17 user 28 critic

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970)

Warum läuft Herr R. Amok (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 November 1977 (USA)
With slicked-down hair and three-piece suits, dependable Herr Raab is a technical draftsman. He gets along with his colleagues although his boss wants him to go beyond technical cleanliness... See full summary »


Michael Fengler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (as Rainer W. Fassbinder)


Michael Fengler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (as Rainer W. Fassbinder)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilith Ungerer ... Frau R.
Kurt Raab ... Herr R.
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ... Kollegin im Büro
Franz Maron ... Chef
Harry Baer ... Kollege im Büro (as Harry Bär)
Peter Moland Peter Moland ... Kollege im Büro
Hanna Schygulla ... Hanna
Ingrid Caven ... Nachbarin
Irm Hermann ... Nachbarin
Doris Mattes Doris Mattes ... Nachbarin
Hannes Gromball Hannes Gromball ... Nachbar
Vinzenz Sterr Vinzenz Sterr ... Opa Raab (as Herr Sterr)
Maria Sterr Maria Sterr ... Oma Raab (as Frau Sterr)
Peer Raben Peer Raben ... Schulfreund
Eva Pampuch Eva Pampuch ... Schallplattenverkäuferin
Learn more

More Like This 

Katzelmacher (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jorgos, a migrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people in Munich usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Lilith Ungerer, Rudolf Waldemar Brem
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man is released from prison and finds the society on the outside less than appealing. With several women as well as the police on his tail, he sets out to find an old friend.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Margarethe von Trotta, Harry Baer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Hans Epp is a self-destructive man who lives a dissatisfied life. He tries to find meaning as a fruit vendor, but a heart attack impedes his ability to work, which turns his dissatisfaction into despair.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hans Hirschmüller, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Karl Scheydt, Elga Sorbas, Jan George
Effi Briest (1974)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town.... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Wolfgang Schenck, Ulli Lommel
Whity (1971)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Whity is the mulatto butler of the dysfunctional Nicholson family in the south-west U.S. in 1878. The father, Ben Nicholson, has an attractive young wife, Katherine, and two sons by a ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Ron Randell, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Ulli Lommel, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake
Lili Marleen (1981)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1938, a German singer falls in love with a Jewish composer in Zurich, who helps Jews flee Nazi Germany. She wants to help but is forced back to Germany. Her song "Lili Marleen" becomes a hit with soldiers and the Nazi top.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Giancarlo Giannini, Mel Ferrer
The Niklashausen Journey (TV Movie 1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Can a small group of people start a proletarian revolution, asks the "Black Monk" in a leather jacket. The medieval shepherd, Hans Boehm, claims to have been called by the Virgin Mary to ... See full summary »

Directors: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michael Fengler
Stars: Michael König, Hanna Schygulla, Margit Carstensen
Rio das Mortes (TV Movie 1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Michel and Guenther, working in dead-end jobs, are obsessed with going to Peru to find buried treasure, using a map of the Rio das Mortes. Michel's girlfriend, Hanna, humors their plan, but... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Michael König, Günther Kaufmann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Frau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Margit Carstensen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young West German working-class man wins the lottery and initiates a relationship with a man above his social standing.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Peter Chatel, Karlheinz Böhm




With slicked-down hair and three-piece suits, dependable Herr Raab is a technical draftsman. He gets along with his colleagues although his boss wants him to go beyond technical cleanliness to problem solving. He's a dutiful husband; his wife's a social climber and pushes him to seek a promotion, but they also share sweet moments. He's a caring father, helping his son with homework. His parents visit; his mother criticizes his wife. Old School friends drop by, as do neighbors. Some comment on Raab's wife's expensive tastes. His promotion may be a long shot, especially after he gives a dull and tipsy toast at an office dinner. But why would Herr Raab run amok? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In 2003 on a interview for Village Voice Hanna Schygulla claimed that this film was completely done by director Michael Fengler, whereas purported co-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder had nothing to do with the actual film. She also claimed that film was almost completely improvised which wasn't Fassbinder's way to make movies. Fassbinder still is credited as director and writer on the actual film and on many official sources, including Fassbinder Foundation's website. This fact has been confirmed by Michael Fengler himself in the 2008 documentation Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmemacher (2008). He reported, that Fassbinder was involved neither in writing nor in directing of the movie and has visited the movie set at most twice during shooting. See more »


When Herr R. leaves the doctor the camera team can be seen in the mirror on the wall. See more »


Featured in Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmemacher (2008) See more »


Stand by Me
Written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Performed by Ben E. King
See more »

User Reviews

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?
28 August 2010 | by random_avengerSee all my reviews

Mr. R. (Kurt Raab) leads a convenient bourgeois life: he has a steady job with chances of promotion, a good-looking wife (Lilith Ungerer), a kid and many family friends. Still, a growing sense of disillusionment and alienation is gnawing Mr. R.'s mind... Is there anything he can do to cope with his mind-numbing life?

The film consists largely of lengthy conversations about the most mundane of things; work, vacations, the son's school, buying a romantic record in a music store... The whole picture is also presented exclusively with long takes and hand-held cameras. The improvised nature of the conversations further adds to the strictly realist documentary-like feel of the movie, as does the intentionally dull cinematography. With such undramatic direction, the only detail to suggest the advancement of Mr. R.'s emotional alienation is Kurt Raab's subtle performance: Mr. R. alternates between sullen observing and unrestrained blabbing, and when the camera occasionally focuses on his face instead of his chit-chatting friends, one can get a creepy feel of slowly escalating anxiety inside him. Lilith Ungerer as his wife also displays faint hints of similar emotions, but keeps them tightly hidden under her shell of excruciating normalcy.

When a film is titled like this one, some kind of dramatic ending or plot twist can be expected sooner or later. Here it only happens at the very end; until the last 10 minutes or so, the film is completely G-rated. The scene preceding the twist is the best one in the whole film and achieves a very distressing atmosphere, but still, the twist itself comes across as rather predictable and even lackluster. Perhaps it is just that modern audiences have become desensitized to such incidents, but more oomph would have been needed to justify the preceding 80 minutes of practically nothing, as Mr. R.'s boredom has also become ours by the end.

Even though there's not much to see besides the lead couple's performance, I have a taste for this type of uneventful, talky cinema. Ultimately Warum... was a curious novelty to me and kept me intrigued throughout, but I'm somewhat wary of recommending it to more casual film fans; something like Michael Haneke's 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance could be a more easily accessible take on the subject. Then again, if you know what to expect, Warum... may also be a rewarding experience in mundanity that many can surely identify with – you have to make up your own mind based on your tastes.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



West Germany



Release Date:

17 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany


Box Office


DEM135,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed