short takes (1)

While most imports from West Germany tend to be ''art films,'' the latest by Wolfgang Petersen is a rough-and-tumble action picture. Das Boot, simply translated as ''The Boat,'' is the saga of a German submarine during World War II. There aren't many things you can do in a submarine movie, but ''Das Boot'' does them all: the emergency dive, the tensions among the men, the ''psycho'' who ''cracks up,'' the obligatory closeups of the water-pressure gauge, et al.If you liked this sort of thing from Hollywood in the '40s and '50s, this should be right up your alley -- though Petersen throws in a few scatological details and vulgar words with a ''realism'' that old Hollywood never would have tolerated. Such distasteful moments aside, ''Das Boot'' is a throwback, as old-fashioned as it is unpretentious.

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