Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz

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Television series
Original title Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz
Country of production Germany
original language German
Years) 1981-1983
length approx. 48 minutes
Episodes 10 in 1 season
idea Helmut Dietl , Patrick Süskind , Franz Geiger
production Jürgen Dohme , Balance Film Munich
music Dario Farina, Gian Piero Reverberi
First broadcast March 2, 1983 on
German television

Main actor:

Supporting cast:

Monument to the Münchner Freiheit - Helmut Fischer in his role as Monaco Franze

Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz is a ten-part Bavarian television series about the main character of the same name, mostly directed by Helmut Dietl .


The main character is the 45-year-old Munich detective and bon vivant, the "eternal Stenz " (woman hero) Franz Münchinger; at the end of the story he is over 50 years old. He was born out of wedlock in Munich's Westend on Kazmairstrasse; his stepfather was a tailor of alterations. He has an illegitimate son. It is called "Monaco Franze" after the Italian name for Munich (Monaco di Baviera) . In the course of the plot he becomes an early retiree and at times a private detective.

Münchinger lives with his wife Annette von Soettingen in a harmonious marriage in Munich- Schwabing . He loves his city and his wife Annette, whom he affectionately calls "Spatzl". And Annette loves Monaco Franze, even though she comes from better circles. He saved her from a marriage swindler.

Monaco Franze also loves adventure. He has a burning interest in the female sex. He always has relationships with other women, which Annette is well aware of and what she tolerates for better or for worse. His best friend Manfred “Manni” Kopfeck, his colleague in the Munich police force , helps him initiate affairs and hide them from his wife.

Annette runs an antique shop and is befitting of the so-called better society, with which Monaco Franze has little meaning. This contrast often leads to comical situations, for example when he tries by all means to avoid going to the opera .

A stylistic element of the series is the breaking of the fourth wall by the main actor by occasionally speaking comments on the plot directly into the camera.


No. title First broadcast
1 A little something is always possible March 2, 1983
2 The Italian affair March 9, 1983
3 Caught cold! March 16, 1983
4th The Angel of Peace March 23, 1983
5 The Lord of the Seven Seas March 30, 1983
6th More mentally, you understand? April 6, 1983
7th A serious elderly gentleman April 13, 1983
8th Just keep it up! April 27, 1983
9 Where is life still worth living? May 4th 1983
10 Crashed May 11, 1983

A little something is always possible

As an aging stent, Monaco enjoys the freedom that his wife gives him. Sometimes, however, he has to help out a bit. For example, when she wants to take him to the opera with her friends from “better society”. He's putting on an urgent manhunt, and his friend Manni has to stand by him.

Instead of an official manhunt, however, the two initiate the search for a young woman ( Gisela Schneeberger ) who recently met Monaco. Although he let his charm play, he never found out her name or where she lives. With a sense of crime and with Manni's help, he is now trying to track down the young woman in Munich's nightlife. Even she could not forget the charmer and hopes for her part to find Monaco again.

Annette is finally able to persuade her husband to come along on the next visit to the opera instead. As a down-to-earth bon vivant, he is not at all interested in opera. Therefore, he dreads the planned drink with Annette's culturally-minded friends after the event . In the breaks of the performance, he cunningly asks the respected opera critic of the “ Süddeutsche Zeitung ” for his assessment so that he knows whether he should find the production “good” or “bad”. While Annette's friends extensively praise the performance, Monaco expresses itself very disparagingly ("a real shit it was") - he knows the criticism of the music critic. It comes to a scandal. However, when he was able to substantiate his judgment with the opera criticism in the early edition of the newspaper immediately after leaving the inn, Annette was no longer angry with him and was now even on his side.

The Italian affair

Münchinger is entrusted with the clarification of protection rackets in various Italian restaurants, which he elegantly associates with carrying out his love affairs over dinner and impressing them with his apparently dangerous mission. The “Italian affair” also gives him an excellent alibi to hide his nightly adventures from his Annette. When his lover Elli (the lady from the first episode ) catches him in one of the shaded bars with another of his affairs ( Dolly Dollar ), both of them terminate their relationship. In order to be able to better control him, Annette has him examined by her friend Prof. Hallerstein ( Walter Sedlmayr ), who adores her but cannot stand her Monaco, and declares it unfit for service. Münchinger is given early retirement.

Caught cold

Tierpark-Toni ( Wolfgang Fierek ), a sly Munich crook who performs his tricks with the help of animals, was booked into the Monaco at the time. After he has served his imprisonment, he now wants to take revenge. To this end, he and two fellow crooks think about a deceitful action: He wants to attach an affair to Monaco. He recently took early retirement and spends the time he has gained in laundromats, where he tries to impress younger women with stories about his work as a private detective.

The Angel of Peace

Suddenly and unexpectedly, a Swiss love affair ( Hilde Ziegler ) and her husband ( Walo Lüönd ) from five years ago appears in Munich, which Monaco Franze initially cannot remember. However, since the Swiss woman simply could not forget him over the years, the husband is also convinced that it would be best for Monaco and his wife to get together again. Monaco is not at all enthusiastic about this, as he does not want to commit himself too much. After a few capers, the Swiss marriage can be cemented again. Monaco, however, has to move out of home and into its detective agency rooms at least temporarily.

The Lord of the Seven Seas

The carnival is coming and the big city Casanova Monaco and his best friend Manni don't want to be missing. Annette wants to spend the carnival in her well-off circles as every year, this time at the legendary masked ball of State Secretary Dr. Braun ( Klaus Guth ). However, a flu-like infection prevents Monaco from accompanying them. How sick he really is remains somewhat unclear.

When he was in bed on Mardi Gras Saturday, Manni Kopfeck called and persuaded him to go to the carnival ball in the Donnersberger Hof. There, however, the traditional economy has given way to a fast-food establishment, the landlord tells them ( Fritz Straßner ); the ball will not take place this year. Disappointed, the two decide to end the evening and Manni drives Monaco back home. Once there, he finds out that he has forgotten his house key in the apartment. Since he doesn’t want to arrive after his wife in the shared apartment, as the fraud would be exposed, the two rush back into the night to look for a well-known criminal who is known for his talent at opening locked doors .

In the nightlife, Monaco meets his old love Lilly ( Michaela May ) and accompanies her home. To his regret, he learns that his former beloved now has a child from another Carnival acquaintance and that she is only interested in getting a larger apartment through Monaco's contacts with the “better society”. Monaco is disappointed on the way home. At the same time, Annette is quite drunk on her dignified masquerade ball, snaps Dr. Schoenferber ( Alexander Hegarth ) after a clear attempt to get closer to his Porsche and drives up and away.

When Monaco comes home the following morning , all he finds is the housekeeper Irmgard ( Erni Singerl ), there is no trace of his wife. Desperately Monaco does everything to find Annette again. But she only reappears in a good mood on Ash Wednesday and leaves him in the dark about how she spent the carnival weekend.

More mentally, you understand?

Monaco, who has been in a deep emotional state since the separation from Annette, now lives in his office, while Annette seems to be enjoying her new life without her Monaco very much. His former colleague Manni Kopfeck is meanwhile working on a handbag theft, in which the police-known Tierpark-Toni probably plays a role. Toni doesn't just have one "thing" going. He contacts Annette to sell antique figures of saints through her antique shop . However, Toni had the saints sawed up and supplemented with reconstructions in order to be able to sell two originals.

Monaco is meanwhile able to persuade his friend Manni to take a spontaneous vacation together. You book “quiet days” for yourself in a monastery, which consist of Spartan meals and retreats . But when Annette is arrested by the police for the “fakes”, the two of them break off their “adventure vacation for the soul” and Monaco rushes to his sparrow's aid.

A serious elderly gentleman

Monaco is at the end of his career as a detective and is clearing its detective agency. He made the acquaintance of a purified bon vivant ( Harald Leipnitz ), who would have lost almost everything through his way of life. Monaco recognizes himself in him, but he is far from thinking about breaking with his way of life as "eternal stenz". On the contrary, he is only now really slipping into the midlife crisis . He lets hairdresser Loisl ( Martin Sperr ) dye his gray temples and meets his "angel": Jacqueline ( Olivia Pascal ), who, given her age, could easily be his daughter. Meanwhile, Annette is struggling with the tax office. She has the tax auditor Wiesbeck ( Wilfried Klaus ) in her shop, while her beloved Franzl tries compulsively to get fit with jogging , squash , swimming pool and sauna. But that's not enough for him and so he goes to train in a boxing club, where he challenges the "King" Ludwig to a fight. But Jacqueline has already learned to use her youth in a targeted manner. She separates from Monaco and turns to a financially much better-off gentleman acquaintance ( Axel Regnier ).

Just keep it up!

In view of the economic crisis, Monaco is attending an interpreting course. Annette is happy because they could fall back on the better qualification if the situation worsened. However, Monaco shows only moderate ambition in the classroom. Above all, he enjoys spending time with his classmates, with whom he is very generous despite the crisis.

Both Monaco and Annette remember the times before the war independently of each other - the contrast to the current economic situation could hardly be more contradicting for both of them. While Monaco is happy that everything has been going uphill for him since then, the previously spoiled Annette and her employee Olga ( Christine Kaufmann ) tighten their belts.

When Monaco finally threatens to fail the final exam, but his wife threatens to move away from Munich in this case, he is desperately looking for a way out - so he then lets his charm play with the course instructor ( Ulli Philipp ).

Where is life still worth living?

After a lecture about economically interesting, livable and less endangered countries from nuclear war , Annette decides to emigrate to Bermuda . Franz, on the other hand, wants to stay in his beloved Munich, and saying goodbye to his beloved Munich women is difficult. Annette replies that she doesn't want to take part here again next winter and that Franz can wait for her alone in the old people's home on Luise-Kiesselbach-Platz until the Russians come. She urges him to come along. With a heavy heart, Franz now wants to say goodbye to the more than 100 female acquaintances from the last 20 years that are most important to him, each with a small present and a portrait photo. But now his notebook with the addresses is in the desk, which is already in the moving container. That is why Franz has to fall back on Manfred Kopfeck, who calls in the residents' registration office to help. The departure is getting closer and closer. Franz is already plagued by early homesickness. Because the number of its affairs is considerable, Monaco must approach the farewells in a planned manner. After returning from a spa stay at Lake Tegernsee , Annette cancels the rental of the apartment intended by Monaco to Kopfeck and sells both of them long-standing 180 m² domicile. After a sad farewell to Olga, Irmgard and Manni, Annette waits in vain for her husband at the airport. She gets on the plane and hopes that maybe he got on before her. Instead Monaco looks after the plane taking off - he could not leave his beloved Munich.


His wife started a new life in Bermuda. Monaco Franze misses his "Spatzl" in Munich and can no longer find his way around in his old life. He quartered himself at Kopfeck and was increasingly messing with his old friend. When Monaco finally sets off a fire in the Kopfeck apartment, it breaks and Franz slumps into homelessness . From then on he lived as a wormwood brother and went to Munich's pubs. When his wife returns from Bermuda - Manni has informed him about Monaco going underground - she goes in search of him. She tries to trace the social decline of Monaco Franze over several stations. In the early hours of the morning she finally finds him in a tavern at the Viktualienmarkt . The series comes to an end with the touching reunion of the two.


The series produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk was broadcast nationwide in all ARD programs in 1983. Because of its enormous popularity, it was repeated several times. Originally planned for the evening program, “Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz” was later shown in the evening program at prime time.

In 1983 the two main actors Helmut Fischer and Ruth Maria Kubitschek as well as the author and director Helmut Dietl received the Golden Gong for the series .

For Helmut Fischer, the role of Monaco Franze was the breakthrough to a star. It became "popular overnight". The character is seen as his "parade role", her character traits also shaped other of his roles. The origin of the figure of Monaco Franze shows parallels to the life story of Helmut Fischer, although Fischer emphasized throughout his life that there are numerous character traits in which he differed greatly from his role.

The series develops the role of a Munich detective, which Fischer played in the Tatort from Munich since 1972 and which he held until 1987; his superior was played by Gustl Bayrhammer in both cases .

Some of the characters that Helmut Fischer played in later roles were based on the Monaco Franze, for example in the series Our Most Beautiful Years and The Caretaker . It is also referred to in the episode "Troubled Times" of the film Strong Times . In 1988 Fischer played himself in the role of the actor who became known as "Monaco Franze".

For the type of Stenz to Monaco Franze refers to the folk singer Alois Hönle composed couplet The pride of the Au . Helmut Dietl, the main director of the series, defined the stenz as follows:

“From a bit of windy elegance, always strutting one step ahead of the prevailing fashion, the Stenz has developed the care of his main hair as well as the care of his shoes (of which he owns countless) into cultic acts. He attaches importance to manners and what he thinks they are, and manages not to lose sight of the ultimate ambition: to always be cool and casual. His language is cool and casual, the way he holds a glass, newspaper or sunglasses is cool and casual. "

- Helmut Dietl : Interview in the Süddeutsche Zeitung

The title of the first episode is also the Monaco Franze's motto: “A little something is always possible”. The saying has meanwhile "passed into common usage".

The music for the series comes from the composers Dario Farina and Gian Piero Reverberi . Patrick Süskind , Helmut Dietl and Franz Geiger were involved in the scripts for the individual episodes of the series . Süskind and Dietl worked on the scripts for eight of the ten episodes together. These episodes were directed by Helmut Dietl alone. Geiger was the sole author and director of the two episodes The Angel of Peace and More Soul, you see? . Franz Geiger made several cameo appearances as detective director in the series , Patrick Süskind can also be seen briefly in one episode.

Helmut Fischer had another appearance in the role of Monaco Franze in 1987 with the hit song “Spatzl, schau wie i schau”, composed by Claus Redl .

The antique shop run by Monaco's wife Annette von Soettingen is located at Fürstenstrasse 10 in the Maxvorstadt district . The store, which is also an antique shop in reality, served as the filming location for the series. Historical furniture is still sold there today. The apartment of Franz Münchinger and his "Spatzl" is located at Agnesstraße 16 in the Schwabing district .

DVD and Blu-ray publishing

On January 15, 2004, the series was released as a box set with three DVDs . This includes an interview with Helmut Dietl and a booklet with background information. In December 2015, the series was finally released in a digitally revised form with improved sound and images in Blu-Ray format on two discs.

Guest appearances

Quite a number of well-known actors made guest appearances on the series:

In addition to Franz Geiger, Patrick Süskind, another author of the series, can be seen in a brief cameo .


  • Helmut Dietl, Patrick Süskind: Monaco Franze: The Eternal Stenz. In the original version. Albrecht Knaus, Munich 1983.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. with the emphasis [mo'nako] instead of the correct ['monako] in Italian
  2. ^ Monaco Franze: The Eternal Stenz. In: BR Bayerisches Fernsehen. Retrieved July 24, 2013 .
  3. a b c d Monaco Franze: Late appointed Stenz. In: Bavarian television. Retrieved July 24, 2013 .
  4. Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz (Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz) in the kabel eins series lexicon. In: kabeleins. Retrieved April 23, 2009 .
  5. Short biography of Ruth Maria Kubitschek. In: Retrieved December 7, 2013 .
  6. a b c Helmut Fischer - "Always casual and with a bit of windy elegance". In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. May 11, 2010, accessed March 26, 2016 .
  7. Claudia Wessel: Helmut Fischer on the 10th anniversary of his death - Spatzl look how i look . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. June 14, 2007, accessed April 19, 2009 .
  8. ^ Nico Fried: "Monaco Franze" is dead: Text archive: Berliner Zeitung Archive. In: Berliner Zeitung. June 16, 1997, archived from the original ; Retrieved April 24, 2009 .
  9. ^ Biography of Franz Geiger. (PDF; 9 kB) (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 22, 2015 ; Retrieved May 8, 2009 .
  10. Spatzl, look how i look (1987). In: Youtube. Retrieved May 17, 2020 .
  11. "Spatzl look how i look" Helmut Fischer on the 10th anniversary of his death - May 11, 2010.
  13. ^ "Geh 'Spatzl": "Monaco Franze" on DVD. In: website Retrieved May 17, 2020 .
  14. Monaco Franze mugs & stickers. In: Retrieved December 14, 2015 .