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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 ... 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 He is withdrawn, crushed, and humiliated.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:

DEM325,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,623, 16 February 2003

Gross USA:

$8,144

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,144
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tango Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Fassbinder
23 April 2015 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Hans (Hans Hirschmüller) is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes.

"The Merchant of Four Seasons" was a turning point in Fassbinder's career, marking his entry into the international film arena. It is considered by film critics to be one of Fassbinder's best films. For me, it was alright but not what I would consider among his best. Number one would have to be "Ali", and it is hard to dismiss "World on a Wire".

Granted, I have not perused the Criterion DVD, and maybe I just do not understand the complete context of this film. Another time?


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