Fontane Effi Briest (1974)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's adaptation of a late 19th-century novel by Theodor Fontane is an austere period piece that may be the least characteristic of the German director's films. The titular heroine, played by Fassbinder regular Hanna Schygulla, is a 17-year-old girl forced into a loveless marriage with an old count. Living as the aristocrat's trophy wife, Effi endures her provincial existence unhappily. Her circumstances lead to a brief affair with a young lieutenant that attracts the attention of the townspeople, but not her unsuspecting husband's. Years later, however, the count discovers the love letters between his wife and her lover. As dictated by convention, he challenges the lieutenant to a duel and throws his wife out of their home. The shamed Effi is forced to live by herself, shunned by society and spurned by her family. Effi eventually returns to her unsympathetic parents, who reluctantly take in their disgraced daughter. ~ Elbert Ventura, Rovi … More
as Effi Briest
as Maj. Crampas
as Baron Geert Von Inst...
as Frau Briest
as Mrs. Pasche
as Polish Cook
as Herr Briest
as Singer Marietta Trip...
Fontane Effi Briest Videos
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Fontane Effi Briest
Compelling viewing for the delicate way it unfolds and leaves a tingling feeling there's a lot more going on than it seems.
In spite of achieved small-budget period flavor, the film is ponderously top-heavy in its setting up and complication.
It's visually beguiling -- its cameramen having found shades of gray between black and white I'm not sure I've seen before -- and it is performed by the Fassbinder stock company with the precision and style one seldom finds outside the legitimate theater.
The film demonstrates not only Fassbinder's usual superb technical control and ability to elicit superbly nuanced performances from his actors, but also an unprecedented affinity for literary adaptation and historical sensitivity.
It's Fassbinder's arm's-length direction that makes Effi Briest come off as cold and detached instead of calculating and sad.
The slow, deliberate pace is sometimes taxing, but this story of a 16-year-old girl locked in the boredom of a loveless marriage is perfectly suited to Fassbinder's stifling mise-en-scene.
Audience Reviews for Fontane Effi Briest
Fassbinder directs this period piece with an impressive technical preciosity, something evident in the exquisite mise-en-scène and cinematography. And he finds in Fontane's criticism on society a perfect material to be adapted by him, although the result is a bit too long.More
Discuss Fontane Effi Briest on our Movie forum!