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The 3 Penny Opera (1931)

Die 3 Groschen-Oper (original title)
In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'.

Director:

Georg Wilhelm Pabst (as G.W. Pabst)

Writers:

Bertolt Brecht (story) (as Brecht), Léo Lania (manuscript) (as Lania) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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The Gangster Macheath secretly marries the daughter of beggar king Peachum. When Peachum finds out, he instructs the police chief Brown to arrest and hang Macheath. If not, all the beggars of Soho will disturb the upcoming coronation.

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The Gangster Macheath secretly marries the daughter of beggar king Peachum. When Peachum finds out, he instructs the police chief Brown to arrest and hang Macheath. If not, all the beggars of Soho will disturb the upcoming coronation.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Forster ... Mackie Messer
Carola Neher Carola Neher ... Polly
Reinhold Schünzel ... Tiger-Brown
Fritz Rasp ... Peachum
Valeska Gert ... Frau Peachum
Lotte Lenya ... Jenny (as Lotte Lenja)
Hermann Thimig ... Der Pfarrer
Ernst Busch ... Der Straßensänger
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Smith (as Wladimir Sokolow)
Paul Kemp ... Mackie Messers Platte
Gustav Püttjer Gustav Püttjer ... Mackie Messers Platte
Oskar Höcker Oskar Höcker ... Mackie Messers Platte
Krafft-Raschig Krafft-Raschig ... Mackie Messers Platte (as Kraft Raschig)
Herbert Grünbaum Herbert Grünbaum ... Filch
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Storyline

In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'. Written by Brian rawnsley <rawnsleb@natlib.govt.nz>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

19 October 1956 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The 3 Penny Opera See more »

Filming Locations:

Staaken Studio, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was banned by the Nazi Party in 1933 and prints of the film were destroyed. The film was restored and reconstructed in the 1960s. See more »

Quotes

Peachum: You too wish to be part of this splendid occasion. You, poorest of the poor, who'd long ago have perished in the sewers of Turnbridge if I hadn't spent sleepless nights devising a way to wring a few pence out of your poverty. For I've shown that the rich of this world have no qualms about causing misery but can't bear the sight of it. They have hard hearts but weak nerves. Well, we won't spare their nerves today! By the thousands we'll tear at their nerves, for our rags do not conceal our ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Portrait of Valeska Gert (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Dreigroschenoper
Composed by Kurt Weill
Libretto by Bertolt Brecht
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life is Money, Food, Sex, Nothing
4 September 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

Sometimes, if I ever feel especially depressed at something going off in the world I like to trot this one out to make me take an even more jaundiced view of things. This surely would be no. 1 in the Top 100 Most Cynical Movies Ever, even after all these years (the simultaneous French version is not so earthy, a more flowery artiness coming out instead). For me, it's the best movie I've seen of Pabst's, most of his post-WW2 stuff has eluded me so far.

The Guild Of Thieves' leader gets married to the Guild of Beggars' leader's daughter, causing friction between the two highly organised and respected professions, but inertia in the police who are in the Thieves' power. Prostitution, aberration, bigamy, thievery, extortion, bribery, corruption (and complete cynically cheerful indifference to it all), you name it it's here - after all it is all that Man can do! Laconic-looking Ernst Busch's searing inter-ditties leave you with the distinct impression that someone was rather tired with the world! The savage sounding German words spew out, whilst reading the English subtitles is sometimes heavy going in digesting all of the conceptual opinions in time to digest the next. Would that Bobby Darin had got his tonsils round a few more of the extraordinary gossamer Brecht/Weill songs from this! Lotte Lenya sparkled doing her Pirate Jenny number, being just a part of my favourite bit in the idling whorehouse.

All of the people involved in 3G are "lost to sight", except to the handful of Artheads who occasionally hold cultural revivals of Weill, Brecht or Pabst. There was a memorable series of events in London in 2000 to mark the 50th anniversary of Weill's death, but 99.99% of the general public passed it by.

Soon we will all be lost to sight too, along with all of our fractious opinions and silly vices.


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