Das Haus in Montevideo

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Das Haus in Montevideo (English title: The House in Montevideo) is a German comedy movie from 1951 directed by Curt Goetz and Valérie von Martens. It is based Goetz's 1945 comic play of the same title. Goetz and his wive Martens themselve act in the lead roles of the film.


Spoiler warning

Professor Traugott Hermann Nägler is a teacher and father of twelve(!) children (who are all named after figures from Richard Wagner and Greek mythology). He is a person of such high morals that he had found it his duty to expulse his own sister from the family when she had had an illegitimate child at the age of 18. This was decades ago. When the local priest tells him now the news of his sister's death in Uruguay, he is unmoved. But it appears the deceased had become wealthy overseas and has kindly considered him and his eldest daughter Atlanta in her will.

After some hesitation, Nägler, Atlanta, and the priest travel by ship to Montevideo. Here, they learn of the details of the will -- and the Professor's high moral values are put to the acid test.

The spanking scenes and references[edit]

The lunch scene[edit]

Nägler rules as a patriarch over his family with a firm hand. This becomes clear right in the beginning of the film (at 00:06:00), where the family is assmbled for lunch. Parsival, the eldest son (17) sitting to his right, giggles at one of his father's lines and at once receives a slap on his rear head. Nägler then makes various of his children recite lines on command, drilled to shoot up from their chairs as if in school. When Ultima (2) reports that Lohengrin (3) is picking his nose, everybody bursts out laughing loud. Atlanta (18) chokes on her soup and has to cough. Nägler makes her stand up and apologize for her "improper behaviour", admit her guilt and ask for a "proper punishment". She is made to quit the table and have her lunch in the kitchen. As she leaves, Parsival trips her. He denies it and gives a snotty remark. He is given an immediate slap on the cheek, made to say "Danke, Papa" (Thanks, Papa) and to leave as well.

The rest thinks now lunch can continue, when a few seconds later a loud slap is heard. Nägler asks what it was. One of the boys says that Parsival has slapped Atlanta, and receives an immediate slap himself "for tattling". He cries and seeks comfort at his mother, but she scolds him for crying and tells him to stand in the corner. Nägler leaves the room in order to chastise Parsival (M/m, off screen). The other children run to the door to watch, but their mother forbids it. She decides that all children should continue lunch in the kitchen. Within seconds, the table is cleared, and Martha, the housemaid, carries Ultima under her arm (with her bare legs dangling), the pot of soup in her other arm, and leaves balancing the plates on the child's back on top of it.

Nägler returns (at 00:09:56), carrying a cane. He remarks to his wife that "the rascal" becomes insolent: "He even refused to thank me for his chasisement." -- "Refused to thank...?", she wonders, very worried. Nägler replies, "Rest assured: he did thank." (raising the cane).

The Montevideo scene[edit]

The film also has an on-screen spanking scene: In Montevideo, Nägler gives his daughter Atlanta a brisk hand-spanking (at 0:52:55) over one knee, of little more but symbolic purpose (M/F).

See also[edit]