Hanna Schygulla plays Maria, who marries her beau Hermann (Klaus Löwitsch) toward the end of WWII, just as he's being shipped off to fight for the Nazis. When Hermann disappears, presumed dead, Maria soberly gives up her search for him in favor of taking a job as a prostitute at a dancehall/brothel for American soldiers stationed there. Hermann's sudden return finds her in bed with a large, black G.I., and Maria ends up killing the G.I. in a scuffle.
Continue reading: The Marriage of Maria Braun Review
The "Little Mother" is Christiane Krüger's Marina Pinares, a mournful woman looking back on her life after becoming the wife of a South American dictator and -- egomaniacally -- hoping to be deified by the Pope. The film comprises mostly those recollections, as Marina remembers her early life as a hooker and a maneater, clawing her way through orgies and torture chambers all the way to the top.
Continue reading: Litlle Mother Review
There would have been plenty of opportunity for some My Fair Lady-type hijinks in the early part of this remarkably-controlled film, with Brynner playing the stern taskmaster and Bergman the not-so-ugly duckling about to transform into a swan. But director Anatole Litvak keeps everything measured and reasonably serious, focusing more on Bergman's dementia than the perfunctory romance that supposedly blossoms between her and Brynner. Bergman's performance (which won her an Oscar) has its hammy "look at me!" moments, but they're shrewdly undercut by the surrounding characters' suspicion that she is inventing not just her past as Anastasia but her entire dementia as well.
Continue reading: Anastasia (1956) Review
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