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Carl Benton Reid
Drama about the development of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, and Einstein's relationship with British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, the first physicist to experimentally prove his ideas.
Peter Shatz (Peter Alexander) seems like a Basil Fawlty who actually enjoys his work during the first act of this picture, buttering up to every eccentric that checks into the Park Hotel (which from the outside looks like a cheap miniature). Amongst them are, as usual, the rich family from Texas, the retired Colonel, two old ladies who love murder mysteries and a dog carrying Frenchman. Only Mathilda the maid figures out Peter really wants to get out of there and travel the world (like herself). Luckily comedy cliché # 1: The Inheritance is on it's way to him, proving that brown-nosing does get you somewhere.
Immediately the multilingual wannabe Elvis starts neglecting his job, daydreaming and mixing everything up. So he books into the Grand Hotel, insults his boss and leaves Mathilda and all these carefully introduced supporting players behind to rot. Apparently his co-workers are quite happy to see him go, for lots of staff members whom we never saw before suddenly appear to say goodbye in an elaborate song and dance number.
On his way to the ski resort Herr Shatz naturally meets a love interest, who casually mentions she hates hotel porters. So crafty Peter introduces himself as an Argentinian cattle king, and after that has to keep on telling one lie after another. Joining a children's ski course leads to the usual hilarious results, complete with 'wah wah' sound effects. Further more, each time he does something clumsy he bumps into an American actress called Marylin (yeah right). He even takes a nap in a bob sled, leading to some really bad blue screen work in a scene done only slightly more exciting ten years later in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".
In between we get another couple of music videos featuring Peter singing in a carriage. Perfect stuff for a Christmas special, but totally unrelated to the plot. It gets really scary when the woman next to him opens her mouth only to sounds exactly like the three piece backup group from 'The Benny Hill Show'. All of Alexander's numbers sound the same to me anyway, but at least the ones inside are staged differently, for instance later on he dresses like a Mexican bullfighter to sing 'Torero' (don't ask why).
With all the outside nonsense out of the way, we move back onto the set, I mean hotel, for some old fashioned farcing around. Apparently everyone is after his money, which is running out fast. Our velvet voiced hero returns to the Park Hotel and gets back his job without too much trouble, and most everyone from the ski resort follows him for some reason or another. Of course Mathilda and all the regulars from the first paragraph are still there too, so Peter can hatch one final plan to sort everything out 'Mary Poppins' style. Naturally this culminates in a musical number where not only Peter sings, but most of the other cast members as well.
4 out of 10
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