When Oskar Matzerath (the extraordinary David Bennent, just twelve at the time) receives a tin drum for his third birthday, he vows to stop growing there and then - and woe betide anyone who tries to take his beloved drum away from him, as he has a banshee shriek that can shatter glass. As a result, he retains a permanent child's-eye perspective on the rise of Nazism as experienced through petit-bourgeois life in his native Danzig, the 'free city' claimed by both Germany and Poland whose invasion in 1939 helped kick-start World War II. With the help of Luis Bunuel's favourite screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, director Volker Schlondorff turns Gunter Grass's magical-realist masterpiece into a carnivalesque frenzy of bizarre, grotesque yet unnervingly compelling images as Oskar turns his increasingly jaded eye and caustic tongue on the insane follies of the adult world that he refuses to join.
Caught this one years ago probably mid 80’s C4 didn’t really have much of an effect on me except for the young lead (David Bennent) and his instantly remarkable features that immediately make this film so recognisable.Fast forward 30+years and we not only have a restoration but an all important directors cut, this film is pure gold i was left totally blown away from its almost 3hr runtime, it plays almost like your typical coming of age type drama thats set among the early rise and fall of Nazi Germany but this became so much more by including some fantastic and sometimes very risqué surreal moments which are explained wonderfully by Volker Schlondorff on the included extras.To get such an emotional and powerful performance from a young boy aged 11 was a great achievement and now will be down as one of my favourites and most memorable performances by a child ever.Really can’t fault this movie everything from the performances/cinematograhy and its wonderful score make it a genuine classic.Great great film that i will revisit soon maybe giving the theatrical cut a tryout which should never of happened according to its Director speaking on UA’s involvement, burn Hollywood burn.9+/10
Stands up well to the test of time. A wonderful film which manages to transpose the European magical realism of the book into film. Its just a shame that it stops at the end of Oskar's travels through to the end of the Second World War and we don't get to see the progress of Oskar through the new Germany - but then that would have made a VERY long film epic. As it stands this is a wonderful film made by a committed cast of director and actors to get it right. And it does too. The scenes in my head on reading the book were very similar to the scenes in the film. David Bennent is exceptional and the directing of Volker Schlondorff is spot on.
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Unable to decipher this one
- The Tin Drum review by BE
If it's allegorical, I didn't get it. If it isn't, the surrealism of the piece didn't bode well for easy understanding of the characters or make for good cinema. The child came across as a quiet monster, no empathy therefore could be allotted to him. The bedroom scenes betwixt the child and adults was also very risqué. Charles Aznavour had a cameo in it. Most odd
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