35 user 2 critic

Der 90. Geburtstag oder Dinner for One (1963)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | TV Short May 1963
At Miss Sophie's 90th birthday dinner, her butler James must fill in for her four departed friends - and that includes lots of drinks before every course!.

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Complete credited cast:
Freddie Frinton ... James
May Warden ... Miss Sophie
... Narrator


The sketch presents the 90th birthday of elderly upper-class Englishwoman Miss Sophie, who hosts a celebration dinner every year for her friends Mr Pommeroy, Mr Winterbottom, Sir Toby, and Admiral von Schneider. (The plot has nothing to do with New Year's Eve. There is a "Happy new year" toast, but this is purely a reference to Miss Sophie's birthday.) The problem is that due to Miss Sophie's considerable age, she has outlived all of her friends, and so her equally aged manservant James makes his way around the table, impersonating each of the guests in turn. Miss Sophie decides on appropriate drinks to accompany the menu: Mulligatawny soup (Miss Sophie orders dry sherry), North Sea haddock (with white wine), chicken (with champagne), and fruit for dessert (with port) served by James, who finds himself raising (and emptying) his glass four times per course. That takes its toll, increasingly noticeable in James's growing difficulty in pouring the drinks, telling wine glasses from vases... Written by Simon Slade

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Short | Comedy


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1963 (Switzerland)  »

Also Known As:

The 90th Birthday, or Dinner for One  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The infamous tiger which the butler stumbles over several times wasn't originally in the sketch. It was added by request of a local mayor in a town the show was being played in. When Freddie Frinton stumbled over it by accident during a show it produced such a laughter among the audience that they decided to keep the tiger and make it a part of the show. See more »


After James burps, Miss Sophie takes hold of her chair's armrests probably in anticipation of James almost tipping her chair backwards. See more »


James the Butler: Must I, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: James... please!
See more »


Spoofed in Dinner für Brot (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Same procedure as last year - and it couldn't get any better than this!
11 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Dinner for One" looks at the story of Miss Sophie (played by May Warden) who is celebrating her 90th birthday. She has invited four of her friends to her party - Sir Toby, Admiral von Schneider, Mr Pommeroy and Mr Winterbottom - all of whom have died years ago. So her butler James (played by the great late Freddie Frinton) serves Miss Sophie her dinner while serving drinks to the "guests" (and also acting as those guests), all with hilarious results.

For me, it's always "the same procedure as last year" - turn on the TV and just reel back with laughter for the next 20 minutes. Even when I told a friend about the sketch (which he'd never heard of), he was laughing hard as well!

Even 20 minutes after it's finished, my face would still be aching from all the laughter. To be honest, it's THE ultimate comedy sketch of them all.

It's so funny, I'd rather rate it 11 out of 10.

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