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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

Asa Butterfield , Jack Scanlon , Mark Herman  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,078 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, David Hayman
  • Directors: Mark Herman
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MIRAMAX
  • DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,078 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001N26GFM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,416 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The innocence of childhood savagely collides with the Holocaust in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) knows that his father is a soldier and that they have to move to a new house in the country... a house near what he thinks is a farm. But his father isn't just a soldier; he's a high-ranking officer in Hitler's elite SS troops who's just been placed in command of Auschwitz. As Bruno explores the woods around the house, he discovers the concentration camp's perimeter fence. On the other side sits a boy his own age, with whom Bruno strikes up a friendship--a friendship that will have tragic consequences. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is most powerful in the details: The casual brutality of a Nazi lieutenant; the uncomfortable juxtaposition of the family's domestic life with glimpses of the treatment of the imprisoned Jews; a ghastly propaganda film suggesting that life at Auschwitz was like a holiday. But more than anything else, Butterfield's performance makes this film compelling. The young actor perfectly conveys Bruno's limited perspective even as the film carefully unveils the larger, darker reality. The movie's ending will undoubtedly spark arguments, but only because of the emotional complexity of what happens--The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is made with great skill and compassion. Also featuring David Thewlis (Naked) and Vera Farmiga (The Departed) as Bruno's parents. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

From Miramax Films, the studio that brought you the Academy Award winning LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (Best Foreign Language Film, 1998) comes THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. Based on the best selling novel by John Boyne, it's an unforgettable motion picture experience powerful and moving beyond words (Pete Hammond, Bored and restless in his new home, Bruno, an innocent and naive eight year old, ignores his mother and sets off on an adventure in the woods. Soon he meets a young boy, and a surprising friendship develops. Set during World War II, this remarkable and inspiring story about the power of the human spirit will capture your heart and engage your mind.
Bonus Features include Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary by Writer, Director Mark Herman and Author John Boyne, Friendship Beyond the Fence Featurette, Feature Commentary by Writer, Director Mark Herman and Author John Boyne

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
274 of 283 people found the following review helpful
2008 was a very big year for films adapted from books, with several reaching the high acclaim of Academy Award nominations. One adapted film that didn't get much recognition, however, is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, based on the novel by John Boyne.

The film opens with the following quote emblazoned on the screen: "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows." As the quote suggests, this is a sort of coming of age film, and over the course of 94 minutes,those in the audience slowly watch the innocence of children unravel before their eyes as the reality of what is taking place becomes more and more illuminated.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the story of a family living in Berlin during World War II. The main character, an eight-year-old boy named Bruno (Asa Butterfield), spends his time in Berlin playing with his friends and reading adventure novels. His father, brilliantly played by David Thewlis (most will recognize him as Professor Lupin from the Harry Potter franchise), soon gets a promotion, however, and Bruno, his parents, and his sister move to the German countryside where his father will take up his new position. Unlike their time in Berlin, Bruno's parents are careful to keep their son close to home, and Bruno, an explorer and adventurer at heart, is confined to the small fenced area surrounding their house.

From his bedroom window, Bruno can see what he thinks is a strange farm off in the distance. He notices that the "farmers" act strangely and wear strange "pajamas" while they work. Later, he notices that the smokestacks on the farm give off an absolutely wretched stench when they are burning.
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137 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good, thought-provoking film. February 6, 2009
After I read the novel by John Boyne and heard the news that a movie adaption was currently in theatres, I was slightly scared that the film would be too extreme and dramatic for me, because I don't do well at all with films that scare me or make me sad- and thinking about the plot of the book, I knew watching a movie version would tear me to pieces.
But, as it happened, my school went on a field trip to see the movie a few weeks after I finished the book, and I ended up having to watch the whole movie through and write a report comparing and contrasting it from the novel. And guess what?- I sobbed like a baby in front of all my friends.
Although the last parts of the movie are very sad and deeply patronizing, it is overall a very good adaption of the book that caused so much controversy among young readers like me(I'm 15 by the way).
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves 10 Stars September 17, 2011
By Darrell
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
By Darrell Stoddard,

This emotionally wrenching film deserves 10 Stars. Changed my life forever and a major part of my life was spent in motion pictures. The movie will change your life everlastingly too if you open your heart to a simple fictional story of a little German boy who befriends a Jewish boy through the barbed wire fence of a concentration camp.

My heart was ripped out, but I will be a more loving, gracious, forgiving person for having seen this sensitive and also horrifying motion picture. YES, as the reviewers have said: It is "historically inaccurate to the extreme." "It is total fiction." It is "ridiculously contrived." It is "all too absurd." It is "hard to swallow." It is "forced and artificial," and "The actors have British accents instead of German."

One critic posed the question, "Did Bruno's father in the end get what he deserved?" Such moralizing and such criticisms of the film make me wonder if those viewers of the film missed the unanswered questions of the Holocaust. How could it happen? How could so many good people allow it to happen?

The most insightful reviewer said, "What is appalling to me is reading all of the one-star reviews. I now see how the holocaust (shoah) could have taken place. All that is necessary is for a nation to be composed of and ruled by people with no feelings, bereft of human compassion and sensitivity, just like several of the reviewers here."

Great Art (even fiction) reveals to us "things as they really are". Through Bruno and his mother, we see through the eyes of Germans who were totally innocent until they came face to face with with the horrors of the "final solution.
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie February 16, 2009
I know that many movie critics bombed this movie, but you really need to decide for yourself.

I thought this movie was very well made, the acting was excellent, and the story was very intriguing. I have read the book the movie is based from, and the movie follows the book very closely.

I have to say my favorite part of the movie is the music - the soundtrack is amazing! It was made by the same composer that did the soundtrack for Titanic and Braveheart, to name a few.

Be prepared for a shocking ending - some don't like it, but I did. I think it's a realistic approach to the Holocaust - not every story has a happy ending.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Shaking Stars August 20, 2009
I knew I would hate THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS - but I knew I had to see it. I finally did. I sat on the edge of a chair for the entire viewing and shivered at what has happened and what could so easily happen again. I remember seeing SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993), walking out saying to my husband, "We must see that all of our grandchildren have a copy of this before we die."

Somehow you don't want to remember these things that must never be forgotten!

At the end of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, I did not speak and could not think. It took perhaps 48 hours before I could "begin" to think clearly. I cannot tell you the end - it would be wrong - but you must see it. And, right after I purchase SCHINDLER'S LIST for all 15 of our grandchildren, I will need to purchase another 15 copies of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.

Saint Ambrose of Milan once said: "Not only for every idle word, but for every idle silence shall we be called to account." These two movies mentioned here need to be in every library known to man. Don't miss seeing THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS and know it could be your son, your grandson or your great grandson.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars superb movie.
Visually beautiful, terrific historical drama. Excellent acting...I'm not sure I've ever seen a better performance from an 8 year old, acting like an actual 8 year old. Read more
Published 2 hours ago by C. C. Barrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie
Published 2 hours ago by IveyRod
4.0 out of 5 stars but very sad ending.
Very well done story , but very sad ending.
Published 3 hours ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The suspense could of been way better.
Published 4 hours ago by Refugio Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was an excellent, powerful movie. I would recommend it to everyone!
Published 6 hours ago by Kenneth P Woodlock
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Didn't work
Published 7 hours ago by Adam Levine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed this DVD so much- have passed it around to so many friends that have enjoyed it also!
Published 1 day ago by Wanda Rabalais
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad ending.
Very we'll done. Sad ending.
Published 1 day ago by debra Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Movie, sad ending...
Interesting and sad ending... This movie I believe was rated either PG13 or 14... anyway, I had seen it before and I thought it was appropriate for MY 8 year old grandson to... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Lisa Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars A must watch movie!
What an incredible movie. The boy playing the German is so believable and adorable. You really do care for him. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Meredee
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Not as far as I know. I checked on and there is not even a search result for it yet.§ion=movies&keyword=the+boy+in+the+striped+pajamas&searchbutton.x=0&searchbutton.y=0
Apr 28, 2009 by Ben Kelley |  See all 2 posts
Waxing Poetic.... Be the first to reply
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