The Threepenny Opera Film Still

The Threepenny Opera

Georg Wilhelm Pabst

 
The Threepenny Opera (Criterion DVD)

DVD

2 Discs

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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  • Germany
  • 1931
  • 110 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.19:1
  • German
  •  
  • Spine #405

The sly melodies of composer Kurt Weill and the daring of dramatist Bertolt Brecht come together on-screen under the direction of German auteur G. W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box) in this classic adaptation of the Weimar-era theatrical sensation. Set in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera follows underworld antihero Mackie Messer (a.k.a. Mack the Knife) as he tries to woo Polly Peachum and elude the authorities. With its palpable evocation of corruption and dread, set to Weill’s irresistible score, The Threepenny Opera remains a benchmark of early sound cinema. It is presented here in both its celebrated German and rare French versions.

Cast

Mackie MesserRudolf Forster
Polly Peachum Carola Neher
Tiger BrownReinhold Schunzel
Jonathan Jeremias Peachum Fritz Rasp
Mrs. PeachumValeska Gert
JennyLotte Lenya
The vicarHermann Thimig
The street singerErnst Busch

Credits

DirectorGeorg Wilhelm Pabst
ScreenplayBela Balazs, Leo Lania and Ladislaus Vajda
From the play byBertolt Brecht
SongsKurt Weill
CinematographyFritz Arno Wagner
EditingHans Oser
Art directionAndrej Andrejew

Disc Features

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, made from a new film restoration element from the Bundesarchiv in Germany
  • Audio commentary by scholars David Bathrick and Eric Rentschler
  • L’opera de quat’sous, Pabst’s French-language version of the film, starring Albert Prejean and Florelle
  • A multimedia presentation by film scholar Charles O’Brien on the differences between the German and French versions
  • Archival introduction by Threepenny stars Fritz Rasp and Ernst Busch
  • New exclusive documentary on Threepenny’s controversial journey from stage to screen
  • Archival interview with Fritz Rasp
  • Galleries of production photos by Hans Casparius and production sketches by art director Andre Andrejew
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Tony Rayns

    New cover by Natalie Ascenscios

Film Essays

The Threepenny Opera: Doubles and Duplicities

By Tony RaynsSeptember 17, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, you will now hear the strange and comical history of how an . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Threepenny Opera

By Anneliese VaraldievJune 13, 1988

The merits of The Threepenny Opera as a film have, in the past, been much overshadowed by the . . . Read more »

Film Essays

The Threepenny Opera: Doubles and Duplicities

By Tony RaynsSeptember 17, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, you will now hear the strange and comical history of how an . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Threepenny Opera

By Anneliese VaraldievJune 13, 1988

The merits of The Threepenny Opera as a film have, in the past, been much overshadowed by the . . . Read more »