Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis' rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair ... See full summary »

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mogul merrily funds terrorists to boost his computer sales, by panicking West German government and industry c. 1980, as the third generation of Western European left-wing activists forms... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Eddie Constantine, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler
Satan's Brew (1976)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Walter, a German anarchist poet, is short of money after his publisher refuses to give him an advance. He tries various ways of raising money, including shooting one of his mistresses and ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Kurt Raab, Margit Carstensen, Helen Vita
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira (formerly Erwin) Weisshaupt. Years before, Erwin told a co-worker, Anton, that he loved him. "Too bad, you aren't a woman," he ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Volker Spengler, Ingrid Caven, Gottfried John
Whity (1971)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Whity is the biracial butler of the dysfunctional Nicholson family in the south-west U.S. in 1878. The father, Ben Nicholson, has an attractive young wife, Katherine, and two sons by a ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Ron Randell, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Margit Carstensen
Lili Marleen (1981)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In Switzerland German singer 'Willie' falls in love with Jewish composer 'Robert' who offers resistance to the Nazis by helping refugees. But his family thinks that 'Willie' is also a Nazi ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Giancarlo Giannini, Mel Ferrer
Veronika Voss (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Munich, 1955: A sports journalist meets Veronika Voss, an UFA actress who supposedly had an affair with Goebbels. Now declining, Voss is kept by her "kind" doctor, Dr. Katz, supplying her ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Both the parents of a young teen who walks with crutches, goes on each their secret meeting with lovers, both surprising each other at the family's county home. The daughter arrives and initiates a guessing game of "Chinese roulette".

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Anna Karina, Margit Carstensen, Brigitte Mira
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Hans Epp is a self-destructive man who lives a dissatisfied life. He tries to find meaning as a fruit vendor, but a heart attack impedes his ability to work, which turns his dissatisfaction into despair.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hans Hirschmüller, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla
Katzelmacher (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Jorgos, a migrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people in Munich usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Lilith Ungerer, Rudolf Waldemar Brem
Fear of Fear (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Margit Carstensen, Ulrich Faulhaber, Brigitte Mira
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

With slicked-down hair and three-piece suits, dependable Herr Raab is a technical draftsman. He gets along with his colleagues although his boss wants him to go beyond technical cleanliness... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Fengler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Lilith Ungerer, Kurt Raab, Lilo Pempeit
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herman
...
Lydia
...
Felix
...
Ardalion
Armin Meier ...
Silverman / Sergeant Brown / Foreman
Peter Kern ...
Müller
...
Inspector Schelling
Alexander Allerson ...
Mayer
Hark Bohm ...
Doctor
Roger Fritz ...
Inspector Braun
...
Perebrodov
Y Sa Lo ...
Elsie
Lilo Pempeit ...
Secretary Schmidt
Ingrid Caven ...
Hotel Manager
Voli Geiler ...
1st Landlady
Edit

Storyline

Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis' rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair to observe himself making love to his wife, Lydia, a zaftig empty-headed siren who is also sleeping with her cousin. Hermann is soon given to intemperate outbursts at his workers, other businessmen, and strangers. Then, he meets Felix, an itinerant laborer, whom he delusionally believes looks exactly like himself. Armed with a new life insurance policy, he hatches an elaborate plot in the belief it will free him of all his worries. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A "hysterical" comedy

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the chocolate factory in 1930s Berlin, Germany is never disclosed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dirk Bogarde: By Myself (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Well worth seeing -- don't read the other posters spoilers
28 September 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

What can I say -- watch the film. And don't read the other posters comments -- he didn't like the film, or even bother finishing it but felt compelled to make a list of pointless spoilers in his useless comments.

This was Fassbinders shot at 'commercialism', which he failed at entirely (thankfully) but we are left with a thoughtful examination of the boundaries between self awareness and delusion. A metaphor for post war Germany? Who am I to be so pretentious ...

Strong performances, provocative script, not a light romp but neither is it a heavy slog.

CC


35 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?