Minna von Barnhelm, or the Soldier’s Fortune

(Minna von Barnhelm, oder das Soldatenglück)

GDR, 1962, 103 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


This film takes place during the Seven Years' War. The Prussian Major von Tellheim has become engaged to the Saxon noblewoman Minna von Barnhelm. After the war, the King – in an unwarranted move – deprives the major of his honor. Von Tellheim becomes impoverished and, filled with shame, breaks off his relationship to Minna.


An innkeeper in Berlin, who is a police informer, makes the Major move to a shabby little attic because he cannot pay his debt. Unbeknownst to her former lover, Minna has also arrived at the inn accompanied by her lady's maid Franziska. In spite of the innkeeper's prying, the women cleverly set things right.


A sweeping story of love, pride and betrayal based on the drama by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.



Please Note: The German PAL DVD rental version of this movie includes Bonus Films (without subtitles). Learn more about these under Commentary.


The following short films and clips are available on the German PAL DVD rental version of the film (without subtitles):


  • Herwart Grosse in Das StacheltierA Love Story
  • Eyewitness 57/1959/6: Dr. Dieckmann visits a DEFA crew on the set of Intrigue and Love
  • Eyewitness 33/1953/8: Big and Little Joys (A DEFA film about love)
  • Eyewitness 52/1966/5: Marita Böhme playing the lead role in My Fair Lady with Peter Harden as Prof. Higgins in Dresden
  • Eyewitness 16/1962/8: Script work for Punch to the Jaw
  • Eyewitness 25/1964/6: Manfred Krug sings with the Jazz Optimisten
  • Eyewitness 36/1967/3: Shooting The Banner of Kriwoj Rog
  • Eyewitness 45/1967/2: Premiere of The Banner of Kriwoj Rog at the Kino International Theater



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