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 »
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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 »
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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
The normally overweight Rainer Werner Fassbinder dieted strenuously to lose weight in order to play the role of Fox, which included a full-frontal nude scene. See more »
There are drunks lying everywhere! The state should do something. It's the same everywhere. In Helsinki recently, there were so many drunks lying around even though it's hard to get alcohol in Finland.
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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.
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