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The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
"Die Ehe der Maria Braun" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,850 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 34 critic

A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany.

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Klaus Löwitsch ...
Hermann Braun
Ivan Desny ...
Gisela Uhlen ...
Mother
Elisabeth Trissenaar ...
Betti Klenze
...
Hark Bohm ...
Senkenberg
George Eagles ...
Bill (as George Byrd)
Claus Holm ...
Doctor
Günter Lamprecht ...
Hans Wetzel (as Günther Lamprecht)
Anton Schiersner ...
Grandpa Berger
Lilo Pempeit ...
Frau Ehmke
Sonja Neudorfer ...
Red Cross nurse
Volker Spengler ...
Train conductor
...
Vevi
Edit

Storyline

This movie follows the life of a young German woman, married to a soldier in the waning days of WWII. Fassbinder has tried to show the gritty life after the end of WWII and the turmoil of the people trapped in its wake. Written by Neel V Kumar <neelvk@iname.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Marriage Of Maria Braun. . . the marriage lasted no longer than half a day and a full night.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 March 1979 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Marriage of Maria Braun  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 1,975,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 2,942,838 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rainer Werner Fassbinder:  Peddler who sells Maria the black dress See more »

Quotes

[Maria commenting on her new hairdo]
Maria Braun: I look like a poodle.
Betti Klenze: You think so? It's the latest thing.
Maria Braun: I'll bet the Americans are crazy about poodles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the introductory credits there is a line: 'fuer Peter Zadek'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Maria (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonlight Serenade
Written by Glenn Miller
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonder Woman
8 November 2013 | by (garbanzo) – See all my reviews

'The Marriage of Maria Braun' is German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's best-known and most financially successful movie and it's not hard to see why: it's a big event, a tour de force. This melodrama tells the story of an audacious, beautiful woman who puts her survival instinct to use during the early post-war era, when capitalist West Germany arose from the ashes. The film begins as she's getting married amidst the chaos of the last day of World War II in 1945, and much of what follows has to do with the peculiar way in which she devotes herself to her absent, yet somehow always present, idealized husband. The character of Maria is fascinating as a person, but it also serves as an allegory for Germany during this period of reconstruction, now generally referred to as the "economic miracle" ("Wirtschaftswunder").

Hanna Shygulla gives a perfect performance as the gorgeous and strong-willed Maria. She and Fassbinder were close and had worked together in many plays and films, including 'The Bitter Tears of Eva Von Kant', in 1972. By the time they made 'The Marriage of Maria Braun' in 1979, four years had passed since their last collaboration, so they both regarded it as a special reunion. To me, the film is a testament of the director's nostalgia and adoration for his diva. He was infamously difficult with many of his actors and actresses, yet is said to have treated Shygulla with a special kind of tenderness, and I believe it shows here.

Fassbinder was openly gay, but married twice. His relationships with his first wife, Ingrid Caven, and Moroccan male lover El Hedi Ben Salem, both important actors in his films, are known to have been especially tempestuous. This pattern of love/hate may reflect on some of the characters in his work. He was accused (perhaps unfairly) by some feminists of being misogynistic and by some gay critics of being homophobic. I haven't watched enough of his films to have an opinion on this. But I sense there's a very particular, mixed energy projected onto the character of Maria Braun, who is both hero and antihero, someone who has an admirable tenacity to overcome adversity, yet is willing to prostitute herself and stop at nothing in order to accomplish her goals. It's this complexity that makes the film interesting. Nothing here is easily spelled out as right or wrong.

'The Marriage of Maria Braun' is the first part of Fassbinder's BRD (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) trilogy, along with 'Veronica Voss' (1982) and 'Lola' (1981), which is made available as a set by the Criterion Collection. ('Veronica Voss' was filmed last, but is meant to be viewed as the second part of the trilogy.)


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