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In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)

In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 11 June 1980 (USA)
This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira (formerly Erwin) Weisshaupt. Years before, Erwin told a co-worker, Anton, that he loved him. "Too bad, you aren't a woman," he ... See full summary »

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Complete credited cast:
Volker Spengler ... Erwin / Elvira Weishaupt
Ingrid Caven ... Die rote Zora
Gottfried John ... Anton Saitz
Elisabeth Trissenaar ... Irene Weishaupt
Eva Mattes ... Marie-Ann Weishaupt
Günther Kaufmann ... J. Smolik, Chauffeur
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ... Schwester Gudrun (as Lieselotte Pempeit)
Isolde Barth ... Sybille
Karl Scheydt Karl Scheydt ... Christoph Hacker
Walter Bockmayer Walter Bockmayer ... Seelenfrieda
Peter Kollek Peter Kollek ... Saeufer
Bob Dorsay Bob Dorsay ... Selbstmörder
Gerhard Zwerenz Gerhard Zwerenz ... Burghard Hauser, Schriftsteller


This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira (formerly Erwin) Weisshaupt. Years before, Erwin told a co-worker, Anton, that he loved him. "Too bad, you aren't a woman," he replied. Erwin took Anton at his word. Trying to salvage something from the wreckage love has made of his life, he now hopes that Anton will not reject him again. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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West Germany



Release Date:

11 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In a Year with 13 Moons See more »


Box Office


DEM 700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The tape-recorded narration heard throughout the film (particularly during the final scene) was not scripted. Volker Spengler (playing Elvira Weishaupt) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder recorded the narration together, with Fassbinder asking questions and Spengler responding in character. In the final cut of the film, Fassbinder's voice is edited out. See more »


References You're Never Too Young (1955) See more »


Schöner fremder Mann
Performed by Connie Francis
See more »

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User Reviews

Falling in a hole.
28 November 2007 | by dteilSee all my reviews

I watched this movie and after my first reaction wasn't that clear. sometimes boring perhaps? but then i was thinking about it, more and more and it touched me more and more and in a strange way i compared this one with the all time classic x-mas movie IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE from Capra. in the mood way. Interesting to say, that also in 13 MOONS there is an angel like in the x-mas Movie. It's the character ROTE ZORA. While Capra's angel had success, it's will know, it will not happen in 13 Moons.

of course while you will learn by the Frank Capra movie how important each human being is in the world we live in, Fassbinder gives you here the lesson how hopeless life can be. So while you have tears in your eyes by watching IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, you see all the hope in this movie and you know there will be a happy end. From the first second on in this movie you know, there will be no happy end. And you will have no tears in your eyes at the end, but perhaps you will be a little bit speechless. From Hollywood a movie like this never will come. This movie don't want to entertain you in a Hollywood way. so be prepared!

This movie is the most personal Fasssbinder for sure. He lost some weeks before his boyfriend. then he wrote in three days the whole script. Unbelievable to tell that he ALSO was responsible for BOOK/EDITING/CAMERA (Michael Ballhaus was asked for, but he couldn't)/PRODUCING/IDEA/EQUIPMENT and of course DIRECTING it. The Music score is very good (classic meets suicide (the new wave band) meets sixties rock'n roll meets Connie Francis). A terrific Volker Spengler as the main character as also a stunning Ingrid Caven.

Almost impossible to understand the whole plot when you have to read the English subtitles, it's absolutely recommend when you can speak German.

Beginning with the written introduction about the 13 Moons, through the slaughterhouse scene (which is remarkable for the whole movie, because here he shows us the Life and the Death, the hopeless the movie is about in a short sequence), through the next scene where elvira is lying very depressed on the bed while the record player plays a x-mas song (it's a wonderful life......), but the song has a scratch (hopeless again) to the important scene where elvira tries to become erwin again (but failed), the two hours of this movie is very sensitive. It's not a movie to watch between Forrest Gump and Star Wars (...). It's a movie which brings you back to the ground of earth. So honest that you feel pain.

Everyone will have a time in life in which he falls in a hole. This movie is showing that. A tragedy. OR a horror trip.

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