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The Tunnel

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anti-communist East German swimming champion Harry Melchior (Heino Ferch) narrowly escapes the Communist regime just after the Berlin Wall is completed, and is determined to rescue his beloved sister, whom he was forced to leave behind.

Amazon.com

A gripping escape plan provides the narrative spine to The Tunnel, an exciting Cold War story. This film fictionalizes the true story of the digging of a 430-foot tunnel running under the Berlin Wall in 1964, as tunnel rats on the west side labor to find a way out for friends and family in the Communist East. The principals are led by a famous German swimmer (the excellent Heino Ferch, sort of the German Bruce Willis), whose sister is trapped in East Berlin. Juicy characters abound, including some compromised East Berliners and unlikely heroes on the West side. Also incorporated into this story is an American TV news crew shooting the digging as it goes along. Director Roland Suso Richter shot The Tunnel for television and if it is somewhat artless, it still grabs the viewer in irresistible suspense--and sustains the tension for 167 minutes. Like its heroes, this film is dogged and emotionally committed. --Robert Horton


Special Features

  • Making-of Featurette (25 minutes)
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Heino Ferch, Nicolette Krebitz, Sebastian Koch, Alexandra Maria Lara, Claudia Michelsen
  • Directors: Roland Suso Richter
  • Writers: Johannes W. Betz
  • Producers: Alicia Remirez, Ariane Krampe, Madeleine Remy, Nico Hofmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AOEPKC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Tunnel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By En Trance VINE VOICE on February 22, 2006
Format: DVD
This made for German television epic story of several people attempting to help their friends, families, and loved ones escape from East Berlin to free West Berlin. It is based on a true story, and in the DVD extras, you actually get to meet the real man responsible for the story in this film, whose name was slightly changed for the movie.

Popular German actor Heino Ferch gives a superb performance as the leader of a group of tunnel diggers, determined to get their loved ones out of the Communist side of Berlin, just after the Berlin Wall was built. For Ferch's character, Harry, it's his beloved sister, for Harry's friend Matthis, it's his spouse, and for the young girl Fritzi, who the group are quite suspisious of, it's her fiance' who is currently building the wall, but desperately wants out. There are many others helping, who don't necessarily have loved ones to help escape, including the American, Vic, who despite his leg injury, is just as determined as the rest, and even takes some of the biggest risks in the film.

The performances throughout the entire cast are top notch, and while there isn't a ton of action until the end, the tense atmosphere of the film really keeps you glued to the set. The emotions in the film are high, and the bonds between Harry and his sister, Lotte, and Matthis and his wife Carola, are so realistically portrayed, that it's easy to see why they are going through months and months of digging to get these people out.

The 167 minutes seem like they flew on by, and I could have gone on watching more of these intriguing characters. It's better than any other spy or war thrillers released in any country over the last several years. Hard to believe it was made for German TV, as it blows away several big screen productions. The direction, cinematography, script, and choice of actors cannot be faulted, and the only fault would be if you miss this gripping film.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Digby on November 17, 2005
Format: DVD
For all you fans of cold war movies and spy thrillers....look no further. This is the movie we've been waiting for. Set in Berlin in 1961-62 this film is intense and thrilling. The viewer doesn't know what's going to happen right up until the end. This ranks to me, as one of the top spy/espionage/thriller movies of all time, side by side with "Day of the Jackal". All Star performances all around by the cast....especially the three female leads. This is a MUST purchase.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on September 27, 2007
Format: DVD
There have been some superb movies coming out of Germany over the past couple of years. Reunification seems to have unleashed a wellspring of creative, complex looks at what was going on inside the country during World War II and during the period where the country was riven into two parts, East and West. Head-On and The Lives of Others are among the best five movies I've ever seen. Other standouts include Downfall and Good Bye, Lenin!. I've even enjoyed softer fare like Mostly Martha (although steer clear of 'No Reservations', the off-target Catherine Zeta-Jones remake) and the inimitable Run Lola Run.

"The Tunnel" ranks among the best of these.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Kanigan VINE VOICE on December 27, 2008
Format: DVD
Film is based on a true story. It is set in 1961-1962 after the GDR (German Democratic Republic) erected the Berlin Wall and closed the border between the communist and democratic parts of East and West Berlin. Residents of East Berlin were barred from entering the west. Harry Melchior, a German swimming champion, who fled to West Berlin, was determined to help his sister Lotte and her family escape. Melchior and other passionate Germans on a similar mission of trying to get family or loved ones across - plot and begin to execute on their action plan.

The movie's principal character, Heino Ferch, who plays Harry Melchior, is superb in his performance as the leader of the group of tunnel diggers - as are the other main characters who are well-casted and believable. (Perhaps all just a bit too good looking to be believable but we'll give the director a pass on this one...)

The movie features terrific visual cinema in the digging of the tunnel and the enormity of the task - the dirt, the claustrophobia, the backsliding, the huge undertaking over months - which could all come apart with informant leaks or capture by the ongoing surveillance by the Secret Police.

Meanwhile, the Stasi (State Security) anticipates that the family members in East Berlin will look to join their family in the West so they are on constant surveillance and they work in their evil ways to turn family member on family member resulting in acts of betrayal, as well as heartbreak and courage.

The movie is long. Almost 3 hours. But the pace, plot, suspense and tension keep you fully engaged - - cheering on the main characters at the finish. If you like films with griping suspense and "good vs. evil" story lines - you'll like this film.
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