The Marriage Swindler

The Marriage Swindler (German: Heiratsschwindler) is a 1938 German drama film directed by Herbert Selpin and starring Eduard von Winterstein, Viktoria von Ballasko and Kurt Waitzmann. It is sometimes known by the alternative title Die rote Mütze (The Red Cap).[1] A confidence trickster is released from prison and travels to a village where he blackmails and tricks women out of their savings, before eventually being caught.[2]

The Marriage Swindler
Directed byHerbert Selpin
Produced byLudwig Behrends
Written by
Music byWerner Bochmann
CinematographyE.W. Fiedler
Edited byLena Neumann
Distributed byTobis Film
Release date
  • 15 February 1938 (1938-02-15)
Running time
90 minutes

The film's sets were designed by the art directors Max Knaake and Karl Vollbrecht.


The film was directed by Selpin for the small studio A.B.C.-Film, and distributed by the major company Tobis Film. It is based on a novel by Gertrude Von Brockdorff. Its neorealism and pessimistic tone were a sharp change from Selpin's recent work which had been dominated by musicals, comedies and society dramas and was extremely rare in the Nazi era when German cinema strove to be light and entertaining.[3] The film had trouble with the censors, and its release was delayed. It has been described as "One of the finest German sound films ever made".[4]



  1. Hull p. 122
  2. Hull p. 123
  3. Hull p. 122–123
  4. Bergfelder & Street p. 122


  • Bergfelder, Tim; Street, Sarah, eds. (2004). The Titanic in Myth and Memory: Representations in Visual and Literary Culture. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-85043-432-0.
  • Hull, David Stewart (1969). Film in the Third Reich: A Study of the German Cinema, 1933–1945. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-01489-3.
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