The Threepenny Opera (The Criterion Collection)

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The sly melodies of composer Kurt Weill and the daring of dramatist Bertolt Brecht come together onscreen under the direction of German auteur G.W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box) in this classic adaptation of the Weimar-era theatrical sensation. Set in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera follows underworld antihero Mackie Messer (a.k.a. Mack the Knife) as he tries to woo Polly Peachum and elude the authorities. With its palpable evocation of corruption and dread, Pabst’s Threepenny Opera remains a benchmark of early sound cinema. It is presented here in both its celebrated German and rare French versions.

Note: The aspect ratio of this production is 1.19:1. This specifc ratio is particularly rare as it was used only in Germany prior to World War II, and has not been widely used since.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lotte Lenya, Rudolf Forster
  • Directors: G.W. Pabst
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White, Dolby, Digital Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • ASIN: B000SFJ4KE
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Customer Reviews


 on December 2, 2017
By Lucy E. Hurley
Why is this movie so great? I’ll try to explain five of the reasons.

the restoration is simply excellent. Also the documentary about the film was a …

 on July 21, 2017
By Peter Downes
Considering the film had b been made in 1931, the restoration is simply excellent. Also the documentary about the film was a most welcome bonus.

Five Stars

 on October 8, 2016
By david potter
this could never be baqd

Five Stars

 on September 6, 2016
By Ed Diamond
very interesting.

A classic that endures

 on October 15, 2013
By krystalbird
Yes, the music is quite different. I had a need to revisit this because its tunes kept popping into my head. This is an excellent version that I recommend to anyone interested in the story or the stars.

Five Stars

 on May 18, 2016
By Amazon Customer

Wonderful collection…

4 people found this helpful.
 on November 16, 2007
By Robert Perrey
Years ago there was a film version of “Three Penny” cobbled together from release prints. This edition was put together from original negatives. Excellent visuals and sound, in German and French versions. This famous film is definitely different than the stage version, but has its own charm an power.

Interesting adaptation.

 on July 26, 2014
By Arthur Runyan
Very interesting take on the story with a completely different ending than the stage version.

A great find

 on March 6, 2013
By Daniel Biehl
I’ve had the stereo album of die dreigroschenoper for many many years, and didn’t know about the film until finding it here. Thanks!

Please Buy This

17 people found this helpful.
 on August 28, 2007
By moe armstrong
I saw this on an obscure VHS tape. Fantastic. Never had I seen Brecht done so well. Smooth and Jagged. This film was haunting me for years. Never thought that I could see it again. Wham!!!! Criterion does it again. I am sure that the picture will be great. I have yet to purchase on dismal video image from Criterion.

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