Der Hauptmann und Sein Held (1955)

Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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Der Hauptmann und Sein Held (The Captain and His Hero) is based on a stage play by Claus Hubalek. The Captain, a fellow named Eisenhecker (Ernst Schroder), is an officer in the Germany army during WWII. The "Hero" is feckless 18-year-old private Paul Kellermann (Jo Herbst). Tired of being the company patsy, Kellermann begins jockeying for the Iron Cross. Before long, he is the idol of all his fellow soldiers -- not to mention Captain Eisenhecker. Alas, this doesn't make him a better person, as the rest of the film proves all too well. As in many German films of the period, the humor in Der Hauptmann und Sein Held is often harsh and cruel -- and as such might play better today than it did back in 1955.