7.7/10
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16 user 24 critic

Lola (1981)

In post-war West Germany, the charming Von Bohm is appointed a city's new Building Commissioner. His morality is tested when he unknowingly falls in love with a brothel worker, Lola, the paid mistress of a corrupt property developer.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Esslin
Helga Feddersen ...
...
Lola's Mother
...
Wittich
...
Gigi
Hark Bohm ...
Völker
Karl-Heinz von Hassel ...
Timmerding (as Karl Heinz von Hassel)
...
Frau Schuckert
Sonja Neudorfer ...
Frau Fink
...
Susi
Y Sa Lo ...
Rosa
...
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Storyline

Ten years after the war, West Germany's market economy is booming. Into an unnamed city that's rife with corruption comes a new building commissioner, Herr von Bohm, committed to progress but also upright. He's smitten by Marie-Louise, a single mother who's his landlady's daughter. Von Bohm does not realize she is also Lola, a singer at a bordello and the mistress of Schuckert, a local builder whose profits depend on von Bohm's projects. When von Bohm discovers Marie-Louise's real vocation and looks closely at Schuckert's work, will this social satire play out as a remake of "Blue Angel," a visit of Chekhov to West Germany, or an update of Jean Renoir's "Rules of the Game"? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

4 August 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lola, une femme allemande  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

DEM 3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the BRD Trilogy along with The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) and Veronika Voss (1982). "BRD" stands for Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the official name of West Germany and of the united contemporary Germany, period in which those three stories takes place. See more »

Goofs

The photograph above the mayor's desk shows downtown Houston, Texas as it looked in the 1960s. The film is set in the late 1950s. See more »

Quotes

Esslin: I won't allow you to destroy yourself.
Von Bohm: You can't stop me. Would you stand in someone's way who has discovered the truth? The whole is rotten, not just parts, so the whole must be tackled.
Esslin: You'll just look ridiculous.
Von Bohm: Me? I'll make the rules of the game look ridiculous, the whole dishonest system. It scars people and warps them and makes them sick!
See more »

Connections

Featured in La trilogie allemande (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Am Brunnen Vor Dem Tore
(Traditional)
Arranged By Peer Raben
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User Reviews

 
wonderful and mostly heartbreaking melodrama from Fassbinder
2 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lola is a singer, and a sometimes-prostitute, in the whorehouse run by Schukert, a big vulgarian who also happens to have a land deal coming up and has such a reputation that he won't be hassled by a cop when at a checkpoint. A new building commissioner is in town, Von Bohm, and he's a very pure soul, non-corruptible, sensible, a 'moralist' if ever there was one. But he's soon entranced by a 'chance' meeting with Lola (who is, actually, put on the spot to charm the straight-arrow Von Bohm), and soon he becomes enraptured with her, to his possible demise. If this premise is pretty much similar to the Blue Angel, it's intentional so much so that I would consider this a full-blown remake- Blue Angel set this time in post WW2 Germany instead of pre-War, and with some extra doses of socio-political context thrown in (and, of course for Fassbinder, some added sensuality that works magnificently as classy-raunch, if that makes sense).

Fassbinder's film Lola, one of his last and the 2nd part of a BDR trilogy he made, is sumptuous melodrama, filmed with such a vibrant and eclectic and varied sense of color with the lighting and sets and costumes- on the faces and bodies and sets- that one can just look at any scene in this and find something fantastically stylized about it. It should be a real horror-show fable, but Fassbinder is something much of a realistic-romantic, if that also makes any sense, in that he thrusts naturalistic actors alongside a few 'personalities' (one of them a great actor playing Schukert, Mario Adolf), among such vibrant sets like the inside of the nightclub and amid the turmoil of the post-war German setting where the economy is finally back in boom (if not for everyone).

Occasionally some of the musical choices- or just the abundance of them in nearly every scene- is a bit much, and I was thrown off by what seemed like maybe too much of a happy ending considering everything tragic that has preceded it (Fassbinder doesn't let his characters completely off the hook, but it feels too clean-cut as well). However Fassbinder is also working on some prime material with a real eye for the harrowing scope of a tragic romance and the means of 'fitting-in' to a urban landscape where, according to Lola, Von Brum doesn't really fit in. It's also got Barbara Sukowa as the title character, obviously in a career-high-point, and Armin Mueller-Stahl in another of a long series of really interesting roles where he can show emotions but very wisely and carefully and appears to be reserved- sometimes deceptively reserved like in Eastern Promises- and for Von Brum it's one of his best.

Anyone who loves a juicy drama of romance and building-capitalist intrigue would do well to watch this. I'm sure it'll be one of Fassbinder's best. 9.5/10


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