The Tin Drum Movie Review

The Tin Drum is one of cinema's greatest coming of age stories -- probably because its star, Oskar, never comes of age, literally.

Oskar (David Bennett) is a young lad in 1920s Germany, and at the age of three he realizes that as he gets older, the attention he's given will rapidly wane. He decides to quit growing and hurls himself down the cellar. He achieves his goal. Ten years later, Hitler is on the rise, and Oskar is still romping around with his precious tin drum, physically unchanged since that day but deeply affected by life experience nonetheless.

Oskar's story touches on so many facets of life it's hard to know where to start analyzing. His mom is having an affair, he's got a crush on a (much) taller girl, and of course the Nazis are coming. The last half of the film gets a little pokey and metaphysical, but Volker Schlöndorff's masterpiece isn't much impacted by it. Nothing Schlöndorff has touched before or since has reached such mastery -- reaching down into your gut and stirring up all manner of emotions. Bennent (actually 13 years old at the time of release, a long way from three), is a German national treasure: The Tin Drum was his first film, and he has worked little since then (you may remember him in hooves in Legend). It's amazing he didn't win more noteriety or awards for his work here.

It's also a pity that the film was infamously banned in Oklahoma after its release (there is a scene or two of a child's bare bottom, prompting the D.A. to deem it child pornography), depriving many of seeing it but adding immeasurably to its notariety.

Now available on a long-awaiting Criterion Collection DVD, The Tin Drum is getting the attention it richly deserves with two discs of goodies waiting for the viewer to dig into. Schlöndorff offers his own commentary track on disc one, and the second disc includes deleted scenes, a selection of interviews, and a Gunther Grass reading from 1987. The documentary Banned in Oklahoma outlines Drum's censorships problems in detail.

Aka Die Blechtrommel.

Cast & Crew

Director : Volker Schlöndorff

Comments

The Tin Drum Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: R, 1979

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Dark Drama 'The Riot Club' Is Never Dull, But Lacks Bite

The Riot Club, formerly known as 'Posh' and based on Laura Wade's 2010 play...

Dark Drama 'The Riot Club' Is Never Dull, But Lacks Bite

Aphex Twin - Syro Album Review

If you're even remotely into electronic music, then you are more than likely to know who Aphex Twin is. After becoming...

Aphex Twin - Syro Album Review

Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams Set for Channel 4 'Cyber Bullying' Drama

Maisie Williams, best known for playing Arya Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones...

Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams Set for Channel 4 'Cyber Bullying' Drama

Reaper - Trailer

The Reaper (Mike Michaels) was formerly an ordained minister before embarking on a rampant killing spree with...

Reaper Trailer

Adam Duritz Of Counting Crows Talks Of Liberation, Fun And Childhood Fascinations

Counting Crows have delighted us with their first album release since...

Adam Duritz Of Counting Crows Talks Of Liberation, Fun And Childhood Fascinations

Ringo Deathstarr - Live Review

The Sabotage Club in Lisboa has all the trappings of the typical toilet circuit venue, if you were to disregard a decade...

Ringo Deathstarr supported by The Telescopes, NAAM,  11th September 2014, Lisboa Sabotage Club Live Review

'X-Men: Deadpool' Set For 2016, Ryan Reynolds Likely to Star

X-Men: Deadpool, a project that has long been in development for Twentieth...

'X-Men: Deadpool' Set For 2016, Ryan Reynolds Likely to Star

Ben Whishaw Lands Starring Role in BBC Thriller 'London Spy'

Ben Whishaw, the British actor who played Q in Skyfall and who portray the...

Ben Whishaw Lands Starring Role in BBC Thriller 'London Spy'

Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke: The Best of Dolly Parton Album Review

Dolly Parton is an international treasure - and a rare breed, at that. She is a...

Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke: The Best of Dolly Parton Album Review
Advertisement