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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Freddie Frinton ...
James
May Warden ...
...
Narrator
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

May 1963 (Switzerland)  »

Also Known As:

The 90th Birthday, or Dinner for One  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Norway the skit is shown in black and white every 23rd December, the night before Norwegians celebrate Christmas. NRK, the state channel, has tried to send it in colors on New years eve, but received massive protests from the people. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

James: Scholl!
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User Reviews

 
A 'classic' in convention visual comedy/humour
3 May 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This title is relatively unknown in Australia, but as someone who has studied comedy for 40 years and taught gifted students about it as a form of expression, communication and development of the comic conventions and constructs used in various forms of 'standard' literature, I consider that this film can be considered as one that stands out in its own field as a latter-day 'standard' of classic comic form and execution.

In some ways it falls into the same category as films from the great Silent Era in Hollywood (e.g. the works of Sennett and Chaplin), the W C Fields' "The Great Chase" and Eric Syke's "The Plank" - but it also equates in some ways with Oscar Wilde's comedy (e.g. "The Importance of Being Ernest") - all are great examples of mixing visual activity, remarkable energy, the innuendo and the written and/or spoken word.


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