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The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971)
"Händler der vier Jahreszeiten" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,115 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 25 critic

Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans Hirschmüller ...
Hans Epp
Irm Hermann ...
Irmgard Epp
...
Anna Epp, Hans's sister
Andrea Schober ...
Renate Epp, Hans's daughter
Gusti Kreissl ...
Mother Epp
Klaus Löwitsch ...
Harry Radek
Karl Scheydt ...
Anzell
Ingrid Caven ...
The merchant's great love
Kurt Raab ...
Kurt, Heide's husband
Heide Simon ...
Heide, Hans's second sister
Peter Chatel ...
Dr. Harlach
Elga Sorbas ...
Marile Kosemund, a whore
Lilo Pempeit ...
Customer
Walter Sedlmayr ...
Fruit cart salesman (as Walther Sedlmayer)
El Hedi ben Salem ...
The Arab (as Salem El Heïdi)
Edit

Storyline

Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes. One sociable day, while toasting his friends and family, he decides to drink himself to death. Written by lucifershalo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 November 1971 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A zöldségkereskedő  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

DEM 325,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Written on the Wind (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Buona Notte
(uncredited)
Written by Rocco Granata & Jules Verard
Performed by Rocco Granata
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mr. Self Destruct
27 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS was Rainer Werner Fassbinder's first shot at mainstream acceptance. In a turbulent career of just fifteen years, he managed to create an astounding body of work in film and theater, both as a performer and a creative producer, actor, and director. Although this movie might not appeal to many viewers, the film has much to offer. The storyline is fairly straightforward. A man is ostracized from his upper middle class family due to emotional and economic problems, and proves unable to control his downward spiral. THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS is shot with a slavish devotion to elegant detail, and each set is very carefully designed and constructed. Every object on set seems painstakingly arranged so as to provoke layers of emotional texture. Many religious paintings and icons decorate the walls of the various rooms and seem to speak to Hans's desperate quest for spiritual meaning or direction in his life. Much thought was given to how lighting and color were employed to contrast and enhance the drama. Several times during the film, I froze the frame to marvel at the beauty of the shot's composition. I streamed this film, and the print was nearly flawless and second to none. Fassbinder employs his actors in an almost vehement "Anti-Natural' style. He does everything possible to prevent the actors from reacting in a normal or colloquial manner, and this creates a rather stilted effect. However, by doing so, he injects an almost 'hyper-reality' to the narrative. Rather than the presentation of a mundane melodrama, the actors almost militant lack of affectation forces the viewer to confront the film in a different manner. Fassbinder's film intentionally prevents the viewer from easily connecting with the characters' trials and tribulations. You are constantly on the outside, looking in. This will be a disconcerting experience for many, but I found it to be a unique and satisfying artistic adventure.


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