A straight-laced German schoolmaster, married with twelve children, finds that his daughter has inherited a house in South America from her aunt, who was banished from the family for her loose morals. Along with the house comes a considerable fortune. However, there is a catch: unless there is an occurrence in the schoolmaster's own family, similar to the circumstances that led the family to disown his sister, the deceased aunt, and before a certain date, his daughter cannot claim her inheritance. The prim and proper schoolmaster is in a quandary: shall he sacrifice the moral integrity of one of his virtuous daughters or let his girl miss out on inheriting her aunt's fortune?
The star system of postwar German cinema was faltering badly but vehicles were still being manufactured for it. Heinz Rühmann and Ruth Leuwerik seemed a nice combination as yet untried, so both stars were rushed through this sluggish remake of a minor classic. Both weren't the fan raves they've been in the Fifties, but 'Das Haus in Montevideo' turned a nice profit and pleased all but the most critics. They savaged the movie for its tediousness, banality and overall humdrum.
In all fairness, the picture did have its antic moments and ingratiating characters. Miss Leuwerik took her required pratfalls with the grace and spirits of a seasoned pro, but Mister Rühmann played her comic foil in a smug, balmy fashion that robbed numerous scenes of their laughs. Likewise, director Helmut Käutner was not in top form; his over-emphatic handling soured several potentially charming situations.
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