IMDb > The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
Die Ehe der Maria Braun
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The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) More at IMDbPro »Die Ehe der Maria Braun (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   6,907 votes »
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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Pea Fröhlich (screenplay) and
Peter Märthesheimer (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Marriage of Maria Braun on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 March 1979 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Marriage Of Maria Braun. . . the marriage lasted no longer than half a day and a full night.
Plot:
A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
torrid melodrama about a woman who can get what she wants, but needs are another matter See more (35 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Hanna Schygulla ... Maria Braun
Klaus Löwitsch ... Hermann Braun
Ivan Desny ... Karl Oswald
Gisela Uhlen ... Mother
Elisabeth Trissenaar ... Betti Klenze

Gottfried John ... Willi 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

Isolde Barth ... Vevi
Bruce Low ... American at conference
Günther Kaufmann ... American on train
Karl-Heinz von Hassel ... Prosecuting counsel
Kristine De Loup ... Notary (as Kristine de Loup)
Hannes Kaetner ... Justice of the Peace

Michael Ballhaus ... Counsel
Barbara Baum
Peter Berling ... Bronski
Rolf Bührmann ... Warden

Rainer Werner Fassbinder ... Peddler
Martin Häussler ... Reporter
Horst-Dieter Klock ... Gentleman With Car
Georg Kuhn
Norbert Scherer ... Warden
Andreas Willim
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Glogau ... Warden (uncredited)

Directed by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
 
Writing credits
Pea Fröhlich (screenplay) and
Peter Märthesheimer (screenplay)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (idea)

Pea Fröhlich (dialogue) and
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (dialogue) and
Peter Märthesheimer (dialogue)

Kurt Raab  uncredited

Produced by
Wolf-Dietrich Brücker .... producer
Volker Canaris .... producer
Hanns Eckelkamp .... co-producer
Michael Fengler .... producer: Albatros-Produktion
 
Original Music by
Peer Raben 
 
Cinematography by
Michael Ballhaus 
 
Film Editing by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder  (as Franz Walsch)
Juliane Lorenz 
 
Production Design by
Norbert Scherer 
 
Set Decoration by
Arno Mathes 
Hans-Peter Sandmeier  (as Hans Sandmeier)
Andreas Willim 
 
Costume Design by
Barbara Baum 
 
Makeup Department
Anni Nöbauer .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Harry Baer .... production manager (as Harry Zöttl)
Martin Häussler .... production manager
Thomas Wommer .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rolf Bührmann .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Georg Borgel .... props
Claus Kottmann .... props
 
Sound Department
Milan Bor .... sound
John Salter .... sound assistant
Jim Willis .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ekkehard Heinrich .... gaffer
Hans-Juergen Hoepflinger .... gaffer (as Hans-Jürgen Höpflinger)
Horst Knechtel .... assistant camera
Raimund Wirner .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Georg Kuhn .... wardrobe
Inge Proeller .... wardrobe (as Ingeborg Pröller)
Susi Reichel .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Christiane Kolenc .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Daniel Ambach .... music assistant
Kurt Maas .... music assistant
 
Transportation Department
Karl Willim .... driver
 
Other crew
Helga Beyer .... script supervisor
Robert Busch .... production assistant
Dieter Dubine .... location manager
Christine Fall .... production secretary
Jochen Losse .... production coordinator
Ulrike Bode .... assistant: producer (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Peter Zadek .... dedicatee
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Ehe der Maria Braun" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
120 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Fujicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 (original rating) | Finland:K-12 (re-rating) | Finland:K-15 (re-rating) (2004) | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:16 (1979) | Singapore:R(A) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:R | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Part of the BRD Trilogy along with Veronika Voss (1982) and Lola (1981). "BRD" stands for Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the official name of West Germany and of the united contemporary Germany, period in which those three stories takes place.See more »
Quotes:
Karl Oswald:You've no sense of humor. The best accountant in the world and not a nickel's worth of imagination, not a wooden nickel.
Maria Braun:That's a compliment. Imagination would only be a liability to you. Someone must ensure we don't lose our credit rating.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Moonlight SerenadeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
torrid melodrama about a woman who can get what she wants, but needs are another matter, 21 June 2009
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Maria Braun got married right in the middle of combat all around her and her husband Hermann. An explosion ripped through the building, to begin with, and she and Hermann had to sign the papers on a pile of rubble on the street. Perhaps this may strike some as a heavy-handed metaphor for what's about to come: marriage on the rocks, so to speak. It's a betrothal where the husband goes off to war and is held in a Russian prison camp, unbenownst to the helpless but hopeful and proud Maria, who keeps standing by the depressing rubble of the train station as some come home, others don't, with a sign awaiting Hermann.

Trouble arises, as happens in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's melodramas, and as its one of his best and most provocative, we see as Maria (uncommonly gorgeous Hanna Schygulla in this role) will do a two-face: she'll stand by her man, even if it means working at a bar for American GI's and, even still after she hears from a fellow soldier that Hermann has died will still stand by him as she sleeps with a black GI and comes close to bearing his child (that is, naturally, until he reappears and a murder occurs and he takes the rap so she can be safe), or working for a German businessman (effectively sympathetic Ivan Desny) and becoming his sometimes mistress and rising star in the company. Maria will do whatever it takes to be successful, but she'll always be married.

It's hard to say there's anything about Maria that isn't fascinating. Money, sex, power, all of these become interchangeable for Maria. She's like the feminist that has her cake and eats it with a sultry smile: she gets to have a husband, more or less (actually a lot less until the last ten minutes of the film) while obtaining things- a man who dotes on her whenever he can, a new and expensive house with servants, a secretary, money- that others around her aren't getting due to already being with a man or too weak in a position to rise anywhere (such as the secretary, played interestingly enough by Fassbinder's own mother).

Maria is sexy, confident, and all alone, with an idealized life going against a life that should be made in the shade. She says of the two men- the American soldier and poor old and sick Oswald- that she's fond of them, and at the same time will stick by those roses the confused and soul-searching husband Hermann sends from Canada, after being released from prison. She's casts a profile that a feminist would love to trounce, but understand where she's coming from and going all the way.

Fassbinder employs this inherent contradiction, and moments with Maria appear to go against the conventions of a melodrama (for example, Hermann walking in on the jubilant and half-naked Maria and GI is just about a masterpiece of a scene, with Maria's reaction not of surprise or guilt but pure happiness to see that he's there let alone alive), while sticking to his guns as a director of such high-minded technique with a storyline that should be predictable. But it isn't really. It's like one big metaphor for a country that, after the war, couldn't really move on to normalcy. A few times Fassbinder puts sound of the radio on in the background, and we see Maria walking around her family house, hustle and bustle going on around her, and the radio speaks of a divided Germany, of things still very unsettled, of a disarray. Maybe the only way to cope is excess, or maybe that's just my interpretation of it.

It's hard to tell, really, under Schygulla's stare face and eyes, anyway. It's such an incredible performance, really, one of those showstoppers that captures the glamor and allure of an old-time Hollywood female star while with the down-and-dirty ethic of a girl of the streets. Most telling are the opposing costumes one sees in one scene when she finally is with her husband, where she stars in one of those super-lustful black lingerie pieces and high heels, and then moves on to a dress without even thinking about it. That's almost the essence of what Maria is, and Schygulla wonderfully gets it down, a headstrong but somehow loving figure who is adored and perplexed by the men around her, sometimes in a single sentence. This is what Fassbinder captures in his wonderful first part of his "trilogy"; while I might overall prefer Veronika Voss as a masterpiece, Maria Braun is perhaps just as good as a character study, of what makes a woman tick and tock with (almost) nothing to lose.

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