Something for Everyone

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Original title Something for Everyone
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1970
length 112 minutes
Director Harold Prince
script Hugh Wheeler
production John Flaxman
music John Kander
camera Walter Lassally
cut Ralph Rosenblum

Something for Everyone is a black humor American comedy film directed by Harold Prince and directed in Germany in 1969 , starring Michael York , Heidelinde Weis and Angela Lansbury . In addition, numerous well-known German artists took part in supporting roles, including Eva Maria Meineke , Hilde Weissner , Walter Janssen and Klaus Havenstein . The story is based on the black comedy The Cook (1965) by Harry Kressing .


The young bon vivant Konrad Ludwig is cycling through the Bavarian foothills one summer. In the vicinity of the small town of Ornstein he discovers a magnificent castle that fascinates him immediately. Konrad dreams of living in the castle, or even better: owning it. And so he sets off there to get to know the owner, to ingratiate himself with her. The lady of the castle is a widowed Countess Herthe von Ornstein, who financially gnaws at hunger. The aging lady can no longer even afford to maintain the main building, the furniture of which has long since been sold, and therefore lives in a cheaper widow's annex. Konrad approaches the implementation of his plan to become the future lord of the castle by applying for the position of a servant to the countess. In order to have the necessary finances one day to get the castle back in good shape, Ludwig begins to ensnare Anneliese Pleschke, a young, attractive lady from a wealthy family. Konrad soon got to know their parents, whom he drove around the area as a well-bred young man with exemplary manners. After Rudolph, the countess's lackey, was encouraged by Konrad to get drunk without restraint in a beer garden, pushed in front of a train by the latter in a state of intoxication and overrun by it, the young parvenu took Rudolph's post in the count's castle household.

Konrad quickly gets to know the peculiarities of the count's family and knows how to use them for himself. Herthe von Ornstein has, in Helmuth, a rather shy son who has just grown up, and in Lotte a plump, simple and rather annoying teenage daughter. Konrad also tries to cast a spell over the children of the elderly, although his own bisexuality suits him well, because Helmuth is homosexual. Konrad tries to seduce Helmuth, which the strict administrator of the castle property, Klaus, registers with horror and immediately fires the new servant. Konrad soon discovers his dark brown secret: Klaus' father was once a colonel in the Wehrmacht, and his son keeps all his memories like a reliquary in his bedroom. In order to discredit Klaus and get rid of him, Konrad Ludwig denounced him to the Mayor of Ornstein, who made it his task to prevent all veneration of the Nazis in his mount. Soon the old countess felt compelled to quietly and secretly remove Klaus from his post and to appoint Konrad as the new majordomo instead. The climber, who meanwhile also approached Anneliese Pleschke, thinks he is about to reach his goal of becoming the new lord of the castle on Ornstein.

Konrad convinces Countess Herthe to hold a big party in the adjoining building in order to couple Helmuth with Anneliese, with whom he continues to have affairs at the same time. Konrad assures the unequal couple that he will always be there for them at the castle, so that neither Helmuth nor Anneliese has any objections to this arranged and not exactly loving marriage. Now the financial basis for the reopening of Ornstein Castle seems to have been laid, because with Anneliese's marriage, Pleschke's money is also flowing into the repair and refurnishing of the old, once magnificent walls. Shortly after the wedding, Konrad's idea turned out to be a catastrophe, because the gay Helmuth and the straight Anneliese are really not compatible, as the honeymoon will show. Both are determined to annul their marriage. When Anneliese also has to realize that she is only part of a master plan for Konrad and that he also goes to bed with Helmuth, she becomes mad as hell and wants to tell her parents, whose financial injection Konrad urgently needs for the castle renovation, everything. Konrad, who is supposed to drive all three Pleschkes to the castle, then steers the car down a steep embankment, but jumps out of the car himself shortly beforehand. Parents and daughter Pleschke are killed in the attack, while Konrad only breaks his leg.

Thanks to the count's care, Konrad quickly gets back on his feet after being in bed for a while. In order to finally become the new master of Ornstein Castle, he pulls his last trump card out of his sleeve: Konrad begins to ensnare Countess Herthe himself and finally spends a night of love in her boudoir. Helmuth is deeply shocked by Konrad's behavior, as he previously thought that Konrad was only interested in him. In order not to completely lose the young heartbreaker in the future, he is reluctant to accept Konrad as his mother's new husband. Helmuth's sister Lotte, however, has other plans. On the eve of the wedding between Konrad and her mother, she informed Konrad that she knew of all of his intrigues, manipulations and murderous outrages, including the murder of Rudolph and the removal of the Pleschke family, and that she now expected him to marry her instead of her mother . Konrad doesn't seem to mind, because, as the film title suggests, there is something for everyone in this story, and Konrad's entry as the new master at Ornstein Castle is thus secured one way or another.

Production notes

Something for Everyone was shot in mid-1969 at several locations in Bavaria ( Füssen ) and Austria ( Salzburg ) and was premiered on July 22, 1970 in New York. Despite the prominent German cast, there never was a German-language premiere. In 2016 the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

The Austrian film architects Otto Pischinger and Herta Hareiter designed the film buildings. Georg M. Reuther was in charge of production. Irms Pauli took over the costume supervision. Eberhard Schröder was assistant director.

Angela Lansbury received a 1971 Golden Globe nomination for her acting performance .

The 82-year-old veteran actor Walter Janssen played his last film role here.


Hal Erickson said, "Something for Everyone has to hold some kind of record for the largest collection of unsympathetic characters in a single film."

The Movie & Video Guide called the film a “very black comedy” and a “compelling but unnecessarily lengthy story”.

Halliwell's Film Guide stated: "Unusually black comedy that somehow doesn't get going".

The New Yorker summed it up succinctly: “Indeed - not much for everyone”.

The American Catholic News Service viewed the film as a "bleak comedy" and concluded: "There are some pleasant moments in this adult fairy tale, but not nearly enough for most tastes."

Individual evidence

  1. Something for Everyone on
  2. ^ Leonard Maltin : Movie & Video Guide, 1996 edition, p. 1213
  3. ^ Leslie Halliwell : Halliwell's Film Guide, Seventh Edition, New York 1989, p. 938
  4. ^ Brief review by the Catholic News Service Media Review Office

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