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Martha is a wealthy and totally self-involved woman -- so much so that on a trip during which her father dies, she does indeed cry, but only because she lost her purse. She marries a stranger who claims not to be at all attracted to her, and their wedding is only the beginning of a battle between them to determine who will get the upper hand over the other. Martha holds her own in this genuinely sado-masochistic relationship, until a tragic accident paralyzes her. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
as Helmut Salomon
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Critic Reviews for Martha
You don't have to agree with its premise -- that middle-class marriage equals sadomasochism -- to respond to the bravura comic glee with which the director lays it out.
Fassbinder offers up an extremely bleak work here, even for him, but ultimately the film works mainly as the diatribe against marriage that it is.
The ornate sets and colorful camerawork only belie the disturbed nature of this truly sick film.
A horrific black comedy -- a devastating view of bourgeois marriage rendered in a delirious baroque style.
Easily the most twisted film of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's career, Martha (a favorite of his frequent cinematographer Michael Ballhaus) catalogs the tyrannical hold a bourgeois husband has over his wife.
Audience Reviews for Martha
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