The Tin Drum
The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum

Director Volker Schlöndorff

Production year 1979

Length 142min.

Country Germany / Serbia / Poland / France


Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with full intellect right from his birth he decides at his third birthday not to grow up as he sees the crazy world around him at the eve of World War II. So he refuses the society and his tin drum symbolizes his protest against the middle-class mentality of his family and neighborhood, which stand for all passive people in Nazi Germany at that time. However, (almost) nobody listens to him, so the catastrophe goes on... 


Palme d'Or | Cannes IFF, France, 1979

Best Foreign Language Film | American Academy Award, USA, 1979


Volker Schlöndorff
Volker Schlöndorff



Franz Seitz, Anatole Dauman, Volker Schlöndorff


Jean-Claude Carrière, Günter Grass, Volker Schlöndorff, Franz Seitz

Director of Photography

Igor Luther

Production designer

Piotr Dudzinski, Zeljko Senecic

Music by

Maurice Jarre


Peter Beil


Suzanne Baron


David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach, Daniel Olbrychski, Charles Aznavour

Production company(ies)

Argos Films, Artemis Films, Bioskop Film, Film Polski, Franz Seitz Produktion, Hallelujah Films, Jadran Films

Volker Schlöndorff

Born 1939, Wiesbaden, Germany. Volker Schlöndorff is a Berlin-based German filmmaker who has worked in Germany, France and the United States. He graduated in political science at the Sorbonne, while at the same time studying film at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques, where he met Louis Malle. Malle gave him his first job as his assistant director. He was a prominent member of the New German Cinema of the late 60s and early 70s. Schlöndorff (and the New German Cinema movement as a whole) had his first financial hit film with The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum in 1975.


Wen kümmert’s? (1960, short), Mediteranee (1963, Co-dir.: Jean-Daniel Pollet, doc.), Young Törless (1966), The Tympanist (segment “Ein Unheimlicher Moment”, 1967), A Degree of Murder (1967), Michael Kohlhaas - Der Rebell (1969), Baal (1970, TV), The Sudden Health of the Poor People of Kombach (1971, TV), The Morals of Ruth Halbfass (1971), Strohfeuer/A Free Woman (1972), Übernachtung in Tirol (1974, TV), Nouvelles de Henry James (TV series, Les raisons de Georgina, 1975), The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975), Coup de Grâce (1976), Nur zum Spass, nur zum Spiel (1977, doc.), Germany in Autumn (segment “Die verschobene Antigone”, 1978, doc.), The Tin Drum (1979), The Candidate (1980, doc.), Die Fälschung/The Circle of Deceit (1981), War and Peace (Co-dir.: Stefan Aust, Axel Engstfeld, Alexander Kluge, 1982, doc.), Swann in Love (1984), Death of a Salesman (1985, TV), A Gathering of Old Men (1987, TV), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), Homo Faber/Voyager (1991), Billy Wilder, How Did You Do It? (1992, Co-dir.; Gisela Grischow, doc.), The Michael Nyman Songbook (1992, doc.), Ogre (1996), Lumiere sur un massacre (TV series, Le parfait soldat, 1996), Palmetto (1998), The Legend of Rita (2000), Ein Produzent hat Seele oder er hat keine (2002, TV doc.), Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (segment “The Enlightenment”, 2002), The Ninth Day (2004), Enigma - Eine uneingestandene Liebe (2005, TV), Billy Wilder Speaks (2006, TV doc.), Strike (2006), Ulzhan (2007), Calm at Sea (2012).

FILMS 2012