The best movies directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

List of the 10 best movies directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, order based on the average from the IMDB, TMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Die bitteren Tranen der Petra von Kant)
10

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Die bitteren Tranen der Petra von Kant)

P

etra von Kant is a successful fashion designer -- arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. She mistreats Marlene (her secretary, maid, and co-designer). Enter Karin, a 23-year-old beauty who wants to be a model. Petra falls in love with Karin and invites her to move in.

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The Merchant of Four Seasons (Handler der vier Jahreszeiten)
9

The Merchant of Four Seasons (Handler der vier Jahreszeiten)

H

ans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes.

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Women in New York (Frauen in New York)
8

Women in New York (Frauen in New York)

T

he main characters in this film are wives of rich men who have nothing to do because they have staff – like the cook, the maid, the hairdresser, the manicurist, the governess, the teacher, the tailor etc. – who work for them. Naturally, the wives themselves do not pursue careers, they depend on their husbands’ money. This is why most of their thoughts revolve around the husband. And because the husband only appears as “the” man, there is no man in this film. All women fight for the same man. Those who have one, want to keep him no matter what. And those who do not have one yet only have one goal: To take away somebody else’s husband.

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Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (Warum lauft Herr R. Amok?)
7

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (Warum lauft Herr R. Amok?)

H

err Raab is a technical draftsman. His wife pushes him to seek a promotion, which may be a long shot after he gives a dull and tipsy toast at an office dinner. But why would Herr Raab run amok?

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Fear of Fear (Angst vor der Angst)
6

Fear of Fear (Angst vor der Angst)

A

fter having her second child, a German housewife suffers from post-partum depression before inexplicably falling into a continually misdiagnosed mental state, befuddling her relatives.

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Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (Mutter Kusters' Fahrt zum Himmel)
5

Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (Mutter Kusters' Fahrt zum Himmel)

F

rau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her annoying daughter-in-law thinks otherwise. The point, we soon find out, is moot: Mr. Kusters has murdered the personnel director at the soap factory where he works before committing suicide.

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Fox and His Friends (Faustrecht der Freiheit)
4

Fox and His Friends (Faustrecht der Freiheit)

Role in movie: Franz "Fox" Bieberkopf
F

ranz "Fox" Biberkopf is a working-class guy, at loose ends when his lover is arrested and the police shutter their carnival booth. In need of cash for his weekly lottery purchase, Fox lets himself be picked up by an elegant older man named Max. At Max's, he meets two younger gay men who have expensive tastes and images to uphold. The next day, Fox wins 500,000 marks in the lottery, and Max's friends suddenly become Fox's friends, especially Eugen, the heir to a bookbinding firm that's short of cash. Eugen's polish beguiles Fox, and the fleecing begins.

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf)
3

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf)

Role in movie: Eugen
A

simple, delicate, melodramatic German film about a loneliness. With a double moral story about the tainted love between an old woman and a younger Moroccan immigrant worker.

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Whity
2

Whity

Role in movie:
"

Whity" is the mulatto butler of the dysfunctional Nicholson family in the American southwest in 1878. The father, Ben Nicholson, has an attractive young wife Katherine, and two sons by a previous marriage; the homosexual Frank, and the retarded Davy. Whity tries to carry out all their orders, however demeaning, until various of the family members ask him to kill some of the others.

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I Only Want You to Love Me (Ich will doch nur, dass ihr mich liebt)
1

I Only Want You to Love Me (Ich will doch nur, dass ihr mich liebt)

T

he story of the young man Peter, who grew up during the economic miracle, bereft of parental care and love. Learning early on that interpersonal relationships are based on the principles of exchange or purchase, he abides by these rules and gives generous presents to his family and his wife Erika. But when he is unable to keep up this life-style, his story takes a horrendous turn ...

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a German film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is one of the most important figures in the New German Cinema. Fassbinder maintained a frenetic pace in filmmaking. In a professional career that lasted less than fifteen years, he completed forty feature length films; two television film series; three short films; four video productions; twenty-four stage plays and four radio plays; and thirty-six acting roles in his own and others’ films. He also worked as an actor (film and theater), author, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager. Underlying Fassbinder's work was a desire to provoke and disturb. His phenomenal creative energy, when working, coexisted with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, as well as being its central figure. He had tortured personal relationships with the actors and technicians around him who formed a surrogate family. However, his pictures demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social outsiders and his hatred of institutionalized violence. He ruthlessly attacked both German bourgeois society and the larger limitations of humanity. Fassbinder died in June 1982 at the age of 37 from a lethal cocktail of cocaine and barbiturates. His death has often been cited as the event that ended the New German Cinema movement.
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