The Merchant of Four Seasons

After serving in the French Foreign Legion, Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmüller) makes a living as a fruit peddler together with his wife (Irm Hermann)… but the lack of a real future becomes a strain. The director’s first internationally renowned film is also the first of his melodramas to be inspired by Douglas Sirk. This is a soapy character study of a fairly pathetic man who drinks too much and nearly ruins his marriage… but it’s also a realistic report from the working class and the need to create opportunities for people. Packed with angst, but still entertaining in a low-key way, with a fine, symbolic performance by Hirschmüller.

1971-West Germany. 88 min. Color. Written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Cast: Hans Hirschmüller (Hans Epp), Irm Hermann (Irmgard Epp), Hanna Schygulla (Anna Epp), Andrea Schober, Klaus Löwitsch, Karl Scheydt.

Trivia: Original title: Händler der vier Jahreszeiten.

 

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