Minna von Barnhelm, or the Soldier’s Fortune

Original title: (Minna von Barnhelm, oder das Soldatenglück)
GDR, 1962, 103 min, color
In German; English subtitles

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.

Streaming Only

Minna von Barnhelm, or the Soldier’s Fortune

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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