The Captain from Köpenick (1931 film)

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The Captain from Köpenick
Der Hauptmann Oswald.jpg
Directed by Richard Oswald
Produced by Gabriel Pascal
Written by Albrecht Joseph
Carl Zuckmayer (also play)
Starring Max Adalbert
Paul Wagner
Paul Otto
Release date
  • 1931 (1931)
Running time
107 minutes
Country Weimar Republic
Language German

The Captain from Köpenick (German: Der Hauptmann von Köpenick) is a 1931 German comedy film directed by Richard Oswald and produced by Gabriel Pascal. It is one of several films based on the 1931 play by the same name written by Carl Zuckmayer. The story centers on the Hauptmann von Köpenick affair in 1906.


Der Hauptmann von Köpenick is based on a true story that took place in Germany in 1906. A poor cobbler named Wilhelm Voigt 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 film version it's a considerable sum of 4,000 reichsmarks. Voigt's orders were obeyed without question and he temporarily got away with the caper, although he was eventually caught.

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