Willi Manages the Whole Thing (1972) Poster

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4/10
Erhardt's farewell, sadly not on a high note
Horst_In_Translation17 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Willi wird das Kind schon schaukeln", also known under other German title, or "Willi Manages the Whole Thing" is a West German color film from 1972 and it is the final installment from the Willi film series, one that German comedy legend Heinz Erhardt starred in during the last decade of his life and career. He had a small performance in another film briefly before his death, but his role here is his last official lead performance and the film is also still somewhat known today. The director is once again Werner Jacobs and the writers also worked on previous Willi films. But maybe they should have gotten Rolf Olsen again, the man who wrote and directed the second Willi film, as that film was my favorite from the franchise and the only one I would consider recommending. So yeah, what else is there to say about this one here. I personally do not recommend the watch of these (as usual) under 90 minutes, but then again, it is also not a wise decision to start with this film as it is really the final installment to the series. Thumbs down from me.
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Of football and fake photographs
Chip_douglas23 May 2004
This could almost have been a German entry into the fabulous 'Carry On' series (one of the 'contemporary' outings of course), although I suppose the title is silly enough as it is. When the credits mention the story is based on a 'famous play' by F. Setz und J. Becker called "Die Eintagsehe" you know most of the action will probably be situated around one location. However director Werner Jacobs manages to postpone the inevitable for a long time by concentrating on the many different hustles Willi is pulling all over town.

The first scene immediately sets the tone with a bunch of Germans screaming at each other at a town meeting. The loudest offender is Willi Kuckuck (Heinz Erhardt), who's main goal is to keep the local football club up and running. He will do anything for his team, although fortunately the film does not dwell on their rigged matches for too long. Instead we are treated to the various ways Willi sets about exploiting his own family (we just love to laugh at a-moral con men don't we).

Several of Willi's schemes involve trick photography. He gets the boyfriend of one of his daughters to help him out, which is strange since the lad routinely has to fake his own girlfriend's "wedding picture" with more boring men than himself. This is all part of Willy's grand plan to receive a wedding present in the form of a blank check from his wealthy sister Elvira who lives in Brazil. For a man who thinks of everything it is a bit strange that Willi never contemplated Elvira might decide to visit in person.

Now Herr Kuckuck has to get some more tangible evidence. He rounds up both the real and the fake prospective son in laws, as well as a new born baby for old Elvira's arrival. When sister dear decides to stay the night the movie at long last reveals it's stage bound trappings and does not venture outside again. Even the all important football team is almost completely forgotten at this stage.

4 out of 10
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