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Berlin Alexanderplatz 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | TV Mini-Series (1980)
In late-1920s Berlin, Franz Biberkopf is released from prison and vows to go straight. However, he soon finds himself embroiled in the city's criminal underworld.
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1  
1980  
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Günter Lamprecht Günter Lamprecht ...  Franz Biberkopf 14 episodes, 1980
Claus Holm ...  Wirt / ... 12 episodes, 1980
Hanna Schygulla ...  Eva 12 episodes, 1980
Franz Buchrieser Franz Buchrieser ...  Gottfried Meck 11 episodes, 1980
Brigitte Mira ...  Frau Bast / ... 10 episodes, 1980
Roger Fritz Roger Fritz ...  Herbert / ... 9 episodes, 1980
Gottfried John ...  Reinhold Hoffmann 9 episodes, 1980
Barbara Sukowa ...  Mieze 7 episodes, 1980
Günther Kaufmann ...  Theo 7 episodes, 1980
Ivan Desny ...  Pums / ... 7 episodes, 1980
Volker Spengler ...  Bruno 7 episodes, 1980
Vitus Zeplichal Vitus Zeplichal ...  Rudi 7 episodes, 1980
Barbara Valentin ...  Ida 6 episodes, 1980
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Storyline

This mini-series is a 15-1/2 hour episodic exploration of the character of Franz Biberkopf, "hero" of Alfred Döblin's acclaimed novel, as well as the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin that he inhabits. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | Italy

Language:

German

Release Date:

10 August 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Berlin Alexanderplatz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM13,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took nearly a year to make this series. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Berlin Calling (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Journey into the Reign of Subjectivity
21 January 2008 | by hasoschSee all my reviews

The most unique contribution of film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Alfred Döblin's novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz. The story of Franz Biberkopf" (1929) was his interpretation of the relationship between Franz Biberkopf and Reinhold as a love story. Therefore, in Fassbinder's interpretation, Franz Biberkopf's accident is seen as self-mutilation. In Fassbinder's last movie, Querelle (1982), we will hear the confession: "To kiss a man is like the confrontation with one's own face in the mirror". As different as Döblin's "Alexanderplatz" and Genet's "Querelle" may be, the two novels are alike because they meet one another like an object and its mirror image: the first novel deals with the good-guy Franz Biberkopf who is ruined by his love to humankind, and the other novel with the immoral murderer Querelle by which those who love him, perish.

Like many of Fassbinder's movies, "Berlin Alexanderplatz", too, shows clear autobiographical traces. Fassbinder said about the three protagonists Franz, Reinhold and Mieze: "All three together supply my chance to survive". As Fassbinder pointed out in his article "The cities of the human and his soul", unlike Döblin in his original novel, Fassbinder is not so much interested in the discovery of the outer reality of Berlin, but concentrates on their inhabitants. "Berlin Alexanderplatz" is a journey into the souls of different people under the conviction that the reign of subjectivity of the inner realities is much bigger than the reign of the objective reality outside. As a matter of fact (as has been pointed out by several commentators), "Berlin Alexanderplatz" with its almost 100 roles gave Fassbinder the possibility to let appear in his movie practically every person who had been crucial in his own life. That he split himself over three persons (Franz, Reinhold, Mieze) is very typical in Fassbinder's work in which many persons have their Alter Egos (e.g., "Despair", 1977). As Fassbinder had pointed out in an interview: "Despair is the only condition of life that I can accept". Consistently, the movie shows the systematic destruction of Franz, since "he is an anarchical figure in a crowd of social beings, and in the end, he perishes because of that". In fifteen and half an hour, we can analyze "the constellations, how a human spoils his life by a certain incapability which he developed by his upbringing" (Fassbinder). The movie shows the shaping of Franz Biberkopf to a mentally destroyed but therefore useful member of society. Every connoisseur of Fassbinder's work will be remembered to the final scene of "Fear of Fear" (1975) in which Margot, after having been "cured" in a psychiatric clinic, types addresses on envelopes like a trained monkey. When Karli brings her the information that their neighbor, the depressive Mr. Bauer, has killed himself, she hardly recognizes this fact anymore telling to Karli that she is feeling fine.


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