->''"Iíve got a good heart, and I am glad for it. I once saved a stag beetle from getting run over, itís almost excessive. I let it crawl up on a stick."''
-->-- '''Mr Puntila''', Act I

''Mr Puntila and His Man Matti'' (''Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti'') is a 1940 play by Creator/BertoltBrecht, based on ''The Sawdust Princess'' by Hella Wuolijoki.

Estate owner Johannes of Puntila lives his life in a permanent drunken stupor, picking fights and asking women on the street to marry him. His daughter, Eva, is engaged to a very proper and exceedingly dull young attaché. One day, Puntila finds himself at a bar where he meets Matti Altonen, a ServileSnarker driver whom he hired a few days before -- though he doesn't remember doing so.

As they travel through UsefulNotes/{{Finland}} together and prepare for Eva's wedding day, Puntila increasingly confides in Matti and tells him his secret: three or four times a year, he sobers up by accident and becomes afflicted by ''responsibility'', which scares him straight back into alcoholism.

Matti, ever stoic, spends his days throughout the play ignoring Puntila and playing seduction games with the young Eva. Bored, decadent and hungry for scandal, the Puntila family rapidly collapses in on itself, until Matti finally decides to simply get out... without a letter of reference, stating he'll just take his chance with the world.

Using the stock characters of the CommediaDellArte, Brecht hoped to showcase the self-sufficient and positive "modern man" in Matti, and to parody the decadence of capitalism and fascism with the character of Puntila. The play was first performed in 1948 and has become one of Creator/BertoltBrecht's most succesful works. Modern performances tend to include some amount of nudity and sexual action -- depending on the production, either between Matti and Eva or between [[HoYay a long-suffering Matti and a very drunk Puntila]]. (Or both.)
!! Tropes in ''Mr Puntila and His Man Matti'':
* TheAlcoholic: Puntila.
* ArrangedMarriage: In his sober state, Puntila plans to marry his daughter Eva off to the utterly idiotic, but socially well-connected attaché.
* BadBoss: Puntila when sober.
* BlackComedy: Despite being [[PlayedForLaughs played out as a comedy]], much of the drama's themes and outcomes are, at close watch, quite serious and bleak: Eva is being forced into a loveless marriage with the insufferable attaché, the worker Surkkala, together with his wife and children, is dismissed and ostracized as a communist, Matti leaves Puntila without a job reference, and Puntila himself remains an alcoholic and a tyrant, and essentially a deeply unhappy man.
* DamnedByFaintPraise: After Puntila, while drunk, has said about the attaché, fiancé of his daughter Eva, [[InVinoVeritas that he "isn't a man"]], Eva defends the attaché in conversation with Matti as "an intelligent and kind man whom you can't judge by his appearance, or by what he says or what he does."
* TheDitz: The attaché.
* DownerEnding: Matti leaves Puntila without a job reference, the worker Surkkala and his family lose their jobs, and Eva [[spoiler: will probably marry the moronic attaché.]]
* EnemyWithin: Invoked by Puntila himself, who claims -- in his drunken state -- that his sober self is a villain and his own greatest enemy.
* GoingColdTurkey: Puntila tries this in Act V. He's OffTheWagon about five minutes later.
* GoldDigger: The attaché counts on Puntila paying his debts when he marries Eva.
* GollumMadeMeDoIt: Sober, Puntila is a penny-pinching BadBoss and a hard-boiled capitalist; when drunk, he is kind, sentimental and, in his words, "almost a communist".
* InVinoVeritas: Played with. It's never clear whether drunken Puntila is the "real" Puntila or not, or whether it's the other way round.
* MoodSwinger: Drunken Puntila is cheerful and easy-going, sober Puntila is serious, perpetually grumpy and always worrying.
* ServileSnarker: Matti.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Puntila.
* WildlifeCommentarySpoof: Invoked in the Prologue, which announces the imminent exhibition of a certain "primeval animal", "known for its gluttony and uselessness", its name being ''estatium possessor'' (estate owner).