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Effi Briest (1974)

Fontane Effi Briest (original title)
In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town.... See full summary »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Wolfgang Schenck ...
...
Lilo Pempeit ...
Frau Briest
Herbert Steinmetz ...
Ursula Strätz ...
Irm Hermann ...
Karlheinz Böhm ...
Wüllersdorf (as Karl-Heinz Böhm)
Karl Scheydt ...
Kruse
Barbara Lass ...
Polnische Köchin
Rudolf Lenz ...
Geheimrat Rummschüttel
Andrea Schober ...
Annie von Instetten
Eva Mattes ...
Theo Tecklenburg ...
Pastor Niemeyer
An Dorthe Braker ...
Frau Pasche (as Anndorthe Braker)
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Storyline

In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town. She soon bears a daughter, Annie, and hires the lapsed Catholic Roswitha to look after her. Effi is lonely when her husband is away on business, so she spends time riding and walking along the shore with Major Crampas. Instetten is promoted to Ministerial Councillor and the family moves to Berlin, where Effi enjoys the social life. Six years later, the Baron is given letters from Crampas to Effi that convince him that they had an affair. He feels obliged to challenge Crampas to a duel and banish Effi from the house. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

16 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Effi Briest  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 750,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rainer Werner Fassbinder insisted that Kurt Raab have a bald patch shaved into his scalp for an important scene. Raab did what was asked of him only for Fassbinder to drop the scene altogether. See more »

Quotes

Effi Briest: He was as noble as one who doesn't know true love can be.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Free Rainer (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of the best films ever made
17 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fassbinder's Effie Briest is a tremendous film. it is not an 'adaptation' of the book. it is much more complicated than that. the title as it appears in the film is:

Fontane // Effie Briest // oder

then followed by a long quotation in the next frame. the word 'oder' (or) works as a hinge holding the first title onto its meaning (erklarung). the whole of Fontane's book is framed within the title. and the film is a meditation on the limits of enframement. mirrors are everywhere, doubling and re-doubling the images and framings. to anyone that thinks the camera-work is sub par was obviously not paying attention. the execution of some of these scenes is unsurpassed by anyone.

the film consists of several different layers. there are inter titles, narration (direct quotations from Fontane), and then dialog. this would be the three orders of representation. then there are the layers of sense. as an example take the figure of Effie Briest. she is never a unified subject that we can refer to as an individual. she is the contested site of a number of different forces in a number of fields of discourse. the most obvious evidence of this is the contestation of the name: Effie. Effie Briest? Effie Von Instetten? the film is about this change. and the possibilities of refusal. what would it be to have ones own name and not the name of an other? she cannot. or as her father (who is always called by the signifier 'Briest') continually says 'Das ist ein zu weites Feld'. he pronounces the limits of thought in its foreclosure. it is always a command and always ends the dialog: there is nothing left to say on this subject because we CANNOT think THAT (the repressed idea, which reveals itself as thinkable through the fathers disavowal of its thinkability).


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