13 user 33 critic

Love Is Colder Than Death (1969)

Liebe ist kälter als der Tod (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 16 January 1970 (West Germany)
Unusual gangster story, in which a small-time pimp Franz, who is torn between his mistress and Bruno the gangster sent after him by the syndicate that he has refused to join. Things are ... See full summary »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ulli Lommel ... Bruno
Hanna Schygulla ... Johanna
Katrin Schaake ... Dame im Zug
Liz Söllner Liz Söllner ... Zeitungsverkäuferin
Gisela Otto Gisela Otto ... Prostituierte
Ursula Strätz Ursula Strätz ... Prostituierte
Monika Nüchtern Monika Nüchtern ... Kellnerin beim Türken (as Monika Stadler)
Hans Hirschmüller ... Peter
Les Olvides Les Olvides ... Georges
Peer Raben Peer Raben ... Jürgen (also Waffenhändler (voice)) (as Wil Rabenbauer)
Howard Gaines Howard Gaines ... Raoul
Peter Moland Peter Moland ... Leiter des Syndikatsverhörs
Kurt Raab ... Aufsichtsperson im Kaufhaus
Peter Berling ... Schuster / Illegaler Waffenhändler
Anastassios Karalas Anastassios Karalas ... Türke


Unusual gangster story, in which a small-time pimp Franz, who is torn between his mistress and Bruno the gangster sent after him by the syndicate that he has refused to join. Things are turned on their head when Franz and Bruno become friends, to the point that they even share Franz's girlfriend Joanna. But Joanna soon becomes bored of Bruno. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Eine knallharte Geschichte vom Leben, vom Lieben und vom Sterben


Comedy | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film is considered as the first part of a black-and-white Gangster Film Trilogy by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the subsequent films being Gods of the Plague (1970) and The American Soldier (1970). See more »


Leiter des Syndikatsverhörs: Have you thought it over? You'd have a secure future as an employee of the syndicate. The syndicate has the best lawyers, the best connections.
Franz Walsch: I want to be free.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Für Claude Chabrol, Éric Rohmer, Jean-Marie Straub, Linio und Cuncho See more »


Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »


Der Rosenkavalier
By Richard Strauss
See more »

User Reviews

cold and brilliant
5 December 2005 | by oslaneSee all my reviews

Fassbinder's debut feature seems to be strongly influenced by early Godard films like Breathles or Band of Outsiders in both its gritty black and white style and references to the gangster/noir genres. But where Godard's characters have a playful sense of humor, trying to act their gangster fantasies wearing fedoras and poorly executing non-thought out crimes to the tune of a swinging soundtrack and beautiful woman, Love Is Colder than Death does all with a fridgid, robotic sense of cool. Every shot is like a black and white photo where the acting is like posing in front of mirror before the action (or one of the characters)gets executed. The film is pretty avante-garde in using mostly completely static shots and the characters pretty much act "too cool". They just stare at you as you're supposed to react, then when there's an action, you get surprised and realise it's still in the movie. Forget that the plot is simple, threadbare even, this is an atmosphere piece.

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West Germany


German | English

Release Date:

16 January 1970 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Is Colder Than Death See more »


Box Office


DEM95,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,623, 16 February 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Antiteater-X-Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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