Die Ehe der Maria Braun (1978)

Hanna Schygulla gives a star performance in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film, as a German woman who struggles to rebuild her life after the Second World War.

Film details

Alternative titles

  • The Marriage of Maria Braun Alternative


With a blazing star performance from Hanna Schygulla in the title role, this was Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s greatest critical and commercial success.

It’s the ‘everywoman’ tale of Maria Braun, whose wartime marriage lasts less than one day before her husband is sent to the front. When he fails to return in 1945, she struggles to rebuild her life through a formidable mixture of talent, energy and seductive power.

This was the ‘German Hollywood film’ Fassbinder had longed to make, truly entertaining yet subversively honest. It was widely understood as a savage indictment of the German ‘economic miracle’ – the rapid post-war reconstruction of the West German and Austrian economies – but Fassbinder offers something altogether more nuanced: a fascinating insight into the murky compromises of his parents’ generation.

Cast & Credits

Sight & Sound logo

The Greatest Films of All Time 2012

Voted for by 3 critics.

See who voted for Die Ehe der Maria Braun

Back to the top