Nikolaus Tschinderle (Helmut Loher) is always being mocked and bullied by all other men in town. Could it be since he's the only one wearing bright blue clothes? Maybe his eyebrows are just not as bushy as his rival Ochsenwirt (Sieghardt Rupp)? Nah, it must be because he's a sissy tailer who talks to birds (the feathered kind). Soon Gaston with the butch eyebrows is trying to pick up three blondes at once, and one of them is Afra, Nikolaus' girl Freitag. Suddenly the little Schneider can't stands no more and persuades three tramps to form a outlaw band named after himself. A more sensible name would have been "Die Lamstralen".
Its worse than I thought: one of those three hobos is Georg Thomalla. Are there no German movies from this period without him? While his silly pals rob and commit arson in his name, Tschinderle takes to wearing effeminate frilly clothes and gay leather waistcoats. He does somehow manage to rescue some unimportant damsel in distress and gets his first kiss and a reward to boot. Did I mention his gay red scarf already? Meanwhile, in another part of this story there is a Orson Wells-type bearskin wearing kind of a guy who has a daughter who wants to fight and wear trousers: Luchina (Helga Sommerfeld). I had forgotten all about her when she reappeared halfway through to join the gang in their Heidi Hideaway log cabin. Unfortunately Orson does not forget so easily and sends the cavalry out to save her. Her boyfriend the baron also shows up to do nothing in particular.
Now guess what? In a nearby cave there happens to be a real gang of robbers holed up, led by the frighteningly named Der Rote Rollo. They already have a cave full of spoils and women and all they do is drink and dance all day. They also sing, but only in wide angles so we can never see their lips (not) moving. Although these villains never seem to go out, they do manage to capture lady Luchinda (the best fighter in the picture). If you think that's unbelievable, wait till you see what the brave little tailor comes up with to capture the outlaws without using any violence. The biggest surprise to me was that the story did not end victoriously after that, but Nikolaus actually has to stand trial instead of Der Rozerot! Clearly the writers felt the need to resolve each and every unmemorable character arc whether the audience cared or not.
4 out of 1
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