Effi Briest

Watch Effi Briest

  • NR
  • 1974
  • 2 hr 15 min
  • 6.9  (2,671)

Effi Briest is a beautiful and romantic period drama film that is based on a tragic classic German novel by Theodor Fontane. This 1974 cinematic adaptation is directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and is considered one of his finest works. The story is set in 19th-century Prussia, where the young and innocent Effi Briest (Hanna Schygulla) is forced into a loveless marriage with a much older aristocrat, Baron Geert von Instetten (Wolfgang Schenck), by her ambitious mother (Barbara Valentin). Effi is unhappy with her marriage and feels stifled by the rigid social norms of her society. She is lonely and desperate for affection, and when she meets the handsome and charming Major von Crampas (Ulli Lommel), she falls madly in love with him.

As Effi begins an illicit affair with von Crampas, she soon realizes that her actions will have severe consequences for herself and her family. Her reputation is destroyed, and she is shamed in the eyes of her husband and society. The rest of the film deals with her struggles as she tries to reconcile with her past while attempting to forge a new life for herself.

The film is a heart-wrenching portrayal of the stifling social norms of the time, and how they affect the lives of those who are forced to adhere to them. The director does an excellent job of creating the oppressive atmosphere of 19th-century Prussia, with its stark landscapes and impeccable interiors, which juxtaposes with the emotional turmoil and passion of the characters.

Hanna Schygulla is flawless in her portrayal of Effi Briest. Her acting is nuanced and expressive, and she fully embodies the character's innocence, vulnerability, and eventual downfall. Wolfgang Schenck plays the role of Baron Geert von Instetten with great aplomb, creating a complex and layered character. He is cruel and oppressive, but also vulnerable and introspective, making him an intriguing and sympathetic character.

Ulli Lommel plays the dashing Major von Crampas, and his performance is convincing and compelling. He manages to convey both the character's charm and his darker side, making him a fully realized and fleshed out character.

The supporting cast is also excellent, with actors like Barbara Valentin, Eva Mattes, and Karlheinz Böhm delivering standout performances. The film's beautiful score, composed by Peer Raben, adds to the overall melancholic and tragic atmosphere of the film.

Effi Briest is a powerful and moving cinematic experience, and it is a testament to Fassbinder's masterful direction and the exceptional performances of the cast. It is a film that explores themes of love, passion, betrayal, and morality, and it is a must-see for lovers of period dramas and classic literature.

Effi Briest
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 15 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (2,671)