Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) (Fist-Fight of Freedom) (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) (Fist-Fight of Freedom) (1975)

Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) (Fist-Fight of Freedom) (1975)

Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) (Fist-Fight of Freedom)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) was one of the many films in the short, but prolific, career of German auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder plays Franz Biberkopf, a financially poor gay man who performs in a traveling circus as Fox the Talking Head. One day, he lucks into winning half a million marks in a lottery. This attracts the attention of numerous swindlers, including Eugen (Peter Chatel), who becomes Fox's lover, gets Fox to spend the money on Eugen, and then dumps Fox mercilessly once the money is gone. Unable to come to terms with how he has been used, and miserable at being in the same place he was before he won the money, Fox commits suicide. The cast is rounded out by El Hedi ben Salem and Brigitte Mira, the stars of Fassbinder's celebrated Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Christian Hohoff
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 2, 2002
New Yorker Films

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Critic Reviews for Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) (Fist-Fight of Freedom)

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5)

This melodramatic fable of emotional extremes is sharp and precise-nowhere more than in Fassbinder's attention to the price of domestic comforts and industrial necessities.

Full Review… | September 15, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

It excludes all life that is not within the very narrow intentions of its author. Its pores have been painted over.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Here is a movie about characters who define themselves by their sexuality, but the movie doesn't. It takes the sexuality as a given, and defines them by their values and morals.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

This 1975 melodrama by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of his better middle-period films.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Fassbinder gives an excellent performance as the abused Fox, and the direction is of his usual high standard.

Full Review… | September 18, 2006
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) (Fist-Fight of Freedom)

Another successful allegory in which Fassbinder illustrates again his main recurrent theme of the exploitability of feelings through a sharp and painfully sad story about how love can be used as a most efficient instrument of manipulation, humiliation and repression.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

one of fassbinder's more accessible films, it's the story of a sideshow carny who wins the lottery and tries to move up in society by means of a refined lover and his snobby circle. sadly, fox is only being used by his so called friends. fassbinder plays the lead very effectively here. he'll break your heart

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


"Fox and His Friends" is a depressing tale, but it's easier to watch than many other Fassbinder films.

A naive slacker ("Fox," portrayed by Fassbinder himself) wins the lottery. Tellingly, Fassbinder the director lets this joyous moment occur offscreen, and quickly jumps ahead to the unsettling aftermath.

After Fox's new wealth becomes known, he quickly makes friends with Eugen Thiess, the dashing son of a successful industrialist. As virtually every male in the film is homosexual, Fox and Eugen soon become lovers. But homosexuality is just the casual backdrop here -- the real issue is that the Thiess family riches are not what they appear to be, and Eugen soon sets on a course to ruthlessly swindle Fox out of his fortune. This is not a "twist," because Eugen's treacherousness is obvious from the start.

Fox tries to make his way in Eugen's aristocratic world, but he is coarse, clumsy and uneducated. His new peers offer him little but passive-aggressive condescension, but Fox is too thick to perceive this. Meanwhile, Eugen methodically chips away at Fox's holdings.

"Fox and His Friends" is not as visually stylized as some other Fassbinder films, which is somewhat of a relief. The biggest problem is that its 123 minutes begin to drag before the tale reaches its inevitable, grim conclusion. It's a lot of film for such a simple, cautionary story.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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