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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972)
"Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,083 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 35 critic

Petra von Kant is a successful fashion designer -- arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. She mistreats Marlene (her secretary, maid, and co-designer). Enter Karin, a 23-year-old beauty who... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margit Carstensen ...
...
Katrin Schaake ...
Eva Mattes ...
Gisela Fackeldey ...
Irm Hermann ...
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Storyline

Petra von Kant is a successful fashion designer -- arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. She mistreats Marlene (her secretary, maid, and co-designer). Enter Karin, a 23-year-old beauty who wants to be a model. Petra falls in love with Karin and invites her to move in. The rest of the film deals with the emotions of this affair and its aftermath. Fassbinder tells his story in a series of 5 or 6 long scenes with extended uses of a single camera shot and deep focus. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex is the ultimate weapon.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

5 October 1972 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 325,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The painting covering the wall in Petra's apartment is a gigantic blowup of Nicolas Poussin's 1629 painting "Midas and Bacchus" . See more »

Quotes

Petra von Kant: Where were you last night?
Karin Thimm: I went dancing.
Petra von Kant: Till 6 in the morning?
Karin Thimm: What about it?
Petra von Kant: They're not open that long.
Karin Thimm: No?
Petra von Kant: No.
Petra von Kant: Who did you go "dancing" with?
Karin Thimm: What?
Petra von Kant: Tell me who you went dancing with?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gewidmet dem, der hier Marlene wurde. (Dedicated to the one who became Marlene here) See more »

Connections

References All About Eve (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Smoke Gets Into Your Eyes
Music by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Otto A. Harbach
Performed by The Platters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fassbinder at his finest! Cinema at its finest!
3 February 2000 | by (Brooklyn, NYC) – See all my reviews

This film is an elegantly constructed classical tragedy that explores the erotics of cruelty and the manipulation of sexual power. Deeply perverse, its portrayal of the complexity of sexual desire is an inversion of all Hollywood romantic tropes, which are thus exposed as comparatively frivolous and dishonest. It is a lesbian love story set in the fashion industry. Though some may find it slow paced, the rest of us will appreciate the meticulously choreography, the stunning cinematography, and the precision with which the actresses mimic the mimicking of womanhood.

While "The Bitter Tears" is heart-wrenching, devastating tragedy, a greater intellectual high is hard to find in movies or elsewhere. Among the very best films of Fassbinder's career, this movie demonstrates (yet again) that Fassbinder is one of the truly great artists of our time.


22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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