The Captain of Köpenick (1997)

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Original title The captain of Koepenick
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1997
length 100 minutes
Director Frank Beyer
script Wolfgang Kohlhaase
production Horst Meyer
for Hannover Film GmbH
music Peter Gotthardt
camera Eberhard Geick
cut Clarissa Ambach

The Captain von Köpenick is a German tragic comedy from 1997. The film is an adaptation of the play of the same name by Carl Zuckmayer . Harald Juhnke already played the role of the captain in the Maxim Gorki Theater .

It was first broadcast on television on August 31, 1997, and on September 26, 1997, the ARD production was also shown at a film festival in Hamburg. The tragic comedy was shot in Wolfenbüttel and at Köpenick Town Hall .


In 1896, the shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt was released from prison and unsuccessfully looked for work. Without a permanent place of residence, he cannot find a job, but as a previously convicted person without a job, he does not get a residence permit. He tries in vain to register in his home village outside Berlin. Eventually he breaks into a police station with an accomplice to get a passport with which he could leave the country. They are caught by an accident and Voigt has to go back to prison. There he behaves well and learns, among other things, the military regulations. After his release, he stayed with his sister and her husband, but was expelled from the Berlin area as a former convict. Thereupon he obtained a captain's uniform from a second-hand dealer and took over a detached guard, with whose help he occupied the town hall of Köpenick and arrested the mayor, allegedly on the orders of the emperor. The employees of the city administration including the police submit to the supposed captain, and the mayor is brought to Berlin as a prisoner. A few days later, Voigt surrenders to the authorities, who are feverishly looking for the wrong captain. At first the detectives laugh at the prank, but then Voigt is shown the legal consequences. He was sent back to prison, but was soon pardoned by the emperor and given a passport.


“Solid (TV) film adaptation of the tragic comedy by Carl Zuckmayer, which - based on a true story - targets German militarism and cadaver obedience and satirizes obedience to the authorities. Harald Juhnke is convincing in a character role. "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Captain von Koepenick. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed August 5, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used