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In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)
"In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  11 June 1980 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,039 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 23 critic

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 »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Volker Spengler ...
Ingrid Caven ...
Die rote Zora
...
Anton Saitz
Elisabeth Trissenaar ...
Irene Weishaupt
Eva Mattes ...
Marie-Ann Weishaupt
Günther Kaufmann ...
J. Smolik, Chauffeur
Lilo Pempeit ...
Schwester Gudrun (as Lieselotte Pempeit)
...
Sybille
Karl Scheydt ...
Christoph Hacker
Walter Bockmayer ...
Seelenfrieda
Peter Kollek ...
Saeufer
Bob Dorsay ...
Selbstmörder
Gerhard Zwerenz ...
Burghard Hauser, Schriftsteller
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Storyline

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 replied. Erwin took Anton at his word. Trying to salvage something from the wreckage love has made of his life, he now hopes that Anton will not reject him again. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In a Year with 13 Moons  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tape-recorded narration heard throughout the film (particularly during the final scene) was not scripted. Volker Spengler (playing Elvira Weishaupt) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder recorded the narration together, with Fassbinder asking questions and Spengler responding in character. In the final cut of the film, Fassbinder's voice is edited out. See more »

Connections

Referenced in National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Frankie Teardrop
Written by Martin Rev and Alan Vega
Performed by Suicide
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brutal, honest, excellent:
29 August 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The movie should have been called "Despair" had Fassbinder himself not made the film with that title just before "In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden" (1978) which was very personal for the writer/director who had to come to terms with his lover's suicide. This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira - Erwin Weisshaupt. Several years back, Ervin underwent the sex change operation in hopes to win love of the man he loved. It did not help him to make Anton love him and it did not make him happier. It may sound beautiful, "I'll do anything for love, I'll be anything you want me to be" but by trying to be someone else, a person simply loses his/her own identity, becomes lonely and desperate and has no way out.

The movie is the most touching, moving, powerful and devastating Fassbinder ever made - it is impossibly difficult to watch at times but it does not make it a bad movie. The acting is fantastic by everyone; the directing is tight and Fassbinder is always in control taking movie from its melodramatic roots to the heights of pure tragedy, never been over-sentimental and even providing some humor. The choice of music with the references to "Death in Venice" (eternal and never fulfilled longing) and to Fellini's "Amarcord" (looking back at one's life trying to find the roots in the childhood, to understand how and why the things happened the way they did) makes the film even more compelling.

Warning: there is a scene in the slaughterhouse which is almost unbearable to watch. It is the very important scene but be prepared for it. It does not spare any details of the job done and in its emotional impact is as horrifying as "The Blood of the Beasts" (1949), the short documentary by Georges Franju.


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