Das Boot is a World War II war film showing the experiences of German sailors operating a U-Boat in the Atlantic Ocean; the film was written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen and released around the world by Columbia Pictures. various versions of Das Boot, or The Boat in its English translation have been released ranging in length from a 149 minute theatrical version to a 293 minute uncut version of the movie. Das Boot is famous for the majority of the scenes featuring the crew operating the submarine at sea being filmed inside the sub to add to the sense of claustrophobia felt by some of the characters.
The crew of U-96 begins the movie gathering in the French port town of La Rochelle where the U-boat base for the Atlantic Ocean is located; the battle hardened crew, headed by Jurgen Prochnow's Captain greet the new recruits to the boat with derision and hostility. Amongst the new arrivals is a war correspondent, Werner who has been sent to report on the activities of a U-boat in the Atlantic during 1941. U-96 sets out to hunt down British ships carrying supplies to Germany's enemy and destroy them before they can reach the British Isles.
weeks of boredom follow as the submarine fails to find any British ships; finally the crew engage in battle, but run from the British convoy when they begin dropping depth charges. More time is spent hunting ships until finally U-96 finds a convoy of four ships and sinks two; morale rises as the crew finally feel they are achieving something. Ordered into the Straits of Gibraltar, a heavily guarded area controlled by the British Royal Navy U-96 is spotted almost immediately; U-96 almost sinks before hitting an underwater shelf as it is about to be destroyed by building pressure beneath the sea. The crew must find a way to escape from the sea and return to La Rochelle. Das Boot was famous for its realism, aided by employing former German U-boat officers as consultants during filming.