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Fontane Effi Briest (1974)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 894

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Mar 11, 2003

Wellspring Media Inc.

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

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.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Compelling viewing for the delicate way it unfolds and leaves a tingling feeling there's a lot more going on than it seems.

May 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

In spite of achieved small-budget period flavor, the film is ponderously top-heavy in its setting up and complication.

June 19, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

One of the finest films to come out of postwar Germany.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

It's Fassbinder's arm's-length direction that makes Effi Briest come off as cold and detached instead of calculating and sad.

April 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

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.
August 18, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

My readers know that I am not usually a fan of period pieces but this one works well.
January 9, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Fontane Effi Briest (DE)
  • Effi Briest (UK)
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