DAVID BIANCULLI

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DAS BOOT: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT
November 27, 2019  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 3:30 p.m. ET

 
For years, I misunderstood the genesis and development of this outstanding Wolfgang Petersen WWII drama, told from the German point of view by staying with the crew of a claustrophobic U-boat. I used to think Das Boot began as a German TV miniseries, then was cut down into the shorter movie form that was distributed internationally to great acclaim. Nope. Turns out the movie was edited and released first, in 1981, followed four years later by the much-expanded miniseries version, enhanced by the voluminous outtakes shot during the drama’s original year-long filming. Then, eventually, came a director’s cut, splitting the difference between the two. That’s the version, released in 1997, that is shown today by TCM. Any version, though, is captivating, and highly recommended.
 
 
 
 
 
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