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The Captain from Köpenick (1956)

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The Captain from Köpenick
Der Hauptmann von Köpenick
Köpenick 56.jpg
Movie Poster
Country GER.jpg West Germany
Directed by Helmut Käutner
Release Date August 16, 1956
Language German
Studio Real-Film GmbH
Distributor Europa-Filmverleih AG
Main Cast
Character Actor
Wilhelm Voigt
(The "Captain")
Heinz Rühmann
Dr. Obermüller Martin Held
Mathilde Obermüller Hannelore Schroth
Friedrich Hoprecht Willy A. Kleinau
Adolph Wormser Leonard Steckel

The Captain from Köpenick is a 1956 West German movie directed by Helmut Käutner and the second German sound adaptation of the play of the same name by Carl Zuckmayer. It tells the story of the criminal Wilhelm Voigt, who became world-famous for his ingenious coup in October 1906 and takes this coup as the occasion for a critical portrayal of militarism and the subject spirit in the German Empire. However, the story of the incident told in the drama and film is largely fiction. After his release from prison, Wilhelm Voigt decides to finally lead an honest life. In a junk shop, he finds an old captain's uniform. In it, he gives a guard the order to follow him to Köpenick (Berlin) in the town hall, where he arrests the mayor and the city treasurer, to first get a passport in peace. To his great disappointment, he learns that it is not possible to obtain a passport at Köpenick town hall, and so he confiscates the town treasury.

The movie was the first German post-war success in the USA and was nominated for the Oscar in the category Best Foreign Language Film, awarded for the first time in 1957.

The following weapons were used in the film The Captain from Köpenick:


Dreyse Zündnadelgewehr Ö/M

German soldiers march during the opening and the ending with Dreyse Zündnadelgewehr Ö/M (Österreichisches Modell; Austrian model) rifles. These rifles are conversions of the Prussian Dreyse carbine M/57 and the Austrian Lorenz M1854/ II musket which were captured in large numbers in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.

Dreyse Zündnadel-Defensionsgewehr Ö/M - 15.4 mm
German soldiers march with the rifles during the opening.
The same column with the rifles behind Wilhelm Voigt (Heinz Rühmann) and Kallenberg (Wolfgang Neuss). Note the last barrel band in front of the muzzle which is a feature of the Lorenz M1854.
Another column marches with the rifles. The striking angled bolt of the Dreyse is visible.

Chassepot Mle. 1866

The German Gefreiter (Corporal) (Werner Schumacher) and the East Prussian grenadier (Balduin Baas) can be seen carrying French Chassepot 1866 rifles. Recognizable by the smooth receiver that differentiates it from the Gras Model 1874. These two Chassepot rifles keep changing hands throughout the movie.

Fusil Chassepot modèle 1866 - 11mm
The grenadier on the left carries his Chassepot.
The Gefreiter with his Chassepot in the streetcar.
The soldier next to the Gefreiter stands with his Chassepot equipped with an SG 98.
The squad on his way to occupy the town hall. The Chassepot is seen in the center.

Mauser Gewehr 1871/84

The Gewehr 1871/84 with Seitengewehr 98 bayonets is used by German soldiers including the Gefreiter and the East Prussian grenadier.

Infanterie-Gewehr Modell 1871/84 - 11.15x60mmR Mauser
The soldiers of the grenadier's suqad lower their Mausers.
A sentry at the main entrance stops the police inspector (Kurt Klopsch).
A view of the SG 98 between Mathilde and Dr. Obermüller (Martin Held).
"I do not like this!"
The Grenadier stops Mathilde Obermüller (Hannelore Schroth) from using the telephone.
Another German soldier holds the Gewehr while assembling in the great hall.

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