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Sitcom Antics

Author: Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
3 July 2004

Take one episode of 'The Bill Dana Show', book The Monkees as guest stars, use the setting from 'Fawlty Towers' and mix them up with the plot of 'Carry On Girls' and what do you get? 'Happy End at Wolfgangsee'. Perhaps this comparison is a bit unfair, since Happy End came out before the last two and the same year as 'The Monkees', but those were the things that sprung to my mind. Made in 1966, the filmmakers were actually more inspired by the James Bond craze and Beatlemania when producing this hotel bound comedy.

The three main plot strands play out like typical sitcom episodes: The ladies man hotel owner (Erwin Strahl) has a love/hate relationship with his new female tax adviser while being distracted by the contestants of a beauty pageant. A four man band gets a new drummer (Yvonne Craig lookalike Helga Anders) and set out to prove 'he' is really a girl in disguise, and a comical hotel porter (Paul Löwinger) sees James Bond (or Nul Nul Sex as he calls him) conspiracy's all around the Hotel Excelsior.

It is refreshing to see a 'Tiroler' comedy so firmly rooted in the swinging sixties. The humour does not always work, but there are enough colourful costumes and cars to keep things interesting. Therefore we get many musical interludes, a lot of frantic running around and an equal amount of scantily clad girls. So on second thought, this is probably more like an Austrian version of a Beach movie. But why on earth is this film also called Happy End in St. Gilgen? A Hotel can only be in one place at a time?

6 out of 10

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