Die 3groschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) (The Beggar's Opera) (1931)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Die 3groschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) (The Beggar's Opera) Photos

Movie Info

Filmmaker G.W. Pabst's adaptation of Bertoldt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera (Die Dreisgoschenoper) is every bit as good as the stage original, and sometimes even better. Filmed in both German and French versions with different casts (a planned English-language version was abandoned), Threepenny is most readily available today in its German incarnation. Rudolf Forster stars as robber captain MacHeath -- aka Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife -- who falls in love with Polly (Carola Neher), daughter of beggar king Peachum (Fritz Rasp). Despising MacHeath, Peachum plots the thief's downfall with his best friend, corrupt police official Tiger Brown (Reinhold Schunzel). The satirical "happy ending" of the original -- MacHeath, en route to the gallows, suddenly and without motivation promoted to knighthood! -- is altered somewhat by Pabst and his scenarists to accommodate a swipe against Depression-era bankers. Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife, brilliantly repeats her stage role as Pirate Jenny. Stylistically, Threepenny Opera is a Georg Grosz drawing come to life; despite its 1890s London setting, the film's calculatedly tawdry veneer is clearly meant to represent the wide-open Berlin of the 1930s. For the record: the French version of Threepenny Opera starred Albert Prejean as MacHeath. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Classics , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Criterion Collection

Cast

Lotte Lenya
as Jenny
Jane Marken
as Mrs. Peachum
Gaston Modot
as Peachum
Fritz Rasp
as Peachum
Albert Préjean
as Mackie Messer
Margo Lion
as Jenny
Vladimir Sokoloff
as Mackie's Gang/Smith
Reinhold Schünzel
as Tiger Brown
Paul Kemp
as Mackie's Gang
Ernst Busch
as Street-Singer
Rudolf Forster
as Mackie Messer
Carola Neher
as Polly Peachum
Antonin Artaud
as Mackie's Gang
Valeska Gert
as Mrs. Peachum
Gustav Püttjer
as Mackie's Gang
Jack Henley
as Tiger Brown
Reinhold Schuenzel
as Tiger Brown
Oskar Hocker
as Mackie's Gang
Krafft Raschig
as Mackie's Gang
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Die 3groschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) (The Beggar's Opera)

All Critics (4)

A scathing social satire.

Full Review… | February 21, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a lavish production and it shows in every frame, yet [director G.W.] Pabst is also true to Brecht's political commentary and social satire.

Full Review… | October 13, 2007
Turner Classic Movies Online

Quote not available.

July 16, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Quote not available.

December 20, 2004
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Quote not available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Movie Reviews UK

Audience Reviews for Die 3groschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) (The Beggar's Opera)

½

A milestone of cinema that is historically important but distractingly abstract and exaggerated.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

½

Somewhat dissapointing as I really loved Pandora's Box and the beginning shots were magnificant. Worth watching, but don't expect a whole lot.

Anthony Stevenson
Anthony Stevenson

I liked this a bit more than Pandora's Box, it's more fun. Those Kurt Weill tunes are terrific, I love the sort of freewheeling creakiness they seem to have. The whole thing is very evocative of a specific time and place (although the place is somehow both German and British). Very enjoyable performances from all involved, and some impressive camerawork. A light-hearted story with a cynical edge.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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