The Tin Drum (1979) - full transcript

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...

This has been going on
for three weeks.

First it was kippers and sardines.
Now it's pickled herring.

I've tried everything.
I'm at the end of my rope.

Why didn't you call me sooner?

Agnes, tell me what's wrong.

You know
fish doesn't agree with you!

Take it from me.

A single communist joining the party
makes the F?hrer happier

than ten conservatives

who just join out of fear,
not grasping that a new era has begun.

Yes, a new era!

Doesn't want to live.

Doesn't want to die.

I don't know.

It's too much of everything,
and it keeps piling up.

I used to say that too,
but I made it.

Think it was easy when Koljaiczek -

your father -

disappeared under the timber

and never came back?

- But at least he was gone!
- Away, you say. The man's away.

How can you talk like that
when you do it with two men

and never get enough?

That'll do, Mother!

You're pregnant!
So what?

There's plenty of room here.

When will it be?

Never! It'll never be!

I had no way of knowing!

Help her.

Why don't you want the child?

It doesn't matter whose it is.

No trumpet playing here.

Go and blow that thing
with your Brown Shirts.

Soon your blowing will all be over.

Nazi swine!

Red pig!

What are you doing here?

You got no business here!

'Cause you're -
Wanna know what you are?

A kike.
That's what you are.

Ah, it's little Oskar.

See what they're doing to Markus,

who was baptized
just like them?

Is your drum broken?

Come see me.
You'll have a new drum.

A beautiful day!

She's gone to the place
where everything's so cheap.

Yes, it's a beautiful day.

An unforgettable day.

I, too, have seen the Lord.

You've seen the Lord?

A beautiful day.

The Lord has passed.

He was in a hurry.

There once was a drummer.

His name was Oskar.

He lost his poor mama,
who had eaten too much fish.

There once was a gullible people

who believed in Santa Claus.

But Santa Claus was really

the gas man!

There once was a toy merchant.

His name was Sigismund Markus,

and he sold tin drums
lacquered red and white.

There was once a drummer.

His name was Oskar.

There once was a toy merchant

whose name was Markus...

and he took all the toys
in the world away with him.

September 1, 1939.

You know the date, I assume.

That was when I committed
my second crime.

For I, Oskar the drummer,

not only drummed
my poor mama into her grave.

I also dragged

my poor uncle, and presumably
my father, Jan Bronski,

to the Polish post office,

so causing his death.

- Halt. You can't go through.
- Why not? I work here.

Off limits. Nobody's allowed in.

We only want to see Kobyella.

He's a Pole! Stop him!

It's high time.

Quick, they're issuing weapons.

You're always the last one.
Take this rifle.


The ammunition's over there.

What are you doing here?

Kobyella, repair drum.

Kobyella has no time for you now.

Bronski, are you crazy?
Get this boy out of the way.

Go and hide somewhere, Oskar.

I have to stay here.
Go on, hurry.

On September 1st,

German territory was violated.

Last night, for the first time,

Poles opened fire
on German regulars

on German soil.

Since 5:45 this morning
their fire has been returned.

From now on,
bomb will be answered with bomb.

Where is Uncle Jan?

The drum! Jan, the drum!

Get down!

The drum!

Oskar, take cover!

You can't stay here, Oskar.

Take cover! Fire!

Hey, Kobyella, don't give up.

I'll fasten you down.
Then you won't tip over.

Is it my turn?

With one play, two contras,
three schneiders, four times clubs.

That makes 48, or 12 pfennigs.

Hey, don't be a spoilsport.

I can't play by myself.

Pull yourself together.

Kobyella, what's wrong?

Kobyella, I beg you!

I've got a Grand Hand.

Look, a Grand Hand.


She's dead.

We surrender. Don't shoot!

Hold your fire!

Freeze! Hands up!

Line up! Move out!

You gonna move, or what?

You too!

They filmed us for a newsreel

that was shown
in all the movie houses,

because Oskar's experience
at the Polish post office in Danzig

went down in history
as the first battle of World War II.

What? They shot Jan Bronski?

They gathered up
all the cartridge cases.

All but one.

They always forget one.

The Hanseatic Free City of Danzig

celebrated the union
of its brick Gothic

with the greater German Reich.

This is a big moment in your life.

Keep your eyes open.
You'll have stories to tell.

I think I'll faint if he looks at me!

Here he comes!

This is Maria.
She wants to work for you.

You said you needed somebody
for the customers.

Things can't go on like this.

And for Oskar here.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us poor sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.

Lord, give us -


And take me up to heaven.

Have you gone to the bathroom?

Another tune?

''Mary, My Adoration.''

Maria, I love you

With all my heart

Forever and ever

We never will part

Go away!

my anonymous infatuations,

Maria was my first love.

How old are you?

Just turned 16.

Me too.

I can't believe it.

Love cannot be sinful

Even if it were
I wouldn't care

Maria smelled of vanilla.

I wondered why.

Did she rub herself with some root?

Was it some cheap perfume

that she sprayed herself with?

Oskar resolved to find out.

What are you doing?

Hey, stop it!

You little rascal.

You dive in, not knowing a thing.

Good evening.

- Gonna be late?
- Could be.

Too many victories to celebrate.

You can sleep with Maria.

There's plenty of room
in my bed for Oskar.

He's just a shrimp.

Quick, Oskar, into the hay.

Come up here!

Look. He's so happy.

Good night.

It's a quarter to.

A little more. Just a little.

But be careful.

Don't worry.

Almost. Almost.

Just a little more.
But be careful!

I am!

Go away!

What are -

Alfred, stop it!

Is it the kid's fault
you're not careful?

Me? Who kept asking for more?

I said, ''Be careful. It's coming soon.''
But it never came at all.

Never enough.
You're all the same.

In, out, finished.
That's your idea of love.

Well, go look for somebody else.

Think I'm some kind of electric bell?

And you never take precautions!

Stop bawling. I'm fed up.

Then go back
to your comrades, you jerk.

I need a change, that's for sure.


They're all a bunch
of quick squirters. Beat it!

Get yourself a POW
if you're in heat.

Maybe the frog
that brings the beer.

Maybe he'll satisfy you.

I see love as something
more than smuttiness.

Next time I'll play cards.
Then I'll know what to expect.

You nasty little dwarf!

You crazy midget!

You belong in the loony bin,
you scumbag!

Oskar, I didn't mean it.

Now you'll have your own room.

He'll soon be 17.

Come on in.

You'll freeze out there.

Want to come in for a while?

Come a little closer, Oskar.

Come under the covers
where it's warm.

It's dreadfully cold.

Greff doesn't give us enough heat.

Come in.

Go ahead.

Greff wants to harden his body.

He loves youth and hard bodies,

but he likes boys more than girls.

Victory through strength and joy

My feet are frozen.

A scout is never cold.

They're doing fine in the east.

Leningrad will fall any day.

Kiev's more important
because of the oil.

That was fast! Much faster
than in '15, when I was in the army.

Moscow's the main thing.

Alfred, you carve.

What would we do without Grandma?

Yes, the Kashubians
are still good for something.

Oh, if I could only be out there!

But I'm needed on the home front.

Moscow must be wiped out,

or we'll have to feed
all those people.

The F?hrer knows that.

They've sent
my Herbert to the front.

To make him fight.

Disciplinary battalion.

Starve 'em!
Starve all our enemies!

That'll end the war.

Breast or drumstick?

I'd like a drumstick.

It's nice and juicy.

The nations of Europe
are all on our side.

The stalwart Finns.

No goose without sage!

- The Magyars, the Rumanians.
- Oskar, what a splendid feast.

We're advancing on the oceans too.

For we're sailing

No goose, Greff?

You know I don't eat meat.

A youthful nation rises
ready for the storm

Raise the banner higher

This isn't a Kashubian goose anymore.
It's a German goose.

Anyway, it's delicious.

Now you've got
a little brother, Oskar.

You'll soon be able to play with him.

The butcher's son was killed.

He got the Iron Cross, first class.

Second class!

If I say it's first, it's first!

In any case, he's dead.

Kurt, my son -

You are definitely my son.

When you're three,

I'll give you a drum,

and if you want to stop growing,

I'll show you how it's done.

An autograph, please.

May I have your autograph?

May I make the same request?

Very kind of you.

My dear Oskar!

How glad I am to see you again!

Didn't I tell you?
We're too little to lose each other.

Splendid, splendid!
You haven't grown an inch.

Permit me to introduce Oskar,

an old friend
who sings glass to bits.

Signorina Roswitha Raguna,

the great somnambulist.

The joy of our soldiers
on every front,

and of my old age.

You're surprised to see me
in this uniform,

but the Propaganda Ministry
approached us

and asked us to appear
before the country's top leaders.

Filthy politics!

And now we entertain the troops.

A present from Oskar.

You are very talented.

Why don't you join us?
What's to keep you here?

Yes, join us, young man.

Play your drum, sing champagne glasses
and lightbulbs to bits.

The German army of occupation
in fair France, in gay Paris,

will thank you.

Dear tin soldiers of Paris,

Bebra's Front Line Theater
will play for you,

sing for you,

and help you win the war!

What are you thinking about?

My grandmother's skirts.

And now, ladies and gentlemen,

for the first time in France,

a newcomer to our program,

the man with the secret weapon

we have heard so much about:

Oskar the drummer!

Oskar the glass killer!

Mazel tov.

One corporal, five men,
nothing to report.

Thank you.
At ease, Corporal.

You see? Nothing to report.

It's been this way for years.

There's always the tide,
nature's contribution.

That's what keeps our men busy.

That's why we go on
building bunkers.

You have faith in concrete?

We haven't much faith in anything.

Am I right, Corporal?
- Right, sir.

But still you mix and pour.

Is the black cook here today
No, no, no

She will make an evil brew

She will put you in her stew
And then she will devour you

Is the black cook here today
Yes, yes, yes

Look, there she is

Goody! A picnic in the open air!

Real Hungarian salami. Wonderful!

And chocolate from Holland!

And now, dive in.

Dig in, my friends.

Where do we begin?

Ah, caviar.

Rescued from Stalingrad.

Ah, may it soothe our souls!

And now, Signorina Raguna,

could you tell us,

as well as the ladies and gentlemen
present tonight,

the exact date of birth

of Lieutenant Herzog?

April 11,


in Bremen.

That's right.
And the place too.


for Signorina Raguna,
the great somnambulist.

I see they're bringing him champagne.

But you'll never drink it.

I'm sorry.
- Why not?

All together!

Where's the witch, black as pitch

Don't be afraid.

Nothing will happen.

My little man.

Children! Quick!

What's the matter?

The Americans are coming.

Oskar, I must have coffee!

I can't go without coffee.
- Roswitha, we're leaving.

A cup of coffee, please.


Roswitha, I don't know
how old you were.

I only know
that you smelled of cinnamon

and nutmeg.

You could see
into the hearts of men,

but not into your own heart.

Ah, dear Oskar,

we dwarfs and fools
shouldn't dance on concrete

that was poured for giants.

Come on.
We have to move out.

- Well, Oskar, good-bye.
- Good luck.

And keep your chin up.

It's little Oskar!

Hey, Kurt, Oskar's come back
for your birthday.

Your little brother
just turned three.

I brought you a present.

Are you allowed to wear that uniform?

Where have you been?

We looked all over for you.
The police looked high and low.

We had to swear
we hadn't bumped you off.

Well, now you're here.

Now there was a genius.

Turn it off. It's all over.
Final victory.

Alfred, get rid of your party pin.
The Russkis will be here any minute.

Bury it under the potatoes.

Hands up!

Hands up!

All right, I'll do it.

Hurry! I've still got shoes to sole.

Oh, my! His hand!

It doesn't hurt him now.

In the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Hail, Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.


stop throwing stones.

Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Should I or shouldn't I?

You're 20, Oskar.

Should you or shouldn't you?

You're an orphan, Oskar.

I should, I must,

I will grow!

Kurt, now what have you done?

He's growing!


See how he's growing!

I have seen the Lord!

The Lord!

See how he's growing!
The Lord!

Just like a Kashubian.

Our heads were made for hard knocks.

And now you're going west,
where things are better.

Only Grandma will stay here,

because you can't move
Kashubians around like that.

They have to stay so other people

can clout them on the head...

because we're not Polish enough

or German enough,

and they always want
everything just right.

Does it hurt?

I hope it's not water on the brain.

When he was three,
he fell down the stairs

and stopped growing.

Now he's fallen into a grave
and wants to grow again.