The 3 Penny Opera (1931)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Musical


The 3 Penny Opera (1931) Poster

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'.


7.3/10
2,053

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Awards

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User Reviews


4 September 2005 | Spondonman
8
| Life is Money, Food, Sex, Nothing
Sometimes, if I ever feel especially depressed at something going off in the world I like to trot this one out to make me take an even more jaundiced view of things. This surely would be no. 1 in the Top 100 Most Cynical Movies Ever, even after all these years (the simultaneous French version is not so earthy, a more flowery artiness coming out instead). For me, it's the best movie I've seen of Pabst's, most of his post-WW2 stuff has eluded me so far.

The Guild Of Thieves' leader gets married to the Guild of Beggars' leader's daughter, causing friction between the two highly organised and respected professions, but inertia in the police who are in the Thieves' power. Prostitution, aberration, bigamy, thievery, extortion, bribery, corruption (and complete cynically cheerful indifference to it all), you name it it's here - after all it is all that Man can do! Laconic-looking Ernst Busch's searing inter-ditties leave you with the distinct impression that someone was rather tired with the world! The savage sounding German words spew out, whilst reading the English subtitles is sometimes heavy going in digesting all of the conceptual opinions in time to digest the next. Would that Bobby Darin had got his tonsils round a few more of the extraordinary gossamer Brecht/Weill songs from this! Lotte Lenya sparkled doing her Pirate Jenny number, being just a part of my favourite bit in the idling whorehouse.

All of the people involved in 3G are "lost to sight", except to the handful of Artheads who occasionally hold cultural revivals of Weill, Brecht or Pabst. There was a memorable series of events in London in 2000 to mark the 50th anniversary of Weill's death, but 99.99% of the general public passed it by.

Soon we will all be lost to sight too, along with all of our fractious opinions and silly vices.

Critic Reviews


Details

Release Date:

19 October 1956

Language

German


Country of Origin

Germany

Filming Locations

Staaken Studio, Germany

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