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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Karl Merkatz ...
Ingrid Burkhard ...
Erika Deutinger ...
Klaus Rott ...
Liliana Nelska ...
Jaromír Borek ...
Ilse Hanel ...
Julia Gschnitzer ...
Alexander Waechter ...
Rudi Schippel ...
Götz Kauffmann ...
Gerhard Steffen ...
Erich Frank ...
Carlo Böhm ...
Mieter gegenüber


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Release Date:

30 December 1977 (Austria)  »

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New Years Eve – Germans tend to say „Same procedure as every year" (in English)
25 January 2014 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Many claim that Germans are people who firmly cling to their traditions and are a little inflexible in that regard. May Germans will deny that – and then sit down to watch English Short-Comedy "Dinner for One" on New Years Eve, like they've done for the past 50 years (and quiet a few have watched all 231-broadcasts since 1963). They will generally laugh tears, read the subtitles despite knowing each line by heart, almost as if it was a duty not taken lightly.

The Austrian neighbors are not except from such traditional repetition ad-absurdum if there should ever come a new years eve where the Austrian TV (ORF) would not broadcast the "Ein Echter Wiener geht nicht unter"-Episode "Jahreswende" ("change of year"), there likely would be a riot among many viewers.

Head of the proletarian Sackbauer-Clan Mundl is send off by his wife Toni to have his hair cut before New Years Eve. At the hairdresser he meets Franz Werner, the father of his daughter-in-law Irmi, who has likewise been commandeered off by his wife. Generally the Werners and the Sackbauers have very little contact, since the Werners are a bourgeoisie / middle-class family who have a certain level of disdain for their lower-class in-laws. However, the wait at the hairdresser is long, shortened by numerous swallows of Schnapps straight from the bottle and soon the drunken decision has been made, that it's time that the two clans celebrate New Years together at the Sackbauer apartment – much to the horror of the wives (Tony isn't sure what to cook for her guests and Martha Werner, who voices her disgust over the proletarian Mundl who, according to her opinion, isn't qualified to eat chicken without the aid of his bare hands). However the decision is made and after more than sufficient drink, both Franz and Mundl become best buddies, trade war stories and accidentally launch some fireworks into the neighbor's window (who promptly calls the cops).

Adding to the "Tohuwabohu" (Austrian slang for Chaos) is the arrival of Mundls best mate Kurti, who was (correctly) deemed by his superior too drunk to fulfill his duty as a night-watchman as well as the daughters(-in-law) of the house, Irmi and Hanni, who feel that their spouses have deserted them for two floozies during a New Years party. Much bickering, name-calling and verbal abuse ensues until the clock strikes midnight and dutiful harmony returns to all concerned; same procedure as every year.

"Ein echter Wiener geht nicht unter" is a mixture between soap-opera, comedy-sitcom and milieu-study. The humor comes mainly from Mundls verbal outbreaks and rants which are as inspired as they are (often) obscene and imaginative. And in no episode is Mundl so over the top like in this one, which explains why many fans consider it the best episode and will religiously watch it between 10 and 11 AM every New Years Eve. Almost stealing the show is Mundls Buddy Kurt (known as Kurti), whose inebriated rants are virtually beyond comprehension and hence open to speculation, as well as acting veteran Herbert Fux as policeman, who is drawn between fulfilling his duty and humoring what he sees as a "human cabaret".

Highly recommendable is you have an anthropological interest in the Austrian psyche and tradition, the language (which only resembles the German language rudimentary and should best be viewed with subtitles by unfamiliar ears) or simply seek a New Years alternative to "Dinner for One". Being part Austrian myself, it would amount to treason to give this episode less than 10 points (und puts me every year in the predicament of having to watch "Dinner for One" at quarter so eight, followed by "Jahreswende" – same procedure as every year).

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