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Tin Drum, The (2d-Criterion)

Director(s): Volker Schlondorff

Theatrical Release: 1979

Cast: Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, David Bennent, Daniel Olbrychski

Genre(s): Drama, politics, classic, Criterion Collection, Dean's List

Countries: Germany (East/West), Poland, France, Yugoslavia

Location in store:

(0 / 0)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 142m.

In Volker Schlondorff's award-winning adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner Gunter Grass' allegorical novel, David Bennent plays Oskar, the young son of a German rural family, circa 1925. On his third birthday, Oskar receives a shiny new tin drum. At this point, rather than mature into one of the miserable specimens of grown-up humanity that he sees around him, he vows never to get any older or any bigger. Whenever the world around him becomes too much to bear, the boy begins to hammer on his drum; should anyone try to take the toy away from him, he emits an ear-piercing scream that literally shatters glass. As Germany goes to hell during the 1930s and 1940s, the never-ageing Oskar continues savagely beating his drum, serving as the angry conscience of a world gone mad. Filled to overflowing with unforgettable sequences, The Tin Drum was one of the most financially successful German films of the 1970s and won the 1979 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. In the late 1990s, the film became the center of a censorship controversy when some U.S. videotapes were confiscated because of the film's supposed violation of a child pornography statute. — Hal Erickson (

Criterion Collection 2-DVD, Director-Approved Set #234 Special Features:

+ New digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions

+ Audio commentary by director and cowriter Volker Schlöndorff

+ Remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack

+ Isolated score by Maurice Jarre

+ Rare deleted scenes,featuring commentary by Schlöndorff

+ Volker Schlöndorff Remembers The Tin Drum, a montage featuring Schlöndorff’s thoughts and recollections about the film, along with on-set photos, storyboards, and images not included in the final film

+ An illuminating collection of video interviews: with Schlöndorff and actor David Bennent at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival; co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière and actor Mario Adorf; Schlöndorff and author Günter Grass during filming; and Schlöndorff after winning the Palme d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival

+ "The Platform," a rare 1987 German recording of Günter Grass reading an excerpt from his novel The Tin Drum, accompanied by the music of famed improvisational percussionist Günter 'Baby' Sommer

+ Reprinted excerpt of the screenplay’s original, unfilmed ending

+ Banned in Oklahoma, a documentary by Gary D. Rhodes following the child pornography lawsuit revolving around The Tin Drum

+ Production sketches, designs and promotional art

+ Original theatrical trailer

+ New and improved English subtitle translation

+ Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Member Reviews

Can't shake it by C20005635 - August 16, 2008
This one still stays fresh in my mind, though we rented it from DA years ago. Haunting, disturbing, fascinating. Years ago, I read an article by Stephen King who encouraged anyone to run out and read any books put on banned lists. Since this is the video/dvd equivalent, people should see it and judge it for themselves.