HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It Came from the Desert
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 
  Fox and His Friends Bad BoysBuy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Peter Chatel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Karlheinz Böhm, Adrian Hoven, Christiane Maybach, Harry Baer, Hans Zander, Kurt Raab, Rudolf Lenz, Karl Scheydt, Peter Kern, Karl-Heinz Staudenmeyer, Walter Sedlmayr, Bruce Low, Marquard Bohm
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Franz Biberkopf (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) works in a fairground, helping out among the sideshows and the strippers, though today a mishap occurs when the barker, his boyfriend, is arrested by local police for supposedly offensive material and told he will be put away for three years at least, this time. Now Franz is left all at sea, but he has one hope in his life, that he will win the lottery - sure, so do millions across the country, but he has a good feeling about this week's prize, certain it will come to him. The trouble is, with his job evaporating and nobody to lend him any cash after he loses his stake to a couple of bully boys, where can he catch a break and find five marks to buy his ticket?

Fox and His Friends was the English language title to director/writer/star Fassbinder's Faustrecht der Freiheit, sometimes abbreviated to simply Fox, though in German it meant something closer to Survival of the Fittest, which was used as its tagline. It was a drama obsessed with class, something akin to George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion only without the investigation into language, as Fox does indeed win the lottery in a contrivance that tends to only happen in the movies, but once he does the plot can get going and he can place snobbery and social injustice under his unforgiving microscope. What was unusual was that he was playing the man who gains a sudden windfall.

Although Fassbinder was not precisely an overnight success as it had taken a little while for his work to be internationally recognised, and even then he was a cult figure in those circles that did, he was doing very well for himself professionally at this, the halfway point in his filmography, and presumably this meant he was rubbing shoulders with those who were more financially blessed than he had been used to, hence his interest in portraying a man who rises and falls thanks to his lottery win. He thinks this extra cash will improve his quality of life, but it doesn't work out that way, in a manner reminiscent of the infamous British pools winner Viv Nicholson in the previous decade, who similarly was ruined by her apparent good fortune.

The difference here was Fox's homosexuality, which informed his community and relationships in a manner that completely accepted this lifestyle, much as it would have been had he been straight, which in its way was groundbreaking. Nevertheless, the old cliché about gay characters being born to suffer in the cinema was not too far away, propagated by those of that orientation as well as the heterosexual persuasion who happened to write material on that subject, and if you were hoping for a happy ending to buck that trend you would be substantially out of luck in that respect. Fassbinder was not, however, making a film that promoted one lifestyle over another as far as sexuality went, these people happened to be gay but it was the class they had originated from that was the most important aspect.

Fox, flush with money, sets out to better his lot by becoming a businessman, so hooks up with an upper-class gentleman, Eugen (Peter Chatel), and soon they are in love and buying an apartment together, a swanky one of course, with Fox propping up his boyfriend's printing company in the belief this will make him part of the strata of society that would have eluded him and his fellow working classes had he not been rich. The trouble with that being, he remains resolutely working class whatever he does, and this point was hammered home with a regularity that was occasionally amusing, yet eventually turned deadening and oppressive. This was a film lasting over two hours that made that point within its first hour, leaving you to watch as the protagonist's existence unwound and eventually destructed, not through his hubris but through the upper-classes' lack of respect or willingness to accept him. There were harsh lessons here, you hesitated to say harsh truths when the rise of the nouveau riche was around the corner, but there was a horrible satisfaction in the downfall that may make you uncomfortable. Music by Peer Raben.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 175 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: