Captain From Koepenick, The

2556. THE CAPTAIN OF (FROM) KOEPEN1CK (1956-Germany) COLOR. With HEINZ RUHMANN. There is no more scathing satire of Prussian militarism than this true-life story of a humble cobbler who became a national folk hero. As the scenario unfolds, Wilhelm Voigt (nicely played by fabled German character actor Heinz Ruhmann) is unable to find work at his trade because he lacks the proper permit and residency papers. In order to obtain those papers, he requires a passport from his birthplace. However, his hometown government has destroyed his file, so he cannot obtain a passport through that route. As Voigt drowns in bureaucratic red tape, he begins to realize that the only way he ever will obtain a passport is through illegal means. In his desperation, he dons an old uniform of the Imperial Prussian Guards and schemes to take command of the city of Koepenick to demand a passport. Simply by wearing the uniform, he is able to assemble a brigade of soldiers in Berlin and direct them to follow him to Koepenick. There, he places the mayor under arrest and withdraws a fortune from the municipal bank. The incident, which actually occurred in 1906, proved to be quite an embarrassing footnote in Prussian military history. The result is a film that is intelligent and poignant as well as amusing entertainment that points a guilty finger at those who blindly follow any apparent authority figure. In German with English subtitles. 93 minutes Satire