« Il Divo (2008 Cannes Film Festival) | Main | THE TENANT — CLASSIC FILM PICK »

April 24, 2009


Das bootGerman-born director Wolfgang Petersen might just as well have made only one film in his career because his co-written adaptation of Lothar Buchheim's novel, about the real experiences of a WWII German U-boat crew, is a perfect masterpiece of wartime suspense.

Inside the thick hull of their creaking U-96 submarine, the Captain (Jürgen Prochnow) fearlessly leads his ship through the Battle of the Atlantic. The underwater ship dodges depth charges, braves a fierce storm, narrowly escapes a collision with another sub, and is eventually forced to sit at the bottom of the ocean after being attacked by enemy bombers. And there's more.

This is a survivalist war film in which the brutal conditions of the characters' circumstance blurs the lines between allied or enemy forces. We are with the men inside their giant iron casket. You can't help but go a little mad. 

"Das Boot" is absolutely a big screen film that plays better in the German version with English subtitles rather than the dubbed version. It is unlike any other war film in that it confines the audience in a confined submarine where we digest the fear and panic of the human beings on screen. In short, "Das Boot" is a religious cinematic experience.


Rated R. Original uncut version: 330 minutes. (A+) (Five stars)

A small request: Help keep Cole Smithey writing reviews, creating video essays, and making podcasts. Click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos



Throwback Thursday

Podcast Series