Based on a novel by Nabokov, scripted by Tom Stoppard, and starring Dirk Bogarde, Fassbinder’s first English-language film has an impeccable Art Cinema pedigree—but it’s a must-see for all, not just Fassbinder completists. Berlin, 1930. Displaying the early signs of incipient mental breakdown, Hermann Hermann (Bogarde), a Russian émigré and chocolate manufacturer begins to concoct a plan to facilitate his disappearance, thereby evading business problems and Germany’s political unrest. During a business trip, he encounters a homeless man whom he is convinced bears an uncanny (but in fact nonexistent) resemblance to himself. He begins to plan what he believes will be the perfect murder. What follows is a blackly comic descent into madness that takes its place alongside Fassbinder’s other explorations of schizophrenia and delusion.
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