Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Das Boot (1981)

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

Starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch


A noble attempt to make a real movie during an otherwise awkward and unsatisfying few years in film history. But there’s not much going on. These guys spend days on end looking for other boats and picking at each others pubic lice, and it feels like we’re watching it all in real time.

Without the necessary character drama, it’s a bit long and boring. Prochnow’s got a strong presence, but he doesn’t say or do a whole lot in this one. He spends a lot of time just looking hard at stuff. We don’t know very much about him or any of the other characters. One is a drunk, one had a girlfriend in France, and one likes to ski. But who cares?

Interesting that we are supposed to be sympathizing for Nazis. I guess they pull it off by lightly mocking Hitler, avoiding graphic murder, and making no mention of genocide.

Seemingly authentic sets, but a lot of the exterior shots are obviously miniaturized. Perhaps good at the time, but it’s not good enough now.

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