The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) 1979

The Marriage of Maria Braun

Critics Consensus

Hanna Schygulla is a knockout in The Marriage of Maria Braun, an intimate epic that reaffirms Rainer Werner Fassbinder's mastery of examining multifaceted people and a complicated nation.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,190
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Movie Info

Near the end of World War II, Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann (Klaus Lowitsch), who is immediately sent off to battle. When the war concludes, Maria believes that Hermann is dead. She starts working at an Allied bar, where she meets American soldier Bill (George Byrd). They start a relationship that is interrupted when Hermann returns alive. During a scuffle between the men, Maria accidentally kills Bill. Hermann takes the blame and goes to jail, while Maria begins a hard new life.

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Critic Reviews for The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun)

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (2)

  • Schygulla gives a magnificent performance as a vulnerable young woman who becomes a self-confident, independent and competent survivor yet still comes to a bad end, largely because of the basic corruption of her world

    May 16, 2019 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Shows no advance in Fassbinder's complacently vicious art.

    May 5, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Fassbinder himself was cruel and distant to those around him, particularly those who loved him, and in Maria Braun, he created an indelible monster who is perversely fascinating.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The Marriage of Maria Braun is both an epic comedy and a romantic ballad, two not especially friendly forms that become seamlessly one in the sweet, tough, brilliantly complex performance of Hanna Schygulla.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
  • Though Fassbinder takes a more open attitude toward his characters, letting them exist as fully developed psychological specimens, his deadly irony continues to operate on the level of mise-en-scene.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • With a low budget but artistic visions, Fassbinder's decidedly commercial entry into New German Cinema helped further his successes with foreign audiences.

    August 30, 2020 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun)

  • Aug 21, 2013
    Hanna Schygulla shines as a fascinating character who grows from a desperate, devoted wife into a cynical, relentless beauty - a reflection of the decadence of postwar Germany in this always compelling character study, the first film of Fassbinder's so-called BRD Trilogy.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2011
    Fassbinder's emphasis on the fierceness and determination of Hanna Schygulla indicates that everything is more dependent on the reality of emotions, which can destroy the objectivity even of the most savage and impulsive flower, than any fantasy signal that may be seen since the very beginning of the marriage scene in war times. "Time destroys everything." 98/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 12, 2011
    with a bravura performance from hanna schygulla and shot by michael ballhaus, who became scorsese's cinematographer, this is an absolutely stunning film for 1979, and the one that made fassbinder an international star, a mere 3 years before his death. on the surface it's the story of an independent woman who does what she has to to get ahead in the chaos of post war germany. on another level it's political allegory about germany itself and it's place in history. funny and highly entertaining, fassbinder's aim was to make a german hollywood film and he references some of his favorites, especially curtiz' 'mildred pierce'. really fascinating work.
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2010
    Another brilliant post WWII response, this film reviews West Germany's Wirtschaftswunder. A compellingly wrought marriage of contradictions: survival and adaptation; idealism and cynicism; compassion and coldness. The final, ironic commentary "Germany has won" raises chilling implications.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer

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