Thirteen Chairs
German DVD cover
GermanDreizehn Stühle
Directed byE. W. Emo
Written by
Based on
Produced byHans Tost
E. W. Emo
CinematographyEduard Hoesch
Edited byMunni Obal
Music byNico Dostal
Distributed byTerra Film
Release date
  • 18 October 1938 (1938-10-18)
Running time
92 minutes

Thirteen Chairs (German: Dreizehn Stühle) is a 1938 German comedy film directed by E. W. Emo and starring Heinz Rühmann, Hans Moser and Inge List.[1][2] It is based on the 1928 novel The Twelve Chairs by Ilf and Petrov, one of numerous adaptations of the work.

The film's sets were designed by the art director Julius von Borsody. It was shot at the Terra Studios in Berlin and on location in Vienna.


A barber shop owner travels to Vienna to receive his inheritance from his late aunt. However, it appears all she has left him are thirteen old chairs. Needing to raise enough money to pay for his ticket back home, he sells them to a second-hand dealer. Only then does he discover a letter from his aunt telling him she has left 100,000 marks sewn into one of the chairs. He now sets out to track down the various new owners of the chairs to find the hidden money.



  1. ^ Hobsch, Manfred; Stadler, Franz (2015). Die Kunst der Filmkomödie Band 2: 1.000 Filmkomödien (in German). Frankenthal: Mühlbeyer Filmbuchverlag. p. 260. ISBN 978-3945378229.
  2. ^ von Dassanowsky, Robert (2007). Austrian Cinema: A History. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 78. ISBN 978-0786437337.