A single woman in her early thirties, Martha (Margit Carstensen) is on vacation with her father in Europe when he has a heart attack and falls down dead. She reacts rather indifferently and... See full summary »
A single woman in her early thirties, Martha (Margit Carstensen) is on vacation with her father in Europe when he has a heart attack and falls down dead. She reacts rather indifferently and returns home to her highly-strung mother and begins to new era of her life taking care of a completely ungrateful and insulting mother (declining an offer of marriage from her boss). After a barrage of verbal abuse and offensive remarks from her mother who see's her as an 'ugly old spinster' she accepts a proposal of marriage from an equally insulting and disrespectful man, Helmuth. They honeymoon in Italy. While there Helmuth resigns Martha from the job that she loves, sends her mother to a mental institution, and lets his wife get horribly burnt in the sun while sleeping, then painfully rapes her. Martha gets back to Germany to find that Helmuth has rented them a new house, and she will not be able to return to her old home even to collect any of her things, which he says must be left behind her.... Written by
Because of legal reasons, the film wasn't shown for over 20 Years. Cornell Woolrich claimed that the film has a lot similarities to one of his novels. Fassbinder replied, that he first read the story after filming was complete. Nevetheless Woolrich got a writing-credit, and after his death they were able to clear the rights. The first German screening of a restored edition was in November 1997. See more »
A selfish, immature and hysterical woman is progressively destroyed psychologically by a sadistic husband. In line with other Fassbinder movies, such as die Ehe der Maria Braun, this movie depicts a bourgeoisie only interested in money and keeping up appearances, where love is impossible. Beautifully filmed in particular in a baroque house, the effect of the movie is reinforced by the apparent kindness of the husband and its constant reference to love.
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