The normally overweight Rainer Werner Fassbinder dieted strenuously to lose weight in order to play the role of Fox, which included a full-frontal nude scene.
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Inspired by the films of Douglas Sirk. Sirk had this to say of Fassbinder: "There is a certain kind of artist--the reckless genius. He just shrugs all setbacks off, he is so ultimately convinced that he is bound to succeed. Now Fassbinder has that. I'm not necessarily saying he's a genius--but I personally think he is--but he has that kind of confidence in his own talent. And in Germany, he needs it."
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Bieberkopf, the ridiculous-sounding name of the main character (it is German for "drunkard-head"), is a tribute to the great German novel of the1920s, Berlin Alexanderplatz. Its main character, a confused victim of social forces and scheming, crooked people, has the same name. Five years after making this movie, Fassbinder directed an adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz.
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Numbered, on the initial credits, as "Tango Film Produktion fünf ein halb", that is: "Tango film production five and a half".
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #851.
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