Based on Gunter Grass's astounding novel, this 1979 German film by Volker Schlondorff tells the story of Oskar Matzerath (Bennent), a boy who knows the world is a rotten place even before his birth. In Danzig in the 1920s and 1930s, Naziism is on the rise, his mother Agnes (Winkler) is having an affair with her cousin Jan Bronski (Olbrychski) right under his father's nose, so Oskar decides at the age of 3 not to grow up. He stays small and stunted, banging on his tin drum to protest a world going crazy. Filmed in Berlin, Gdansk, Normandy, Paris, and Croatia, this bizarre, wondrous, savage, satirical, and extremely earthy 142-minute movie was the most expensive German film ever made before "Das Boot." It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and shared the Golden Palm at Cannes with "Apocalypse Now," though for a time in the 1990s it was banned in the U.S. and Canada because it allegedly qualified as child pornography.
This report prepared by David Loftus