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Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (1975)
"Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  23 March 1976 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 989 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 12 critic

Frau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brigitte Mira ...
Ingrid Caven ...
Margit Carstensen ...
Frau Thälmann
Karlheinz Böhm ...
Irm Hermann ...
Peter Kern ...
Kurt Raab ...
Barbesitzer Gustav
Gustav Holzapfel ...
Herr Holzapfel
Lilo Pempeit ...
Peter Chatel ...
Peter Bollag ...
Vitus Zeplichal ...
Y Sa Lo ...


Frau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her annoying daughter-in-law thinks otherwise. The point, we soon find out, is moot: Mr. Kusters has murdered the personnel director at the soap factory where he works before committing suicide. Written by Tim Horrigan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

23 March 1976 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven  »

Box Office


DEM 750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Naiive wife determined to clear murder/suicide husband's name
8 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fassbinder's most political film, mixes all imaginable elements dominating the news in 1970s Germany. The story begins with a radio news bulletin about a factory worker going berserk, killing a supervisor, then himself. The man's lower class family (busy with small assembly "homework") engages in evening small talk, casually mentioning the news flash in their conversation. Minutes later the bad news arrives at the door.

Immediately the vulnerable "Mother Kusters" is hounded by reporters from the boulevard press. Twisting her words, as well as those of children and a pregnant daughter in-law, along with taking countless bad-angle photographs, the press has their story. The name of easy-going, kind and obedient Father Kusters is ruined.

Several characters bring definite color to this unusual story. Mother Kusters' 30-something daughter, an aspiring lounge singer (a la Marlene Dietrich) shamelessly exploits her newly gained celebrity status by initiating press interviews about her father's tragedy, then moving in with the questionable reporter, who also arranged singing work through "connections".

Mother Kusters soon is "lulled in" by some upscale and persuasive communists, who appear sympathetic, but eventually seem to be exploiting the poor old woman for their own political gains. Finally Mother Kusters ends in a bizarre trap she unwittingly fell for: A group of anarchists, under the pretense of assuring that her husband's name will be cleared, use the woman in a hostage stand-off aimed at the release of political prisoners. - The final scene suddenly stops in a freeze frame, with a brief written description of the immediate action to follow. WOW!

Although not among Fassbinder's great classics, this is an impressive film. The statements made here were originally (in the mid-70s) met with criticism. The treatment of communism and anarchy (in a not necessarily negative way) were seen as contrary to common acceptance of the day. Years after the Cold War's end, the story of "the factory murderer" seems dated. Still, a well-worth-seeing film!

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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