased to see the extra footage in this Uncut Version. If you're a diehard fan, don't think twice; I bought mine even after having read the more negative reviews here. Four stars given for the substantive quality and importance of the new footage to the overall picture; the image quality and sound in places is not perfect, and there are no new special features worthy of the name, so this cut cannot receive five stars. Since you are willing to sit through close to 5 hours of Das Boot anyway, the instances of grainy new footage shouldn't overwhelm you. In all, the extra tidbits (in my estimation) are worth the money.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, so-so transfer,
"Das Boot" stands as Wolfgang Petersen's best movie bar none. No movie he's directed before or since can match it in terms of the sheer scope and power of this claustrophobic war thriller. Set on a German sub during WWII, the crew's mission is to patrol the North Atlantic and destroy an Allied armada headed for Great Britan. Populated by new recruits and a sprinkling of veterans, the crew must fight for survival as they are bombarded by an enemy they can't see up above them.
This intense reissue of this classic movie finally comes to DVD in its original 5 hour German presentation for television. The original presentation was as a mini-series for German television and, as such, the pacing and structure differ significantly in some areas. The languid pacing of the movie only adds to the tension (I say languid because compared to the brisker two hour plus version, the film moves along much, much slower). The longer takes and slower pacing adds dramatic tension particularly to the film's second half.
This edition ony has the featurette "The Making of Das Boot: Behind the Scenes" along with Columbia Tristar previews. If you own other versions of the movie, you may want to keep them for the extras not included here. On the other hand, if you own the Superbit edition of the Director's Cut, I'd suggest holding on to that as well. While the picture quality is very good throughout most of the movie, there are sections where the film clearly wasn't color corrected quite right and where there's a degradation of the picture quality. It's only slight but picky DVD fans will probably notice it immediately.
The sterling performances are highlighted by Jurgen Prochnow in his first widely seen (in America)role as the ship's beleaguered captain. All the cast give convincing and powerful performances. This edition is subtitled in both English and French with the soundtrack available in both German and English in 5.1 remixes created from the original stereo master soundtrack. While these 5.1 mixes don't have quite the depth, clarity or volume of a film recorded and mixed for 5.1, the effect adds to the film. I personally preferred the original stereo soundtrack but that was just personal preference.
The widescreen presentation of 1.85:1 means that those of you without widescreen television sets won't have to gaze an image that's tiny. It's certainly smaller than full screen and, yes, it does have the black bars at the bottom and top of the frame. I'm a bit confused about this as I was under the impression that the film was shot full screen for German television (it was, after all, produced in 1985) and matted after the fact. Why Columbia chose to go with the widescreen look vs. full screen is a bit perplexing. I realize they're playing to the audience that has widescreen TV's and looking to the future and all that but it was shot in another aspect ratio to begin with.
Anyhow, great movie with a solid if flawed transfer, "Das Boot" is worth viewing in its full length version.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Das Boot (Director's Cut, 2 discs) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) by Wolfgang Petersen (Blu-ray - 2011)