One of the most significant films of West German cinema in the 1950s, The Glass Tower stars Lilli Palmer as a tycoon’s wife who, no longer content merely to be one of her husband’s many possessions, turns to both adultery and her first love: the theater. A rich melodrama that slowly mutates into something like a courtroom procedural, this film offers an especially bold and critical portrait of Konrad Adenauer’s FRG as a locus of cold modernity with a stultifying rigid conception of beauty, harmony and freedom. The Glass Tower can be seen as a precursor to the later work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder in its sophisticated use of the tropes of melodrama to undertake incisive social critique.