Das Boot

A three-and-a-half-hour director's cut of a film about the troubles of a German U-Boat during the latter half of World War II is nobody's idea of fun summer fare, but that's no excuse to miss a movie that's at once a devastating condemnation of war and an exciting action film. Before going Hollywood with In The Line Of Fire and Outbreak (and this summer's Air Force One), Wolfgang Petersen created a six-hour miniseries for German television, released to great acclaim here in 1981 as a two-and-a-half-hour movie. The additional running time only adds to Petersen's masterfully bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere. Das Boot is by no means a pleasant experience, but it's an intelligent and emotionally gripping one that you won't forget.

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