Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects ... See full summary »
This film, which is basically the longest narrative film ever made, is a 15-1/2 hour episodic exploration of the character of Franz Biberkopf, "hero" of Alfred Döblin's acclaimed novel, as ... See full summary »
A single woman in her early thirties, Martha (Margit Carstensen) is on vacation with her father in Rome when he has a heart attack and falls down dead. She reacts rather indifferently and ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His ... See full summary »
The melancholy, homely Kamimura is a hit man who takes a job to kill a mob boss who's gotten greedy. The rival gang lord who hires Kamimura and his driver Shun pays them and sets them up in... See full summary »
Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife, Thérèse, and their two young sons. Abel and ... See full summary »
Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young ... See full summary »
Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects his old neighborhood with his childhood accomplice Franz Walsch, and pays a short visit to his mother and doting brother. When Ricky asks the hotel clerk for a girl, one of the cops sends his girlfriend Rosa. However, she falls for the killer. Written by
This is an early Fassbinder film, and from what I've seen, one of the best of his first 11 (which make up his first stage as a filmmaker). It's Fassbinder in gangster mode, and has been called an homage to film noir or even a parody of film noir. This isn't the case though. The movie is just film noir done by Fassbinder. There are little homages here and there, the beginning and end could be seen as being inspired by Breathless (taken to ridiculous extremes), and there are lots of filmmakers names used as characters, but Fassbinder isn't winking at the camera so much as just being himself, which back then, could be quite bizarre. In fact, this might be one of Fassbinder's most bizarre movies.
The camera stands still, characters occasionally deliver seemingly unrelated monologues, unusual plot lines are treated nonchalantly (Ricky's brother is in love with him?), people about to be killed don't seem to be worried, and the singlehandedly greatest song ever plays over and over again, crooning "so much tenderness is in my head, so much loneliness in my bed." To have this song play over scenes of a stone-cold amoral hitman (the title character) casually driving his car are perversely hilarious. Even better is when it plays in the end, in one of the greatest endings I've ever seen (you'll have to check it out).
The recent release of this film on DVD should help bring it some attention, as its now available for a pretty reasonable price from Wellspring. If you're looking for one of Fassbinder's more mature, professional, socially poignant melodramas, maybe this isn't the movie for you. If you're interested in an extremely unique unclassifiable early Fassbinder, by all means, check this out. Despite the occasional nods to past filmmakers, it's surprising how unique Fassbinder was from the start.
(for those who are Jim Jarmusch fans, it's apparent films like these must have inspired the detached humor in some of his more recent films).
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?