U-Boote Westwärts!

U-Boote Westwärts!

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Digitally Remastered on DVD!

U-Boote Westwärts!
(U-Boats Westward!)

Format:  4:9 Standard Size
Sound:  Digital Mono
Running Time: 98 mins.
Language(s):  German dialogue with English subtitles.
DVD Format:  NTSC
Region:  Region 0: Plays in every region
Discs:  One
Studio:  International Historical Films
ISBN:  none issued

Item No. IHF-33185

Directed by Günther Rittau. Starring Herbert Wilk, Heinz Engelmann, Joachim Brennecke.

Surprisingly the Third Reich's film studios produced fewer than twenty pictures that dealt directly with combat during World War 2. Five war films were issued in 1941. The finest of them, U-Boote westwärts, was directed by Günther Rittau, one of cinema's most celebrated cinematographers, who shot four of the greatest motion pictures ever made: Siegfried, Kriemhild's Revenge, Metropolis, and The Blue Angel. It was shot on location in and near Kiel, one of Germany's largest naval ports. It used real U-boats, and its cast featured many real U-boat crewmen, which gave the picture much of its authenticity.

The film set two cinematic firsts. It was the first feature film to be shot inside a real U-boat, which necessitated the construction of special cameras; and it was also the first picture to mount a camera on the outside of a U-boat so as to capture the dramatic vantage points of diving and rising.

To this day, German U-boat veterans revere U-Boote westwärts for its spectacular authenticity. Apart from its innovative achievement of filming inside a real U-boat, the film delivers abundant action, excitement, and suspense, as well as an appearance by Karl Dönitz. At the time this picture was made, he was Hitler's Commander-in-Chief of U-Boats. He succeeded Grossadmiral Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy in January 1943. On 30 April 1945, the day of his death, Adolf Hitler named Dönitz the Führer's successor as Staatsoberhaupt (Head of State), Reichspräsident, and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Intones Dõnitz at the end of the picture: "Fighting means to sacrifice and to win! The fight continues!"


  • Historical Background Narrated Videos (12 min.):
  • "Third Reich Cinema: The Spectacle of U-Boat War in Günther Rittau's U-Boote Westwarts!" By R. Dixon Smith
  • "KARL DÖNITZ: Hitler's Commander of the U-Boats (1933-45) & Chief of the German Navy (1943-45)" By Blaine Taylor
  • Recently Discovered UFA Souvenir Albums (9 min.)
  • UFA Souvenir Presentation Album which was given to the Artists who were in the film (with musical accompaniment)
  • Personal UFA Souvenir Album of Behind-the-scenes photos. (with musical accompaniment)
  • Original Promotional Materials
  • Premiere Invitation & Program
  • UFA Press Book
  • Film-Kurier with English Translations
  • Das Program Von Heute with English Translations
  • Theater Programs & Posters
  • Interactive Scene Selections
  • English Subtitles