The 1981 classic WWII film, Das Boot, is considered one of the greatest German films of all time, and was a landmark submarine movie, standing out from its contemporaries in the genre. The tense thriller, set largely inside a German U-boat, chronicles the dangerous and claustrophobic life at sea, as well as the sailors’ own ideological struggle with the politics of the Second World War.
Now, 28 years later, a new miniseries returns to this turbulent struggle and expands the story to life on land during the German occupation. The eight-part mini-series sequel, Das Boot, arrives on Hulu on June 17.
It’s Not Das Reboot
Set nine months later than the end of Wolfgang Petersen’s acclaimed film, the series picks up in autumn, 1942, in occupied France. In addition to pulling from Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s 1973 book Das Boot, on which the original film is based, the series also pulls from the author’s 1995 sequel Die Festung and splits into two storylines.
The first narrative takes audiences back to sea, set around the crew of German U-boat U-612. The second storyline focuses in on the struggles of the local residents and the growing French Resistance in the port town of La Rochelle. Buchheim’s books were based on his time as a war correspondent, both on a German U-boat, as well as his later work about his travels across France at the end of the war.
In Das Boot the young crew boards U-612, ready to make its maiden voyage out of La Rochelle. They are preparing to face the claustrophobic conditions of life underwater and the increasingly brutal sea warfare, led by a new captain, Klaus Hoffmann (Rick Okon (Tatort). Meanwhile, on shore, Simone Strasser (Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread) struggles between her loyalty for Germany and the pull of the Resistance, as she faces off with local Gestapo chief Hagen Forster (Tom Wlaschiha, Game of Thrones).
The turbulent series deals with the choices that are made for survival and loyalty as people are pushed to their limit during the torment of war.
As Allied forces circle the story, the show brings in a truly international cast, ranging from leading German, Austrian, and French actors to recognizable names of the British and American screen.
Das Boot’s Stellar Casting
The cast also includes Robert Stadlober (Tatort), Leonard Scheicher (Finsterworld), Rainer Bock (Inglourious Basterds), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), August Wittgenstein (The Crown), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), James D’Arcy (Agent Carter), Thierry Frémont (Juste un regard), Franz Dinda (The Cloud), and Stefan Konarske (The Young Karl Marx).
The series is largely subtitled, with the international cast and storylines, all characters speak in the languages they would naturally be speaking in at the time. Bavaria Film originally produced the German miniseries for the international channel Sky, which aired it throughout Europe in November 2018, and in the U.K. in February 2019. Das Boot was met with largely wide acclaim, and Hulu will be it’s primary U.S. distributor when the series lands on June 17. A second season has already been announced.
Where to Watch Das Boot
- $7.99/month with limited commercials
- $14.99/month commercial free
- $44.99/month commercial free + live TV of up to 50 channels, as well as on demand feature.
Hulu can be watched through Hulu.com online, as well as apps for Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Xbox, and mobile devices.
How to Watch the Orignal Das Boot
A tight, almost claustrophobic film at times, the original Das Boot focused in on the terrifying world of life on a German U-boat on patrol during the Battle of the Atlantic. At the time it was one of the few sympathetic portrayals of the war from the German perspective in western distribution, dealing intimately with lives of the men trying to be professional as soldiers while struggling with their government’s ideology.
Realistic and gritty, Das Boot would become a landmark submarine film, defining the genre, and receive six Academy Award nominations—the most of any German film to date—including both Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer/director Petersen.
While not currently streaming for free on any one service, the classic 1981 film is available to rent or purchase, ranging from $2.99 or $3.99 to $12.99 for purchase on most services, including Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube.
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