Franz "Fox" Biberkopf is a working-class guy, at loose ends when his lover is arrested and the police shutter their carnival booth. In need of cash for his weekly lottery purchase, Fox lets... See full summary »
Prologue: The murderer "Boss" Huller - after having spent ten years in prison - breaks his silence to tell the warden his story. "Boss", a former trapeze artist, and his wife own a cheap ... See full summary »
Ewald André Dupont
Lya De Putti
Karrer plods his way through life in quiet desperation. His environment is drab and rainy and muddy. Eaten up with solitude, his hopelessness would be incurable but for the existence of the... See full summary »
Péter Breznyik Berg
Louis Mahe is a tobacco planter at Reunion Island. He is waiting for Julie Roussel to marry her. He only knows her by mail. The woman that comes does not like the picture he got, but he ... See full summary »
Lou is a small time gangster, who thinks he used to be something big. He meets up with a younger girl, Sally, who is learning to be a croupier. Her husband turns up with drugs he has stolen... See full summary »
Set in 1960, the film centres on the young, boyishly handsome Yuddy, who learns from the drunken ex-prostitute who raised him that she is not his real mother. Hoping to hold onto him, she ... See full summary »
Franz "Fox" Biberkopf is a working-class guy, at loose ends when his lover is arrested and the police shutter their carnival booth. In need of cash for his weekly lottery purchase, Fox lets himself be picked up by an elegant older man named Max. At Max's, he meets two younger gay men who have expensive tastes and images to uphold. The next day, Fox wins 500,000 marks in the lottery, and Max's friends suddenly become Fox's friends, especially Eugen, the heir to a bookbinding firm that's short of cash. Eugen's polish beguiles Fox, and the fleecing begins. Written by
Fox and his Friends caused some controversy when it was first made - it was thought that this story of a gay sideshow worker who wins the lottery, only to be exploited to the hilt by his upper-class lover, was potentially homophobic. Fassbinder himself commented that the story could have been about a heterosexual relationship, but it wouldn't have been as clear.
Fassbinder himself plays Fox - the burly ugly duckling of German cinema miraculously slimmed down, looking almost handsome. Fox's street skills and good humour are undercut by his naivety, as his repellently snobbish boyfriend systematically scams him out of the thousands of marks he's won on the lottery. The story proceeds with ruthless inevitability, as Fox becomes more and more demoralised. Yet the film contains some of Fassbinder's sharpest comedy, particularly in a brilliantly embarrassing dinner party scene. RWF is excellent in the title role; amazing to think that the guy who wrote and directed the film (among so many others) could play a good-natured dimwit with such conviction.
22 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?