The true story of shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt, who is released from prison after many years of hard labor only to find himself in the midst of a Prussian catch-22: To get a residence permit (passport), he must have a job, but he can only get a job if he already has a residence permit. No one in the Prussian-German bureaucracy of 1906 feels compelled to help him: Everything must go by the book! Out of desperation, Voigt breaks into a police station to steal the permit but is caught and again goes to jail. The prison warden loves everything military and has the prisoners re-enact famous battles. Once Voigt is released he has a deep knowledge of military uniforms, military ranks and military speak that he can use to his advantage. In Berlin he buys a used captain's uniform, puts it on and marches towards a platoon of soldiers standing guard. He commands them to follow him to Koepenick, a suburb of Berlin. He is so convincing they follow his orders! Once they arrive he has the soldiers stage ...
Did You Know?
Completed as 'Passport to Heaven' in 1941, but unable to find a distributor due to the outbreak of World War II, which made its German settings and characterizations unpalatable to the American public; eventually picked up by Film Classics in 1945, but received few bookings, probably for the same reason; the only review it ever received was in Exhibitor Magazine in July 1946, who also commented on this same problem; eventually picked up for television release by NTA in the 1950's, but only infrequently shown. See more