IMDb > The Stationmaster's Wife (1977) (TV)
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The Stationmaster's Wife (1977) (TV) More at IMDbPro »Bolwieser (original title)

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Release Date:
31 July 1977 (West Germany) See more »
The lackluster and plodding station master Bolwieser has the (mis)fortune to be married to the town's... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Long, Slow, Trip Through the Roundhouse See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Elisabeth Trissenaar ... Hanni Bolwieser

Kurt Raab ... Xaver Ferdinand Maria Bolwieser - Station Master
Bernhard Helfrich ... Franz Merkl
Karl-Heinz von Hassel ... Windegger

Volker Spengler ... Mangst
Gustl Bayrhammer ... Neidhard - Hanni's Father

Udo Kier ... Schafftaler
Armin Meier ... Scherber
Peter Kern ... Treuberger
Willy Harlander ... Stempflinger (as Willi Harlander)
Hannes Kaetner ... Lederer
Doris Mattes ... Zeugin
Lilo Pempeit ... Frau Käser (as Liselotte Pempeit)
Elma Karlowa ... Krankenschwester
Gerhard Zwerenz ... Ferryman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Isolde Barth ... 1. Animierdame
Katherina Buchhammer ... Barwirtin
Adolph Gruber ... Angeklagter Bauer
Monica Gruber ... Kellnerin
Manfred Günther ... Verteidiger
Margot Mahler ... 2. Animierdame
Renate Muhri ... Hure
Ulrich Radke ... Justizrat Schneider
Karl Scheydt ... Wärter
Monica Teuber
Reinhard Weiser ... Sailerbub

Gottfried John ... Trial assessor (uncredited)

Directed by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
Oskar Maria Graf  novel

Produced by
Herbert Knopp .... producer
Willi Segler .... producer
Harry R. Sokal .... supervising producer (as Henri Sokal)
Original Music by
Peer Raben 
Cinematography by
Michael Ballhaus 
Film Editing by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder  (as Franz Walsch)
Juliane Lorenz 
Ila von Hasperg 
Production Design by
Nico Hehrhan 
Peter Müller 
Kurt Raab 
Jochen Schumacher 
Costume Design by
Monika Altmann-Kriger 
Makeup Department
Brigitte Raupach-Goeckel .... makeup artist (as Brigitte Raupach)
Fritz Seyfried .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christian Hohoff .... assistant director
Udo Kier .... assistant director
Ila von Hasperg .... assistant director
Sound Department
Milan Bor .... sound mixer
Milan Bor .... sound
Werner Böhm .... sound
Klaus Maier .... sound
Hans Joachim Richter .... sound (as Hans-Joachim Richter)
Camera and Electrical Department
Horst Knechtel .... assistant camera

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Bolwieser" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
201 min (2 parts) | West Germany:112 min (theatrical version)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in Tod eines Weltstars (1994) (TV)See more »
3rd Movement of the Divertimento No.17 in D-major K.334See more »


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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Long, Slow, Trip Through the Roundhouse, 30 April 2006
Author: tom-darwin from United States

Televising the work of an avant-garde, openly homosexual director says as much about a West Germany still struggling with its postwar identity in the 1970s as it does about Fassbinder's stature. Railroad stationmaster & petty Nazi Party official Bolwieser (Raab) seems to have it made in his small town between the wars: a secure, respectable job, a position of authority & the most desirable woman in town as his wife. Both he & his wife Hanni (Trissenaar) discover that her beauty & his position are not enough to make a marriage work. After putting up with numerous petty humiliations from her husband--most of them all the more humiliating because they are thoughtless & unintentional rather than calculated & deliberate--she slowly, quietly & deviously explores how far she can go to undermine his power over her. Even as she begins to have affairs with his friends, Bolwieser goes from ignoring his wife's silent rebellion to actually enabling it. In doing so he risks not only his marriage & self-respect but his entire position in society. If you're looking for a noir story of seduction & betrayal like "Double Indemnity" or a sophisticated European battle of the sexes like the contemporary "Swept Away," you will find nothing of the kind. As with all Fassbinder characters, Bolwieser & his wife are individuals highly resistant to gender stereotyping, though they are far from sexless. Bolwieser's love for Hanni is unshakable & while he's aware that he's inadequate, he doesn't know why. Nor do the conventions of his day allow him the means to find out. Hanni never hates Bolwieser or is even very contemptuous of him. Her selfishness is so complete, casual & unassuming that it sometimes has an almost virginal purity which helps explain her husband's powerlessness. Struggling with their own problems & held back by the same societal mores, their friends & neighbors understand little but assume much. Longtime Fassbinder player Raab, who excels at giving somewhat mousy, slightly neurotic characters a very human complexity, is in top form as the unhappy stationmaster. Newcomer Trissenaar, who went on to a successful TV career, is as deft as any Fassbinder actress. Her subtle portrayal of a woman for whom soft but inexorable manipulation is almost instinctive will be quite a change for those accustomed to the over-the-top femdemons created by Linda Fiorentino, Sharon Stone, Lena Olin & Glenn Close. "Bolwieser" is, in a way, much scarier because the viewer, having gotten to know the characters, isn't allowed to escape the suspension of disbelief or take refuge in stereotype or genre. It was another triumph for Fassbinder, who would explore similar themes with his biggest hit,"The Marriage of Maria Braun," before destroying himself. Americans will probably find only the shorter Fassbinder theatrical cut known as "The Stationmaster's Wife," which lacks the intricate subplots of the miniseries but is no less engrossing. It's interesting that the TV version is named for the husband & the movie version for the wife.

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