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Love is Colder Than Death (1969)
"Liebe ist kälter als der Tod" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,372 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 24 critic

Unusual gangster story, in which a small-time pimp Franz, who is torn between his mistress and Bruno the gangster sent after him by the syndicate that he has refused to join. Things are ... See full summary »

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Title: Love is Colder Than Death (1969)

Love is Colder Than Death (1969) on IMDb 6.8/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Katrin Schaake ...
Dame im Zug
Liz Söllner ...
Gisela Otto ...
Ursula Strätz ...
Monika Nüchtern ...
Kellnerin beim Türken (as Monika Stadler)
Hans Hirschmüller ...
Les Olvides ...
Peer Raben ...
Jürgen (as Wil Rabenbauer)
Howard Gaines ...
Peter Moland ...
Leiter des Syndikatsverhörs
Kurt Raab ...
Aufsichtsperson im Kaufhaus
Peter Berling ...
Illegaler Waffenhändler
Anastassios Karalas ...


Unusual gangster story, in which a small-time pimp Franz, who is torn between his mistress and Bruno the gangster sent after him by the syndicate that he has refused to join. Things are turned on their head when Franz and Bruno become friends, to the point that they even share Franz's girlfriend Joanna. But Joanna soon becomes bored of Bruno, and when he plots a bank robbery, she reports it to the police before Bruno's scheme to kill her can succeed. Bruno is shot dead by the police, but the lovers manage to escape. Written by L.H. Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Eine knallharte Geschichte vom Leben, vom Lieben und vom Sterben


Comedy | Crime | Romance


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Release Date:

16 January 1970 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Liebe ist kälter als der Tod  »

Box Office


DEM 95,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


The film won Best Cinematography and an ensemble award for the cast at the 1970 German Film Awards. See more »

Crazy Credits

Für Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Marie Straub, Linio und Cuncho See more »


References Le Samouraï (1967) See more »


Der Rosenkavalier
By Richard Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

A Film Noir Masterpiece!
25 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is not for every one. If you are mostly familiar with American Fim Noir or Gangster movies... Don't Go Here! This is one dark, moody, cynical and depressing film. Yet, that being said, every lingering shot and silent moment has more layers in it then most entire movies do today.

The story here is very simple; two criminals meet when they are recruited by a crime syndicate. They become friends, we find out one is a pimp and the other is a killer for hire. Later, needing a place to stay, the killer falls in love with the pimp's girlfriend (also a prostitute). The three begin to work as a crime trio with the killer doing most of the dirty work.

But the focus here is not the story. Fassbinder subtly allows the three character's relations towards each other become the real story. The people in this film have sold their souls to criminal life a long time ago. Yet, like everyone else in the world, they still struggle for there inner desires, and the need to feel something real.

This movie quite obviously had a very low budget. As a person is shot we, rarely see an exploding squib or even a blank cartridge being fired. The prime focus is the actor facial expressions and reactions. (Equally as powerful, yet more creative then seeing blood) The camera work is extremely minimal, yet far more revealing of the characters subconscious as they walk down a park or into a supermarket.

This is not your modern day first time film maker or film school graduate. Don't expect a Chris Nolan or a Quinten Tarentino. LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH, does borrow from certain film genres but it is so uniquely its own film, and creates such a beautiful sense of detachment that has rarely been attempted in film.

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