The Hunt for the Boot

(Die Jagd nach dem Stiefel)

GDR, 1962, 82 min, b&w
In German; no subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Production Company


Berlin, 1932: In a worker’s quarter, a Communist Pioneer leader is found battered to death. Instead of investigating the case, the police try pin the murder on the dead man's Communist friends, eventually arresting his comrade Kurt Büttner.


To prove his father's innocence, Büttner’s twelve-year old son Jack begins to investigate the case with the help of his Pioneer friends.  A boot print and a Nazi newspaper left at the crime scene provide him with evidence he needs to trace the real murderer.


Based on the book by Max Zimmering.


The Hunt for the Boot, one of DEFA's early youth films, uses the medium of a tense and exciting crime story to help contemporary youth relate to this era of German history. The film incorporates lots of local color, yielding an authentic portrayal of everyday life in the Berlin milieu and of the attitudes and sentiments of the population at this time.


In order to make the demands of shooting more manageable for the film's young actors, director Konrad Petzold cast twins Mathias and Wolfgang Böhme in the roll of the protagonist Jack.


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