Fox and His Friends


Fox and His Friends

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 18


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,383
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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, Rovi

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
as Fox, Franz Bieberkopf / 'Fox', Franz Biberkopf
Peter Chatel
as Eugen Thiess
Harry Baer
as Philip
Peter Kern
as Florist 'Fatty' Schmidt
Hans Zander
as Barman Springer
Kurt Raab
as Wodka-Peter
Irm Hermann
as Mlle. Cherie de Paris (uncredited)
Ursula Strätz
as Madame Antoinette (uncredited)
Elma Karlowa
as Shopkeeper #1
Barbara Valentin
as Max's wife
Bruce Low
as Doctor
Walter Sedimyn
as Car dealer
Evelyn Künneke
as Secretary at Travel Agency
Ingrid Caern
as Singer in bar
Marquard Bohm
as American Soldier
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Critic Reviews for Fox and His Friends

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4)

  • 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.

    Sep 15, 2014 | Full Review…
  • It excludes all life that is not within the very narrow intentions of its author. Its pores have been painted over.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This 1975 melodrama by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of his better middle-period films.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Brute beauty... quietly savage 1975 x-ray of the exploitation of a simple man... startles with its dense, concrete tapestry of trashy fairgrounds and garishly tasteless apartments and bolthole gay bars and swimming pools and horrifying exploitation.

    Sep 27, 2017 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…
  • the central relationship fits the dramatic requirements and dutifully fulfills its mission of acting as a microcosm for the insidious nature of social and economic manipulation, but it never feels real

    Jan 25, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fox and His Friends

  • May 23, 2016
    An interesting portrait of love and wealth from an in form Fassbinder.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2013
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2013
    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 D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 27, 2010
    "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 B Super Reviewer

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