Das Boot: The Director's Cut | Chicago Reader

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I haven't seen the original release version of Wolfgang Petersen's 1981 U-boat thriller, so I can't compare it to this 210-minute version, which is 65 minutes longer. But even though it's easy to respond to the epic sweep of this claustrophobic World War II adventure, which is well crafted in terms of both sound and image, atmosphere and suspense, I preferred the first and last hours to the middle 90 minutes when most of the action takes place. Oddly enough, the overall theme—the courage of Nazi soldiers not as Nazis but as German patriots—bears a certain resemblance to a controversial blockbuster that Arnold Schwarzenegger has been trying to launch for years (albeit with Austrians instead of Germans). Jürgen Prochnow does a fine job as the antiestablishment submarine captain; Petersen's script is based on a novel by Lothar-Günther Buchheim. In German with subtitles.

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