7.2/10
1,101
17 user 5 critic

Jacob the Liar (1974)

Jakob, der Lügner (original title)
A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Beyer

Writers:

Jurek Becker (novel), Jurek Becker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During World War II, an ordinary inhabitant of a ghetto fakes news about Allied offensives to inspire hope for other victims of the Nazi regime.

Director: Peter Kassovitz
Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Paul and Paula have had bad experiences with love: Paul is financially well off but has lost all affection for his wife, and Paula leads a troublesome life raising two children on her own. ... See full summary »

Director: Heiner Carow
Stars: Angelica Domröse, Winfried Glatzeder, Heidemarie Wenzel
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and his effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.

Director: Lina Wertmüller
Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

As rumors reach them that the Allied armies are advancing on their concentration camp at Buchenwald, Polish prisoners renew their feeble hope for survival and freedom. When a group of ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Beyer
Stars: Erwin Geschonneck, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Krystyn Wójcik
Drama | Action | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Her youth has been spent working for a farm family, being raped by father and son, marrying the son who has now left her a happy widow. She is happy because World War I is over and she is ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Granier-Deferre
Stars: Alain Delon, Simone Signoret, Ottavia Piccolo
Noce i dnie (1975)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An epic saga of the Niechcic family, told from a woman's perspective. In 1914 in the war-torn Kaliniec, Barbara Niechcic remembers her youthful love, marriage hardships, family life in the countryside and finally her husband's death.

Director: Jerzy Antczak
Stars: Jadwiga Baranska, Jerzy Binczycki, Emir Buczacki
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Jean Carmet, Jacques Dufilho, Catherine Rouvel
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Tensions arise in a Gypsy community when a local feather seller falls in love with a much younger girl.

Director: Aleksandar Petrovic
Stars: Bekim Fehmiu, Olivera Katarina, Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic
Live for Life (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Robert Colomb, a famous TV newscaster, is married to Catherine, but is continually unfaithful. He is about to replace his current mistress, Mireille, with Jacqueline when he meets, and ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Lelouch
Stars: Yves Montand, Candice Bergen, Annie Girardot
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

"Think of a law, they've broken it. Think of a crime, they've committed it." A tense, tough story of teenage gangs committing acts of robbery, violence, and murder. The leader of the gang ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Tressler
Stars: Horst Buchholz, Karin Baal, Christian Doermer
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A pathetic police chief, humiliated by everyone around him, suddenly wants a clean slate in life - and resorts to drastic means to do so.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Stéphane Audran
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vlastimil Brodský ... Jakob Heym
Erwin Geschonneck ... Kowalski
Henry Hübchen ... Mischa
Blanche Kommerell Blanche Kommerell ... Rosa Frankfurter
Manuela Simon Manuela Simon ... Lina
Dezsö Garas Dezsö Garas ... Frankfurter
Zsuzsa Gordon Zsuzsa Gordon ... Mrs. Frankfurter
Friedrich Richter Friedrich Richter ... Dr. Kirschbaum
Margit Bara ... Josefa
Reimar J. Baur Reimar J. Baur ... Herschel Schtamm
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Roman Schtamm
Hermann Beyer Hermann Beyer ... Wachhabender
Klaus Brasch Klaus Brasch ... Najdorf
Jürgen Hilbrecht Jürgen Hilbrecht ... Schwocj
Paul Lewitt Paul Lewitt ... Horowitz
Edit

Storyline

A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central Europe. In order to keep his companion in misfortune, Mischa, from risking his life for a few potatoes, he tells him what he heard and announces that he is in possession of a radio - in the ghetto a crime punishable by death. It doesn't take long for word of Jakob's secret to spread - suddenly, there is new hope and something to live for - and so Jakob finds himself in the uncomforting position of having to come up with more and more stories. Written by c.winter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Language:

German

Release Date:

17 April 1975 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacob the Liar See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original screenplay was rejected by the East German production company DEFA. Author Jurek Becker published it as a novel, which became a huge success, prompting DEFA to reconsider. See more »

Quotes

Mischa: I just wanted to say to you... I mean... you know... We're all here... I wanted to ask you and your wife, of course...
Jakob Heym: Speak freely, you're not asking for my hand, are you?
Mischa: I'm asking for Rosa's.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Real McCoy
17 March 2001 | by diacadSee all my reviews

One of the legacies of the late GDR (East Germany) is a treasure-trove of cultural productions, much of which has been inaccessible to us. An exception is the 1974 DEFA (GDR successor to pre-1945 Ufa Film Studio) production "Jacob the Liar", which enjoyed a brief exposure in the US in the late '70s, even being nominated for an Academy Award. If you missed it, this is your chance to have it, beautifully transferred to DVD (also another justification for splurging on a DVD player, if you haven't already). Although it can be viewed without, the subtitles (your choice of language)are well-worded and legible.

"Jacob" centers on a man inadvertently finding himself a focus of hope among the doomed in a Polish ghetto. Circumstances have him reluctantly pretending to possess a forbidden radio, which leads to dramatic (and comedic) situations, and even raises moral questions and insights about truth and responsibility in such an adverse context. Billed as a tragic comedy, the acting and pacing of the story are equal to the serious nature of the subject.

Director Frank Beyer's "Jacob" should not be confused with the 1999 Hollywood remake starring the talented (but often glib and facetious) Robin Williams. This Columbia distribution is a sort of roadrunner-cartoon version trying to be profound. It has the frantic pacing and excessive gratuitous violence evidently presumed necessary to put it over. If you must have a Holocaust-era drama that can bear watching more than once, get the real McCoy.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed