The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.



Starting at “Bar Royal” at the very night before the forces living journey of the submarine crew begins, the director fittingly manages to confront the audience with the protagonists and their way of dealing with the pounding uncertainty. Once put to sea, the character of the scenes changes abruptly. Every member of the crew and the audience as well comes into very close contact with the tightness of the action space. At this point it is necessary to underline the excellent work of the cameramen. The fast and partial hectic cuts draw an exact picture of the drama on board. Too do not forget the outstanding lighting. However besides this abundance of obvious suspense, there are also a number of moments going into in-depth psychology and thoughtfulness.Despite the fact that most of the film takes place inside a cramped submarine, Das Boot is never boring to look at; in fact, it’s a visually spectacular film (given the dated special effects, who hold up reasonably well and add to the old-school charm). And the freedom of the camera in those tight corridors came as an incredibly pleasant surprise.


The color and composition of the shots in those tight quarters — particularly upon approaching the first destroyer when we get the first real glimpse of the interior prepped for war — it is both haunting and beautiful. Jurgen Prochnow delivers the most believable performance of a ship captain I’ve ever seen on film. All the emotions register on his face–his concern for his own life, ship, and crew; his hatred for the decisions he’s forced to make; the disbelieving joy of beating the overwhelming odds–while simultaneously holding it back so the crew sees a strong unmoving man forever in control of the situation. His performance is, in a word, brilliant.


The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary, featurettes and related material ported over from the various DVD releases. Both cuts of the film are present on the Blu-Ray disc, as well as the vintage look back at the production via its German television roots. The A/V Quality is reference material, as the transfer makes the best out of the poorly lit submarine set and makes every inch of the film come to life. The HD master audio track makes the best out of the 5.1 soundstage, however my receiver couldn’t seem to read it right. I don’t know if that’s encode error or whatever. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

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