I hadn't heard of this short film a couple of hours ago, then there was an item on BBC Radio Four about how just about everybody in Germany watched it every New Years Eve. None of the British contributors found it remotely amusing but they did say it was on YouTube and that it was only ten minutes long... given that information I had to check it out for myself! Having seen it I'm surprised that it is considered a classic anywhere but equally it wasn't that bad either. The plot is simple; the elderly Miss Sophie is hosting a dinner party for her four friends... the joke is that none of them are present! As the dinner progresses James the butler serves each course to Miss Sophie then pours drinks for everybody and takes the part of each person in turn to return Miss Sophie's toasts with inevitable results.
There are chuckles to be had as Freddie Frinton's James gets increasingly drunk although however the gag about him tripping over the tiger skin rug is rather spoilt by the fact that he tripped over it before he'd touched a drop! The rather suggestive ending was clearly meant to be funny but just seemed creepy to me. This was interesting to watch as a curiosity but it certainly won't become a tradition for me.
I have since learnt that there are two versions made the same year with the same cast; this is the Swiss version; there is also a longer German version with a German narration, presumably that is the version they watch!
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