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The Merchant of Four Seasons (1972)

Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 10 February 1972 (France)
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.
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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans Hirschmüller ... Hans Epp / Husband
Irm Hermann ... Irmgard Epp / Wife
Hanna Schygulla ... Anna Epp / Hans's single sister
Klaus Löwitsch ... Harry Radek / 2nd salesman
Karl Scheydt Karl Scheydt ... Anzell / Irmgard's lover
Andrea Schober ... Renate Epp / Hans's daughter
Gusti Kreissl Gusti Kreissl ... Mother Epp
Ingrid Caven ... Hans's great love
Kurt Raab ... Kurt / Heide's husband
Heide Simon Heide Simon ... Heide / Hans's married sister
Peter Chatel ... Dr. Harlach
Elga Sorbas ... Marile / The whore
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ... Customer
Walter Sedlmayr Walter Sedlmayr ... Fruit cart salesman (as Walther Sedlmayer)
El Hedi ben Salem ... The Arab (as Salem El Heïdi)
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Storyline

Fruit vendor Hans (Hans Hirschmüller) cannot please his family. His mother harps on his failures. His wife is openly discontent. He must peddle produce to his beloved ex-girlfriend, and he is mocked by his customers for being shorter and fatter than his wife. He is withdrawn, crushed, and humiliated. He can not meet the high standards of his mother, he has to give up his job as a police officer when he gets involved with a prostitute in the office. He turns to drinking and violence, but his rage causes his wife and daughter to leave him. While desperately begging for their return, he suffers a debilitating heart attack. His family comes back, but Hans is unable to work and must hire help for his fruit stand. Hans' first employee is his wife's ex-lover, whom he fires for embezzling. He then hires a friend and hero from his legionnaire days, Harry (Klaus Löwitsch), out of pity. Harry is hardworking, diligent, and clever. He turns Hans' business around and enlivens his home life. Harry's... Written by lament

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 | Arabic

Release Date:

10 February 1972 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Merchant of Four Seasons See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 325,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tango Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[repeated line]
Hans Epp: Fresh pears!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sehnsucht nach Sodom (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Buona Notte
(uncredited)
Written by Rocco Granata & Jules Verard
Performed by Rocco Granata
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All Pigs
7 July 2015 | by jcnsofloridaSee all my reviews

The Merchant of Four Seasons received all major W German film awards for 1971 but it took a couple of more years for Fassbinder to break through internationally. TM4S is a fairly simple story but it can be difficult or painful to watch due to the subject matter: class prejudices, domestic violence, infidelity, family discord, depression and self-destructive behavior. In other words it presents a bleak view of the world and its human inhabitants. I believe there's an undercurrent of cutting humor throughout although it's interesting that no examples spring to mind and it's not campy. I saw TM4S in the mid-70s and in 2015 didn't remember much at all (other than not liking it), which suggests I repressed a lot that first time. I now think it's the first of a few masterpieces by a director whose importance will certainly endure.


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