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Kottan ermittelt - Drohbriefe

episode 5

Austria 1979
produced by
Wolfgang Ainberger (executive) for Satel/ORF
directed by Peter Patzak
starring Franz Buchrieser, Walter Davy, Curt A. Tichy, Bibiane Zeller, Birgit Machalissa, Harald von Koeppelle, Rudolf Knor, Carlo Böhm, Renzo Martini, Maria Martina, Walter Kohut, Maria Engelstorfer, Hans Kraemmer, Erhardt Koren, Chris Lohner, Beatrice Frey, Ernst Konarek, Adi Lehner, Heinz Wanitschek, Franz Blauensteiner, Günther Schifter, Siegi Ganswohl
written by Helmut Zenker

TV series
Kottan ermittelt, Kottan (Franz Buchrieser)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Mrs. Komarek (Maria Engelstorfer), an elderly woman from a village-like part of town, makes a report to Commander Pilch (Harald von Koeppelle) of homicide that she has received threatening letters - and because she's so hard to shake, the case is handed over to Kottan (Franz Buchrieser) and his assistants Schremser (Walter Davy) and Schrammel (Curt A. Tichy), even though no real crime has been committed yet. During their investigations, Kottan and company find out that Mrs. Komarek isn't very well liked in her neighbourhood, basically for complaining about anything and everything, while she has little concern for her neighbours, and especially with neighbour Reitmayr (Walter Kohut) she has had a beef. Reitmayr of course insists on his innocence, but it's not long before Kottan and company find out about a prior conviction of his, which doesn't shed a good light on him to say the least. Then the dead body of Reitmayr's wife (Maria Martina) is found by a vagrant (series regular Carlo Böhm), obviously murdered, and after investigating her lover (Renzo Martini), a criminal used car salesman, Kottan has Reitmayr's house and garden searched - and the murder weapon as well as circumstancial evidence that he has written the threatening letters to Mrs. Komarek are found - and after a chase across town, Kottan arrests him as well. It's only when Kottan talks to Mrs. Komarek again that he has doubts he has arrested the right person - and indeed, once he's gone she starts to scheme against her next neighbour ...

 

This episode is really more of a gag revue than a crime comedy (though nowhere near as much as later episodes), as ever so often, the story is interrupted by sight gags, slapstick, film references (including frequent use of Ennio Morricone's music from his scores for Sergio Leone), or just general silliness, all of which are given about equal weight as the story at hand. That this still works is thanks to the series leads Franz Buchrieser, Walter Davy and Curt A. Tichy, who manage to hold the thing together, and a very spirited and fun performance by Maria Engelstorfer as the episode's main guest star. The result is an uneven one, as the episode sometimes seems fresh, other times badly dated, sometimes funny, sometimes stale, but in all it's still entertaining enough to deserve a watch.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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