7.3/10
53
2 user 1 critic

The Captain from Köpenick (1931)

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (original title)
A poor cobbler named Wilhelm Voigt purchased the second-hand uniform of a Prussian infantry captain. Wearing this, he traveled to the borough of Köpenick and ordered a troop of guardsmen to... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Oswald
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Adalbert ... Wilhelm Voigt
Ernst Dernburg Ernst Dernburg ... Entlassungsbeamter
Willi Schur Willi Schur ... Kalle
Paul Wagner Paul Wagner ... Hauptmann von Schlettow
Hermann Vallentin ... Schneider Adolph Wormser
Emil Wabschke Emil Wabschke ... Wabschke
Peter Wolff Peter Wolff ... Willy, Wormsers Sohn
Fritz Beckmann Fritz Beckmann ... Schustermeister
Arthur Mainzer Arthur Mainzer ... Prokurist Knell
Heinrich Marlow Heinrich Marlow ... Revierkommissar
Heinz Sarnow Heinz Sarnow ... Dr. Jellinek (as Heinz Sarno)
Edith Karin Edith Karin ... Ploeroesenmieze
Gerhard Bienert ... Gardegrenadier
Viktor Franz Viktor Franz ... Alterer Zivilist
Henry Pleß Henry Pleß ... Schutzmann, Cafe National
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Storyline

A poor cobbler named Wilhelm Voigt purchased the second-hand uniform of a Prussian infantry captain. Wearing this, he traveled to the borough of Köpenick and ordered a troop of guardsmen to place themselves under his command. He then declared the town hall to be under military law, ordering the arrest of the mayor and treasurer and confiscating all the funds in the bank.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

22 December 1931 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Captain from Köpenick See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roto Film, G.P. Film GmbH See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Captain from Köpenick (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You VILL obey orders, ja?

'The Captain of Köpenick' is a true story that could only have happened in Germany, where the authority of a uniform was (and still is?) obeyed without question.

In 1906, an obscure Tilsiter cobbler named Wilhelm Voigt (1849-1922) purchased the second-hand uniform of a Prussian infantry captain. Wearing this, he travelled to the borough of Köpenick and ordered a troop of guardsmen to place themselves under his command. He then declared the town hall to be under military law, ordering the arrest of the mayor and treasurer and confiscating all the funds in the exchequer. (In this version it's 4,000 deutschemarks, a tidy sum.) None of Voigt's orders were questioned, and he got away with the dosh. When he was eventually caught, the German people regarded Voigt's imposture as a jolly hoax that pricked the pomposity of petty bureaucrats. Although Voigt was clearly motivated by unlawful financial gain, he emerged from the affair as a folk hero.

This film is based on a stage adaptation of the original incident; I can't vouch for its accuracy. Some of the incidents here seem a bit far-fetched, but I accept that the original incident happened similarly to what we see here (although surely there weren't so many women involved). The movie is a comedy, and succeeds on that level. I was especially impressed with the performance of Fritz Odemar as the apoplectic treasurer. Still, in one sense this subject is no laughing matter. Let's recall what was the ultimate result of the Germans' penchant for mindless obedience to authority figures. This story was funny in 1931, but a few years later nobody in Germany would be laughing. More as an artefact of its time than for its merits as a comedy, I'll rate this movie 7 out of 10.


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