Slaughterhouse Five

Watch Slaughterhouse Five

"Billy Pilgrim lives —from time to time to time…"
  • R
  • 1972
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 6.8  (13,781)
  • 66

Slaughterhouse Five is a 1972 film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's classic anti-war novel of the same name. Directed by George Roy Hill, the film focuses on the protagonist Billy Pilgrim, an American soldier who experiences time in a non-linear way and must navigate through different periods of his life, including his time as a prisoner of war during World War II.

The film opens with Billy Pilgrim (played by Michael Sacks) being abducted by aliens from a distant planet called Tralfamadore. The film then switches back and forth between different points in Billy's life, including his time as a soldier in World War II, his marriage to his wife Valencia (Sharon Gans), and his experiences with the Tralfamadorians.

Throughout the film, Billy struggles with the guilt and trauma of his experiences in the war, particularly his time at the notorious Dresden bombing, where he was held as a prisoner of war. The brutal and senseless violence of war is portrayed in a graphic and visceral way, leaving a lasting impact on the viewer.

The film also explores themes of free will and fatalism, with Billy's experiences of time suggesting that his fate is predetermined and that he has little control over his life. This is highlighted by the Tralfamadorians' belief that all events in time are happening simultaneously, and that death is merely a momentary blip in the grand scheme of things.

The supporting cast includes Ron Leibman as Paul Lazzaro, a fellow soldier who holds a grudge against Billy, and Eugene Roche as Edgar Derby, a kindly older soldier who befriends Billy in the POW camp.

One of the film's strengths is its striking visual style, with director George Roy Hill using a variety of techniques to convey the fragmented, dreamlike quality of Billy's experiences. Jump cuts, superimpositions, and slow-motion sequences are used to great effect, creating an eerie and surreal atmosphere.

Another notable aspect of the film is its use of dark humor. While Slaughterhouse Five deals with heavy subject matter, Vonnegut's trademark wry wit is present throughout. Moments of levity are interspersed with the more disturbing scenes, providing a welcome respite from the bleakness of war.

Overall, Slaughterhouse Five is a thought-provoking and powerful film that deals with some of the most difficult and important issues of our time. Its timeless message about the horrors of war and the fragility of human life resonates just as strongly today as it did when the film was first released.

Slaughterhouse Five is a 1972 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 66.

Slaughterhouse Five
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (13,781)
  • Metascore