6.9/10
11,307
103 user 47 critic

Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)

A man named Billy Pilgrim tells the story of how he became unstuck in time and was abducted by aliens.

Director:

George Roy Hill

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (novel), Stephen Geller (screenplay)
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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Sacks ... Billy Pilgrim
Ron Leibman ... Paul Lazzaro
Eugene Roche ... Edgar Derby
Sharon Gans Sharon Gans ... Valencia Merble Pilgrim
Valerie Perrine ... Montana Wildhack
Holly Near ... Barbara Pilgrim
Perry King ... Robert Pilgrim
Kevin Conway ... Roland Weary
Friedrich von Ledebur ... German Leader (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Ekkehardt Belle ... Young German Guard (as Nick Belle)
Sorrell Booke ... Lionel Merble
Roberts Blossom ... Wild Bob Cody
John Dehner ... Prof. Rumfoord
Gary Waynesmith Gary Waynesmith ... Stanley
Richard Schaal ... Howard W. Campbell Jr.
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Storyline

Using his own terminology, Billy Pilgrim is "unstuck in time", which means he is moving between different points in his life uncontrollably, although he is aware of it at certain of those points as witnessed by the letter to the editor he writes to the Ilium Daily News about his situation. Primarily, he is moving between three general time periods and locations. The first is his stint as a GI during WWII, when, as a pacifist, he was acting as a Chaplain's assistant for his unit. This time is largely as a POW, where he was in Dresden the day of the bombing, spending it with among others an older compassionate GI named Edgar Derby, and a brash loudmouth GI named Paul Lazzaro. The second is his life as an optometrist in Ilium in upstate New York, eventually married to the wealthy and overbearing Valencia Merble, and having two offspring, Robert, who would spend his teen-aged years as a semi-delinquent, and Barbara, who would end up much like her mother. And the third is as an abductee on... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Man Becomes Unstuck In Time In The Film That Became A Classic. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matadero cinco See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario - edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Howard Campbell Jr. appears in the film and speaks to the American P.O.W.s before the bombing of Dresden. Vonnegut wrote an entire novel about this character called "Mother Night", later made into a film by Keith Gordon starring Nick Nolte as this same character. See more »

Goofs

When the English soldiers are welcoming the American POW's to the mess hall, Paul Lazzaro is seen sitting down to eat, but in the next shot he's standing up putting a safety razor in his jacket pocket. See more »

Quotes

Paul Lazzaro: He's a kraut.
Roland Weary: He don't look like one.
Billy Pilgrim: I'm not, I'm an American.
Paul Lazzaro: Prove it
[finger in Billy's face]
Roland Weary: [to Billy] Who plays third for the Tigers?
Billy Pilgrim: The Tigers?
Roland Weary: The Detroit Tigers...
Billy Pilgrim: [no answer]
Paul Lazzaro: [to Roland] Who is it?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Blood Pact: The Making of 'Blade II' (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Goldberg variations, BWV 988 - Variation No. 25 a 2 clav. Adagio
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Glenn Gould, Piano
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User Reviews

 
One of the best
5 March 2005 | by mike-1230See all my reviews

There is a definite 70s feel to this production of a book that does an amazing job of spanning the most fascinating period of American history -- 1945-1970. I first saw this film in 1986 as a late teen at the height of Regan America, the cold war, nuclear detente. Billy Pilgram was the beginning of that world that I was just starting to pay attention to. The movie had a really profound effect on me at the time. Reading the book afterwards and getting into his other books, didn't detract at all from my assessment of the movie adaptation. Even seeing it now many years later doesn't detract from an amazingly solid film. The transitions as Billy gets unstuck in time are some of my favorite movie images. Also beautiful is the music which totally turned me on to Glenn Gould.


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