Film Info: BOOT, DAS

BOAT, THE (BOOT, DAS)

BOAT, THE
Scene from THE BOAT (photo courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek)

Wolfgang Petersen's elaborate and internationally acclaimed film THE BOAT is based on an authentic submarine operation during 1941. Leaving harbor from La Rochelle, the German submarine U96 takes off to torpedo British freighters.

On board the submarine is the young war reporter Werner, who doesn't seem to make friends with any of the crew. After gruelingly boring days out at sea, suddenly a British fleet appears. But the men overlook one hugely important detail in their plan of attack: the freighter's highly armed security escort...


Wolfgang Petersen was born in 1941 in Emden. After studying Theater in Berlin and Hamburg, he attended the German Film & Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin from 1966-1970. He first made his mark in the film world with THE BOAT in 1981. Although he had been making feature films in Germany since 1973, and television productions before that, it was Petersen's success with this anti-war U-boat epic, along with several Oscar® nominations, that bought him his ticket to Hollywood. A selection of his other films includes: ONE OR THE OTHER (1973), THE NEVER ENDING STORY (1984), ENEMY MINE (1985), IN THE LINE OF FIRE (1993), OUTBREAK (1995), AIR FORCE ONE (1997), THE PERFECT STORM (2000), TROY (2004), POSEIDON (2006), and his most recent German film FOUR AGAINST THE BANK (2016).
Genre History, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1981
Director Wolfgang Petersen
Screenplay Wolfgang Petersen, Lothar-Guenther Buchheim
Cinematography Ernst Wild, Theodor Nischwitz, Jost Vacano, Wolfgang Treu, Franz Rath, Peter Maiwald, Ernst Stritzinger, Leander R. Loosen, Ernst Schmid, Egil S. Woxholt
Hannes Nikel
Klaus Doldinger
Erhard Hose, Pius Huengerl, Joseph Teppert, Heinz Schaefer, Rolf Braun, Bernhard Neureiter
Cast Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Groenemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge, Bernd Tauber, Erwin Leder, Claude Oliver Rudolph, Jan Fedder, Heinz Hoenig, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Günter Lamprecht, Otto Sander
Producer Günter Rohrbach
Production Companies Bavaria Film/Geiselgasteig, WDR, SDR/Stuttgart, in co-production with Constantin Film Produktion, BBC/London, ORF/Vienna, RAI Cinema/Rome
Length 149 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions English, French, Italian
Original Version
 German
Festivals Tallinn Black Nights 2006, Moscow 2010, Los Angeles 2011, Dallas 2015, Zlín 2015
Awards German Film Awards 1982 for Production and Sound, Bavarian Film Awards 1981 for Direction & Cinematography, Golden Screen 1982, German Record Award 1982 for Best Score, Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing 1983
German Distributor Constantin Film Verleih

World Sales
Bavaria Media International
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