7.7/10
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Fox and His Friends (1975)

Faustrecht der Freiheit (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 2 February 1976 (USA)
A young West German working-class man wins the lottery and initiates a relationship with a man above his social standing.

Writers:

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Christian Hohoff (contributing writer)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Chatel ... Eugen Thiess
Rainer Werner Fassbinder ... Franz Biberkopf
Karlheinz Böhm ... Max (as Karl-Heinz Böhm)
Adrian Hoven ... Wolf Thiess, Eugen's father
Christiane Maybach ... Hedwig
Harry Baer ... Philip (as Harry Bär)
Hans Zander Hans Zander ... Barman Springer
Kurt Raab ... Wodka-Peter
Rudolf Lenz Rudolf Lenz ... Attorney Dr. Siebenkäss
Karl Scheydt ... Klaus
Peter Kern Peter Kern ... Florist 'Fatty' Schmidt
Karl-Heinz Staudenmeyer Karl-Heinz Staudenmeyer ... Krapp (as Karl Heinz Staudenmeier)
Walter Sedlmayr Walter Sedlmayr ... Car dealer
Bruce Low Bruce Low ... Doctor
Marquard Bohm ... American Soldier (as Marquart Bohm)
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Storyline

Working class and middle-upper class worlds come together in this interesting look at class conflict within the gay world from the German director Reiner Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder plays Fox, he is working class, a former circus performer who wins the lottery of DM 500,000. His life starts to look up and doesn't have to struggle financially. Fox can now have the life and things that he has always wanted. He begins a new relationship with Eugen, creates a business partnership, and his life is looking bright. While he wants to climb up the social ladder, it isn't without turmoil, and being torn between his old working class roots, and the shiny new facade of middle class consciousness. Written by Nathan Niessen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Survival of the fittest.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | English | French

Release Date:

2 February 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fox and His Friends See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

City Film, Tango Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired by the films of Douglas Sirk. Sirk had this to say of Fassbinder: "There is a certain kind of artist--the reckless genius. He just shrugs all setbacks off, he is so ultimately convinced that he is bound to succeed. Now Fassbinder has that. I'm not necessarily saying he's a genius--but I personally think he is--but he has that kind of confidence in his own talent. And in Germany, he needs it." See more »

Quotes

Max: There are drunks lying everywhere! The state should do something. It's the same everywhere. In Helsinki recently, there were so many drunks lying around even though it's hard to get alcohol in Finland.
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Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

One Night
Written by David Bartholomew, Earl King
Performed by Elvis Presley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
harlequins

The main point of Fox and his Friends seems to be that money corrupts the chances of meaningful human interaction; and the movie has a lot more going for it, there's a deep aesthetic richness, quality of textual reference, and it has the pulse of relationships.

Franz aka Fox is a circus entertainer who wins the lottery and is then fleeced by those whose love he aspires to.

I found myself admiring Fassbinder and Ballhaus' homages to Sternberg, taking the slatted light of Mogador (Morocco - 1930) and pouring colour in, so that the Moroccan street looks like late Bridget Riley. Following on from Welt am draht two years earlier another of Dietrich's iconic moments under Sternberg's gaze is referenced (Dishonored in Welt am draht, Shanghai Express here), pallid mockeries full of weltschmerz (weltschmerz heaped on weltschmerz), a sense that life might be better.

It's quite easy to get carried away with the design, to see the movie as a parade of yellow dresses and peach-coloured flowers. There's a relentless gay aesthetic, for example Eugen, the dandy entrepreneur who grifts fox, has a poster for The Prince of Homburg in his flat, the ambisexual play by high-strung Heinrich von Kleist, whose search for the ideal, seems to govern Eugen's private life. Eugen is an unpleasant man, there's a brilliant shot of him looking through a spyhole, keeping his distance from his waiting lover, coolly observing.

Franz has panic attacks in the movie, a good touch I thought, that's what unrequited love does to you. Aesthetically the best of Fassbinder's movies that I've seen. Gods of the Plague touches it out in terms of successful content.


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