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This is the forum for Movie and Film discussions. Again, our topic is naval warfare in WWII for the most part. 
Der Alte's Character
Posted by: Barry Scully ()
Date: January 30, 2007 11:37AM



Good morning everyone,

I've often wondered how Wolfgang Petersen came up with the character of Der Alte as depicted in the film Das Boot.
It's been a long time since I read the book but as far as I can remember Buchheim's take on the skipper is totally different to the character that ended up on screen. If memory serves Bucheim's skipper was physically unprepossessing. The image I have of him is as a no nonsense navy man. He had red hair ?, smoked cigars, in other words, nothing like Prochnow's character.
In my opinion, Petersen thought long and hard about what made a top U-Boat Commander and came up with a composite character. He must have asked himself, Did a Commander have to be successful ? popular with his men,? a disciplinarian? one of the guys? etc etc.
I could go on about this but I'm sure you know what I'm getting at. Prochnow's skipper was definitely respected by his men. He was successful tonnage-wise and consistent in his behavior towards his them and on balance I would say he was popular with the crew.
Having a handsome leading man makes good box office sense (my wife immediately fell in love with him) plus the fact that he is a truly great actor was a marvelous bonus. ( I believe Paul Newman was the original choice) Mercifully that monumental piece of miscasting never came to pass.

If you were faced with the task of creating a top ace for a movie, which commanders would you blend ? Kretchmer's cold blooded efficiency with Schepka's dashinG good looks ? Luth's paternal attitude with Prien's no nonsense approach ? You will note I haven't touched on politics. Suufice is to say that a committed nazi commander would get little sympathy from a cinema audience,

Do Chara

Barry

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Subject Written By Posted
Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 01/30/2007 11:37AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Jean-Noël Muller 01/30/2007 07:31PM
Re: Der Alte's Character PatW 02/01/2007 12:00PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/01/2007 02:43PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 02/01/2007 03:51PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/01/2007 06:09PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 02/02/2007 01:38PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/02/2007 02:24PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/03/2007 07:38AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/03/2007 09:53AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/03/2007 06:02PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/03/2007 06:29PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/03/2007 07:31PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/04/2007 02:58AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/04/2007 10:02AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/05/2007 12:46AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Barry Scully 02/05/2007 12:56AM
Re: Der Alte's Character theresap 01/28/2011 03:47PM
Re: Der Alte's Character PatW 02/04/2007 03:44PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/05/2007 12:39AM
Re: Der Alte's Character PatW 02/05/2007 02:36AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/05/2007 07:47AM
Re: Der Alte's Character PatW 02/04/2007 01:21AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Meg Rosenfeld 02/03/2007 07:28AM
Re: Der Alte's Character freund 06/04/2007 07:06PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 02/05/2007 01:09PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 07/18/2007 12:31PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Jean-Noël Muller 07/19/2007 04:26PM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 07/22/2007 10:30AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Jean-Noël Muller 07/22/2007 11:56AM
Re: Der Alte's Character BHenderson 03/03/2011 05:29PM
Re: Der Alte's Character PatW 03/07/2011 11:48PM
Re: Der Alte's Character theresap 03/09/2011 03:11AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 03/27/2011 10:38AM
Re: Der Alte's Character theresap 04/19/2011 09:54AM
Re: Der Alte's Character Volker Erich Kummrow 05/01/2011 04:51PM


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