Up 178 this week

Die tödliche Maria (1993)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 652 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

This dark psychological thriller draws us slowly but surely into Maria's strange world. Tension mounts as she is buffeted by interactions with her abusive husband, demanding father, and ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 21 Dec 2012
a list of 145 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
a list of 1043 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 101 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Die tödliche Maria (1993)

Die tödliche Maria (1993) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Die tödliche Maria.
9 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Run Lola Run (1998)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young woman in Germany has twenty minutes to find and bring 100,000 Deutschmarks to her boyfriend before he robs a supermarket.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An Interpol agent attempts to expose a high-profile financial institution's role in an international arms dealing ring.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Thirteen German directors present short films exploring the state of their country.

Directors: Fatih Akin, Wolfgang Becker, and 12 more credits »
Stars: Adriana Altaras, Bernhard Baron Boneberg, Josef Bierbichler
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1939, the author Annemarie Schwarzenbach and the ethnologist Ella Maillart travel together by car to Kabul, but each is in pursuit of her own project. Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who was ... See full summary »

Directors: Donatello Dubini, Fosco Dubini
Stars: Jeanette Hain, Nina Petri, Monika Arnó
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Beautiful blonde translator Rebecca lives with her boyfriend, ski instructor Marco, in a small mountain villa owned by her friend, nurse Laura. Rene, a cinema projectionist, steals Marco's ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ulrich Matthes, Marie-Lou Sellem, Floriane Daniel
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman
Gigantics (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the port town of Hamburg, Germany, Floyd decides that he's shipping out to South Africa and Singapore now that his two-year probation for an unspecified juvenile offense has been ... See full summary »

Director: Sebastian Schipper
Stars: Frank Giering, Florian Lukas, Antoine Monot Jr.
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After he loses his job, his father, and his girlfriend, Jan's life is a shambles. Then suddenly he meets freakish street musician Vera, and a bittersweet romance unfolds...

Director: Wolfgang Becker
Stars: Christiane Paul, Jürgen Vogel, Ricky Tomlinson
Epilogue I (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A love story has come to its end. When a man steps into the room where his beloved one lives, she tells him to go and that she doesn't want to see him anymore. He realizes that this is ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Isis Krüger, Thomas Wolff
True (2004)
Short | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The phone rings, startling Tomas, who is seated in front of the computer. He feels for the telephone receiver. Tomas is blind. His girlfriend, Francine, tells him that it's all over and ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Natalie Portman, Melchior Derouet
Klappenfilm (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Directors: Gerhard Theuring, Wim Wenders
Small Lights (2010)
Drama | Music | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Director: Josef Rusnak
Stars: Franka Potente, David Brezman, Pasquale Cassalia


Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina Petri ...
Katja Studt ...
Maria (16 years)
Juliane Heinemann ...
Maria (10 years)
Josef Bierbichler ...
Marias Father
Peter Franke ...
Jean Maeser ...
Heinz (Age 26)
Joachim Król ...
Rolf Peter Kahl ...
Renate Usko ...
Mrs. Dahlbach
Georg Winterfeld ...
Tom Spiess ...
Andreas Petri ...
First Aid
Nada Daniels ...
Ortwin Spieler ...
First Doctor
Peter Hommen ...
Second Doctor


This dark psychological thriller draws us slowly but surely into Maria's strange world. Tension mounts as she is buffeted by interactions with her abusive husband, demanding father, and meek paramour. This housewife, who initially appears outwardly unassuming and unremarkable, is shown to possess an inner landscape of the mind which is twisted and scarred. Techniques of German Expressionist cinema gradually give us insight into her psyche. Why does she write letter after letter to herself, stashing them in a living room cabinet? Secret after secret is gradually revealed, until the chilling and disturbing conclusion. Written by Tad Dibbern <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 February 1994 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Deadly Maria  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Features It Happened in Broad Daylight (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Early Tykwer -- fine craft, self-indulgent freudian script
11 October 2004 | by (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – See all my reviews

Given the excitement and the exhilarating surprises of Tykwer's subsequent work, this early film is a rude, depressing surprise, a claustrophobic brooding piece obsessively focused on hopelessness. Tykwer's craft in cinematography and direction is evident, but his script is one that might have been put together by a movie-bedazzled Goth high school student.

Yes, cinema can transform realities, altering time and transforming today's listless oppressed housewife back into her avatars as tentative child or as wide-eyed adolescent tasting a first, unexpected kiss; it can magic the lean young suitor into the indifferent, casually arrogant husband of later years; and it can change the powerful father into a bed-ridden, harsh demanding child. And as Tykwer demonstrates, letters become flashbacks, an inanimate statute has its own point of view, and dreams deliver incomprehensible alterations of reality.

But -- every character in this depressing story is progressively degraded in the telling of events that develop in confusing fashion over 25 years. The setting is a dark, depressing apartment building from which little of the action escapes; when Maria goes out to shop, the camera follows her gaze down toward her feet, rarely looking outward. Tentative, stuttering Dieter (Joachim Krol) lives downstairs, hemmed in by towering piles of crumbling newspapers and books, so that rather than offering the escape we wish for Maria (for we do, despite it all, hope for her to open finally and to take flight), he is no more than one more suffocating prisoner of the gloomy lower middle class German tenement.

And then the freudian symbolism, please -- this is the most arrant pseudo-psychological indulgence. Dark, dark, dark. The African statuette, phallus shaped, hiding place for Maria's paltry hoard, with dream powers to impregnate; the obsession with the frustration of sexuality; Maria's hoarding of letters to herself; messy rebirth, menstrual flow and vomiting; her intent killing of common household insects that she collects in a closed display box; and Tykwer's familiar confusion of falling and flight.

About halfway through the viewing, the surprises of time manipulation lose their charm and the film becomes increasingly "laengweilig" -- not "boring," the usual translation, but literally drawn-out in time, as if the resolution will never come. It does -- but there is little satisfaction and not much hope in this ending, which literally throws Maria and Dieter together, on the ground, in the grim courtyard of the building.

This film, available in Germany in VHS only, is one for the obsessionists who must own or know ALL of Tykwer. It's a waste of at least two fine actors (Petri and Krol). We can be thankful that Tykwer got most of this out of his system and survived somehow as a film maker despite it.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Someone help please........ ksequoia
Discuss Die tödliche Maria (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: