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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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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

For those who try and translate the title as "The Three Dime Opera" or the "Thirty-Cent Opera," it should be noted that German title "Die 3 Groschen-Opera" translates very well into English as the "Threepenny Opera." 3d (Threepence) in the UK was, in pre-decimal times (pre-1971), the closest equivalent to 3% of a pound. (There were 240 pence in the pound, not 100) 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 »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Pabst's bitter musical
7 June 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

In the last few years before Nazi power overtook the German film industry, Kurt Weill's operetta reached the screen in this effective and well-cast version. Notable for including Lotte Lenya (Weill's wife) as Jenny, it is funny, memorable, imaginatively filmed, and despite the language barrier, does justice to the songs enshrined in popular culture such as ‘Mack the Knife'.

A giant of early European talkies, this musical has much to recommend to a viewer looking at it after seven decades. An adaptation with songs of John Gay's ‘The Beggar's Opera', it deals with the underworld of crooks, moneylenders, and cut-throats.

Chief of note in the varied cast are Rudolf Forster as Mackie, Carola Neher as Polly, Fritz Rasp as Peachum, and Ernst Busch as the Street Singer. This movie is one of bitterness and foreboding, and it is excellent.


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