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What Is the Matter with Willi?(1970)

Heinz Erhardt debuts his television character Willi Winzig on the big screen in this musical comedy based on the stage play "Das Had Man Nun Davon" by Wilhelm Lichtenberg. Winzig and his pal Felix Klein (Ralf Wolter) are two tax collectors who board with Frau Stirnima (Helen Vita), hence the opening number (which doubles as a subtitle for the film): "GruB Sie Gott Frau Stirnima". As the two jolly penny pincher's leave on their tandem, we learn that Klein has a crush on their secretary played by Ruth Stephan, who would go on to play Willi's wife in his next film, but that sequel is only related by the name of the title character anyway. Back in this film however, Willi is a determined bachelor and warns his fellow 'Steurinspecteur' about the rigors of marriage. Little does he realize their landlady Strinima wants to get her hands on a piece of Willi.

Stella Mooney co-stars as Winzig's sexy niece Helga (described in the third edition of the Speelfilm Encyclopedie as 'geil'). She is coming to stay with Uncle Willi, though she does so mainly to be close to her singing sensation boyfriend Frank (Rex Gildo). Of course worrisome Willi & Felix fail to grasp this fact and go out in search of her when she goes clubbing. They are pointed in her direction by the hairiest, least attractive and most scruffy looking folk band ever seen on celluloid: The Minstrels. Naturally, both the Minstrels and (especially) Rex Gildo get ample opportunity to strut their musical stuff (and slow the pace of the film down considerably). Helga takes a job as a waitress and soon becomes the object of some misplaced jealousy when secretary Engel gets the wrong impression of Helga's feelings for Felix. Yes, they couldn't afford to let that old comedy chestnut rest.

Willi, being a fourth generation civil servant, has been a bit too lenient with some of his nicer (read: female) clients and the powers that are catching on. So, he first pretends to be a daytime sleepwalker (another tired old cliché), then to have lost his marbles altogether. But, when he decides to check himself into a 'Nevenklinik', the doctor in charge turns out to be nuttier than he is (you guessed it, it was an inmate pretending to be a doctor). Frau Stirnima is getting nowhere with her advances aimed at Willi either. When she invites him up to her bedroom, all he does is grab the opportunity to borrow her late husband's tux.