Anton the Magician (1978) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Car mechanic Anton Grubske manages to flee from captivity by using his wits. With the same cunning, he succeeds in escaping from a widow who is not only beautiful but also conniving. Anton returns to his village, takes over his master's workshop and marries Liesel, his master's daughter. Anton converts old junk cars into tractors for large-scale landowners, whom he rips off wholesale. He makes use of illegal means and hoards his illegally earned money at home. This, however, does not at all please God-fearing Liesel, who belongs to a sect. For this reason, Anton leaves her and ends up with Sabine, his accomplice. Anton, by means of shady schemes, becomes a millionaire - a fact which, however, lands him in prison. An unpleasant surprise is in store for Anton on the day the Berlin Wall is built, August 13th 1961: Sabine takes off to Switzerland with her daughter and Anton's money which he had deposited at a West Berlin bank. In prison Anton turns activist. After his release, he has no difficulty finding work. He gets an appointment as a spare part procurement officer at a tractor plant and is quickly promoted. Ten years later, Anton unexpectedly regains his lost fortune: Sabine has died and left him 200,000 Swiss Francs in her will. In a fit of high-mindedness and megalomania Anton donates the money to the city, only to fret himself to death about it afterwards. A flamboyant comedy about love, work and money, revealing that the "planned" economy produced some unconventional entrepreneurial methods.


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