Anton the Magician

(Anton der Zauberer)

GDR, 1978, 101 min, color
In German; no subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


Car mechanic Anton Grubske cunningly avoids being captured and taken to a POW camp in 1945. Upon returning to his village, he marries Liesel, the daughter of his former apprenticeship master, and takes over the workshop. Their relationship ends when she discovers that he has been ripping off the large-scale landowners by selling them tractors made of restored junk cars. He deposits his milllions with Sabine, a cheerful widow, for safekeeping. She runs off to the West with his money and Anton lands in jail, where he has a change of heart.


After his release, he has no difficulty finding work. He gets an appointment as a spare part procurement officer at a tractor plant and is quickly promoted. Ten years later, Anton unexpectedly regains his lost fortune: Sabine has died and left him 200,000 Swiss Francs in her will. In a fit of high-mindedness and megalomania Anton donates the money to the city, only to fret himself to death about it afterwards. 


A flamboyant comedy about love, work and money—revealing that the "planned" economy produced some unconventional entrepreneurial methods.


1979 Best DEFA Film of the Year 1978, Critics' Poll of the Theory and Critique Section of the Association of Film and Television Professionals of the GDR
1979 Best DEFA Comedy of the Year 1978, Critics' Poll of the Theory and Criticism Section of the GDR Association of Film and Television Professionals
1978 Heinrich Greif Prize, Class 1 (Karl-Georg Egel, Günter Reisch, Ulrich Thein)


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