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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 »

Directors:

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

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

17 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 135,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire movie consists of 31 shots. See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Referenced in Warum läuft Herr V. Amok? (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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.


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