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Jakob The Liar

6.51 h 55 min1999X-Ray12
Robin Williams is Jakob, a poor Jewish cafe owner in Nazi occupied Poland in 1944. He is just trying to survive the horrors of the German atrocities surround him, when he is stopped past curfew one night, he hears a report on the radio of Russian Forces getting closer to liberating the death camps. Excited, he reports the news to his close circle of friends, suggesting that this information cam..
Peter Kassovitz
Robin WilliamsJonathan SchaechArmin Mueller-Stahl
None Available
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Supporting actors
Alan ArkinMark MargolisMichael Jeter
Steven Haft
Columbia Pictures
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.5 out of 5 stars

424 global ratings

  1. 70% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

F.T.FReviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
This film is a sweet gem
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Based on the novel by Jurek Becker in 1969, this is the 2nd of 2 films made.

The film carries a heavy wieght of burden from the Jewish ghettos imposed by German rule in Poland. But the story carries it off well.
Opening with dark humour, the daft but cute rumour of a forbidden radio spreads throught the enhabitants.
What seems a hopeless plight becomes a burning light in the hearts of young and old.
The deliveries were somewhat strained if not paradied at times, but the script carried enough drive to get the slightly haphazard direction and editing through to the end.
The serious moments were handled well and gave a very strong contrast to that of it's lighter humourous chit chat. I could see this format was based on the old Ealing comedy style
of films, but the timing was a tad out. What with Jacob constantly talking out his thoughts, the film came across more of a stage play, explaining the consequence of the plot, than of a movie.

However, this film is a sweet gem. The young actress is stunningly good, giving both an emotionally fraught and innocently bright performance. The tale and grand meleu of characters makes for a fabulous base in which their splendid colours are well used as a pallet on a hoplessly dark canvas.

The film's lack of dynamics in the dialogue and story pace is made up for by the impending bleek future of everyone in the unfolding final scenes.

This is a worthy film in the library of oppressed Jewish peoples and how humans can be so cruel with no moral reasoning.

It's also one of the few films that was so rediculously cheap the postage appears horribly extortionate !
PiccasoReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 March 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Highly Under-Rated!!!!
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Here is yet another much under-rated Robin Williams movie - Why? My theory is the subject matter. It is set during World War II and focuses on a community of Polish Jews with Poland under German occupation. It has humour, it has sadness, there are probably moments that will bring bad painful memories for some - especially those who were perhaps young children at the time and were fortunate enough to survive. Or anyone who has experienced something like this at any time in their lives; no matter where they are in the World!

Yes, they must have been terrible times, but back then communities were stronger, people cared more about each other and helped each other and there was humour too and life went on in spite of it all. See this for what it is - a great movie with a very clever and uplifting story. It also has a great lead character and a strong and impressive supporting cast. What would it cost you to watch it?
4 people found this helpful
Zdenek HanzlikReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 July 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Meaningful movie
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How to love the tragedy Robbin Williams in his very serious role . We sometimes suffer from phony Holocaust propaganda but let's try to see beyond inside the case story and intent, where suffering of people is absurd experience as Westbank Crossing for Palestinians, un-necessary experience of ppoverty and dominance . To Interpolate this Gheto to Gaza and West Bank environment where people are cut off from Humanity as Jews were in the time what this Movie documents. Great Movie .
Mr. D. RyanReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 July 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Food for thought.
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Anyone wishing to write a story about human suffering has to tread carefuly, especially when a lot of the history is sometimes misunderstood by people. however this movie has managed to overcome the facts of historical events so as not to seem like a documentary or just another holocaust film. it focuses on one man and his story. very well done, great acting by Robin Williams. sometimes humourous in the face of advercity, but always respectful, soul searching in places. I would certainly reccomend this for anyone who feels they are missing out in life, perhaps our problems aren't so bad after all.
9 people found this helpful
lady annaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 March 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
recommended to watch
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This really is an ok dvd.Wanted to watch it for a while and was fine with my decision.The story of a Jew locked in a ghetto,who invents stories to make those horrendous times a teeny bit better.Unfortunately, his lies take over and he finds himself having to tell more and more lies to cover up the previous ones[doesn't any liar??].A good film with some decent acting.I didn't expect the ending----obviously not going to say!!I would say to anyone 'take a look' I am sure you wont be disappointed.
4 people found this helpful
Mrs p wilsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
jakob the liar
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jakob the liar is a movie about ww2 a little girl get and a man jakob how looks after her and as to hide her from the germans before the war ended a really good film to watch
Crazy HorseReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
The story spreads so fast...
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Absolutely brilliant film! I only came across this film by chance, I'd never heard of it. It's both moving, sad and funny. Robin Williams gives a great performance as Jacob, god rest his soul. The whole film for me was a joy to watch, great story set in a tragic period of our history. A must see.
5 people found this helpful
Shirley EReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 December 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
... the even grimmer reality behind it this is a fantastic film and really quite comical in parts
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Despite the grim setting and the even grimmer reality behind it this is a fantastic film and really quite comical in parts. Robin Williams is superb as the Jewish prison camp inmate who overhears news that an Allied invasion is imminent and spreads the word as a glimmer of hope.This leads his fellow prisoners to think he has a radio - certainly punishable by death - but he finds himself under pressure to use the imaginary radio. Liev Schreiber is brilliant as the inmate who keeps dropping him in it. This is not an easy watch - holocaust stories rarely are - but it is worthwhile and memorable.
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