The Original

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In 1981, DAS BOOT was the most expansive and expensive German film ever made. At a cost of about 30 million Deutsche Marks (about $40 million US in today's dollars), a 250-man crew worked for two years and exposed more than a million feet of film before the epic was completed.

The film was based on the haunting memoirs of war correspondent Lothar-Günther Buchheim, who wrote first-hand about the previously unknown lives of the young men who lived together in the cramped, metal tubes of U-boats, hoping against hope to survive.

For Wolfgang Petersen, the success of the film hinged on one thing: absolute, authentic realism. Petersen wanted to literally transport audiences into the day-to-day life of a typical U-boat crew- a life of no privacy, pressing claustrophobia and moments of explosive action. In order to do so, Petersen and his crew needed to recreate a U-boat and come up with a way to shoot a film set entirely in a narrow, metal tube.

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