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1 hr. 28 min.

Plot Summary
Hans (Hans Hirschmuller) is a lifelong member of the middle-class. His family, especially his wife, Irmgard (Irm Hermann), derides him for his lack of ambition and his chosen profession: running a fruit stand. Eventually, the constant ridicule drives him to alcoholism, and his bout with the bottle lands him in the hospital. While recovering, he hires extra help and watches his business boom. However, his success doesn't alleviate his pain, and his anger and drinking slowly destroy him.

Cast: Hans Hirschmuller , Irm Hermann , Hanna Schygulla , Andrea Schober , Klaus Lowitsch , Karl Scheydt , Kurt Raab , Gusti Kreissl

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Genres: Drama

Distributor: New Yorker Films

The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971)

Release Date: October 8th, 1972|1 hr. 28 min.

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fan reviews ( 1 )
  • June 27, 2010 drarthurwells
    Report This User

    The simple and straight-forward style of Fassbinder's early films, and the use of actors and actresses that look more like ordinary people than Hollywood female beauties or handsome leading men, lend a amateurish quality to these works. But this also contributes to a certain veracity to the films - a realistic documentary quality. Fassbinder seduces you with artistic framing of the camera, and simple yet attractive decorations and settings, drawing you into the story. His focus is on people and their interactions, sometimes mundane, sometimes sinful, sometimes ennobling, just like real life. The accumulative and ultimately tragic depression of Hans, the Merchant in this film, is shown as he suffers from the loss of a good job with the police, class restrictions (losing the love of his life because of denial of marriage to one above his station), being short in a world of taller people, a hateful and rejecting mother and family (except for one sister), and an unfaithful and selfish wife, the disappointment loss of sinks.

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