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Martha (1974)

After the death of her abusive father, the lonely librarian Martha marries an equally vile businessman - Helmut. The cruel and torturous nature of their relationship lead Martha to believe Helmut might be trying to kill her.

Writer:

Cornell Woolrich (story "For the Rest of Her Life")
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margit Carstensen ... Martha Salomon, née Heyer
Karlheinz Böhm ... Helmut Salomon
Barbara Valentin ... Marianne
Peter Chatel ... Kaiser
Gisela Fackeldey Gisela Fackeldey ... Mother Heyer
Adrian Hoven ... Father Heyer
Ortrud Beginnen Ortrud Beginnen ... Erna
Wolfgang Schenck ... Meister
Günter Lamprecht Günter Lamprecht ... Dr. Herbert Salomon
El Hedi ben Salem ... Hotel guest
Rudolf Lenz Rudolf Lenz ... Porter
Kurt Raab ... Secretary - German embassy
Elma Karlowa ... Waitress
Heide Simon Heide Simon ... Nurse
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ... (as Lieselotte Eder)
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Storyline

A single woman in her early thirties, Martha (Margit Carstensen) is on vacation with her father in Rome when he has a heart attack and falls down dead. She reacts rather indifferently and returns home to her highly-strung mother and begins to new era of her life taking care of a completely ungrateful and insulting mother (declining an offer of marriage from her boss). After a barrage of verbal abuse and offensive remarks from her mother who see's her as an 'ugly old spinster' she accepts a proposal of marriage from an equally insulting and disrespectful man, Helmuth. They honeymoon in Italy. While there Helmuth resigns Martha from the job that she loves, sends her mother to a mental institution, and lets his wife get horribly burnt in the sun while sleeping, then painfully rapes her. Martha gets back to Germany to find that Helmuth has rented them a new house, and she will not be able to return to her old home even to collect any of her things, which he says must be left behind her. ... Written by K Wedgwood

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | Italian

Release Date:

28 May 1974 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Gymni brosta sto dolofono See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of legal reasons, the film wasn't shown for over 20 Years. Cornell Woolrich right holders claimed that the film has a lot similarities to one of his novels. Fassbinder replied, that he first read the story after filming was complete. Nevetheless Woolrich got a writing-credit. The first German screening of a restored edition was in November 1997. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Martha Salomon, née Heyer: Yes, father, I'm coming down in a minute. No, father, I'm in the bath now. I'm going later.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Composed by Max Bruch
Performed by Isaac Stern
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Strange Beautifully filmed movie
14 April 2005 | by yasminetteSee all my reviews

I was so amazed by this genius, the way that Fassbinder holds his camera as if it was his own child. I've rarely seen somebody mastering the art of camera as much as Fassbinder does. He's all over it, he sees beyond the human eye. The shot where Martha meets Helmuth for the first time in Roma is amazing... my heart stopped for about 3 seconds... I couldn't believe what I just saw...I saw this shot many times but I was afraid that I might loose interest in it if I kept playing it again and again. But I didn't. As for the story, it is very beautiful indeed, strange and disturbing. It's one of the best filmed movie ever done in my opinion. Don't miss it.


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