In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain's uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he is trying to escape from.
The Captain follows Willi Herold (Max Hubacher), a German army deserter who stumbles across an abandoned Nazi captain's uniform during the last, desperate weeks of the Third Reich. Newly emboldened by the allure of a suit that he stole only to stay warm, Willi discovers that many Germans will follow the leader, whosoever that happens to be. A parade of fresh atrocities follow in the self-declared captain's wake, and serve as a profound reminder of the consequences of social conformity and untrammeled political power. Simultaneously a historical docudrama, a tar-black comedy, and a sociological treatise, The Captain presents fascism as a pathetic pyramid scheme, a system to be gamed by the most unscrupulous and hollow-souled.Written by
Music Box Films
It was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. See more »
Some German soldiers have a skull painted on their helmet. This specific type of skull decal was used by a Finnish army unit (1st battalion, infantry regiment 46) in the continuation war 1941-1944. A famous colorized photo of three Finnish soldiers in a trench wearing this sort helmet decal of is often incorrectly associated with Germans or the SS. See more »
The end credits show "Task Force Herold" marching through present day Germany and interrogating unsuspecting civilians. See more »
The most interesting and crazy part of Der Hauptmann is that it is based on a true story. Crazy as you can witness how quickly the hunted can be come the hunter. You could say he only tried to survive but the truth is that Willi Herold quickly became the person he was fleeing from and that he took some sadistic pleasure in it. Max Hubacher did a great job playing Willi Herold. Black and white movies are normally not really my thing but in this case it perfectly worked. Only one color shot was made towards the end. There are some disturbing scenes in The Captain but then again it's a war movie about Nazis so no surprise there. All the actors did a great job playing their characters, from victims to butchers. There are some satirical moments that did work in this context. An interesting but most of the time cruel story well shot.
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