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

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


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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1



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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

Jul 2, 2002

New Yorker Films

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

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

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

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

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

September 18, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of Fassbinder's own personal favorites, the powerful Fox and His Friends may also be the greatest gay film ever made.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

One of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's brilliant melodramas from the 1970s.

May 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The film's stark relentlessness has power to move an audience.

June 26, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Entertaining but oddly parsed coming of age tale. For Fassbinder enthusiasts only.

September 21, 2003

Make no mistake, this is the real Queer as Folk, but for all of Fassbinder's gripes with an elite gay culture's many sexual hang-ups, Fox and His Friends is first and foremost a riveting evocation of Social Darwinism in action.

August 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

An ace snapshot from 27 years ago that still feels contemporary and pressing.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Not for a moment does Fassbinder indulge our fantasies that Fox's tryst might be working toward a happy ending.

July 15, 2002 Full Review Source:

Fox's journey downward is more of a straight shot than a spiral.

July 13, 2002 Full Review Source:

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.
August 18, 2013

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
March 15, 2013
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.
April 28, 2010
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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