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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972)

Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 5 October 1972 (West Germany)
An arrogant fashion designer falls in love with an icy beauty who wants to be a model.

Writers:

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (play), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margit Carstensen ... Petra von Kant (as Margit Cartensen)
Hanna Schygulla ... Karin Thimm
Katrin Schaake ... Sidonie von Grasenabb
Eva Mattes ... Gabriele von Kant
Gisela Fackeldey Gisela Fackeldey ... Valerie von Kant
Irm Hermann ... Marlene
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Storyline

Petra von Kant is a successful fashion designer -- arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. Some time ago, she divorced the husband she no longer loved. Until recently, she has been in a fairly satisfactory S and M relationship with Marlene (her secretary, maid, and co-designer). She mistreats her. Enter Karin, a 23-year-old beauty who wants to be a model. She falls in love with Karin and invites her to move in. The rest of the film deals with the emotions of this affair and its aftermath. Fassbinder tells his story in a series of 5 or 6 long scenes with extended uses of a single camera shot and deep focus. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex is the ultimate weapon.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eventhrough she is one of the main characters, Marlene is the only character who doesn't have any own lines in the entire movie. See more »

Quotes

Petra von Kant: He stank like a man. The way men stink. What had once had its charms now turned my stomach and brought tears to my eyes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gewidmet dem, der hier Marlene wurde. (Dedicated to the one who became Marlene here) See more »

Connections

Remade as The Politics of Fur (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Great Pretender
Written by Buck Ram
Performed by The Platters
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Bitter Tears, of, Me!
6 September 2012 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

I still can't get into Fassbinder's world, here. Saw it many years ago, possibly on Film 4 and now twice, recently where it's been on Sky Arts.

There's no doubt that it is an important film, both for Fassbinder himself and for European cinema. It's like a moving art gallery, so well and immaculately filmed, the angles, the depth of focus and the set design all rivet one's eyes to the screen. The elegant, flowing movements of Margit Carstensen and Hanna Schygulla (as von Kant and her object of desire, Karin) are measured, precise, not like real life at all. They sometimes do appear like made up shop-dummies, so static; Fassbinder even includes actual dummies scattered around, limbless, clotheless - obviously a strong metaphor. von Kant IS a supremely influential and successful fashion designer and so maybe these visual signals extend this.

However, this intense study of lesbian affairs - apparently an ode to the Bette Davis classic All About Eve; interestingly, Pedro Almodovir likewise made All About My Mother - which must have been quite a formidable movie to make exactly forty years ago - is basically, just talk. Of course, dialogue is important to all films but this is a world alien to me and something is locking me out. Maybe the visuals are too rich - the subtitles float above the perfect imagery. I can't help feeling that if one of my real favourite directors, Ingmar Bergman, was making this one, I'd be right in there.


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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

5 October 1972 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant See more »

Filming Locations:

Lower Saxony, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM325,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,623, 16 February 2003

Gross USA:

$8,144

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,144
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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