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Merchant of Four Seasons, The (Haendler der vier Jahreszeiten, Der)

Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Scene from "The Merchant of Four Seasons" (photo courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Deutsche Kinemathek)

Hans Epp signs up for the foreign legion in order to escape his loveless existence with his mother. When he returns, she greets him with the comment, “The best ones stay in, people like you come back.” Hans then works for the police department but is soon fired because he let himself be seduced by a prostitute at the station. He starts selling fruit in back courtyards. His “big love” refused to marry him because he was beneath her social status; his wife doesn’t really love him, but she loves to torture him. His only escape are his regular visits to the local bar. Watching his unexceptional life disintegrate and rejected to the point of a nervous breakdown, Hans systematically drinks himself to death before the eyes of his loved ones.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1971
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Screenplay Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cinematography Dietrich Lohmann
Thea Eymèsz
Kurt Raab
Cast Hans Hirschmueller, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla, Andrea Schober, Gusti Kreissl, Kurt Raab, Klaus Loewitsch, Ingrid Caven, Karl Scheydt
Producer Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Production Company Tango Film/Munich for ZDF
Runtime 88 min
Format 35 mm, color
Subtitled Versions English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Sound Technology Optical
Awards 3 German Film Awards 1972

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