Debbie Muir

Written by Debbie Muir

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Fox and His Friends is an iconic film that has garnered a cult following since its release. Directed by the legendary Rainer Werner Fassbinder, this 1975 German film tells the captivating story of a working-class man named Franz “Fox” Biberkopf who strikes it lucky by winning the lottery. However, his newfound fortunes come with a host of challenges as he navigates the treacherous waters of high society.

In this article, we will delve into the world of Fox and His Friends and uncover 34 fascinating facts about this thought-provoking movie. From the inception of the film to the impact it has had on cinema, prepare to embark on a journey that will deepen your appreciation for this classic piece of cinematic art.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Fox and His Friends” is a groundbreaking German film that explores love, class division, and societal issues, leaving a lasting impact on audiences and inspiring future filmmakers.
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s unique vision and powerful storytelling in “Fox and His Friends” challenge societal norms, making it a timeless and thought-provoking cinematic experience.
Table of Contents

Revolutionary German Cinema

Fox and His Friends, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, is a groundbreaking film that emerged from the revolutionary German cinema movement of the 1970s.

Fassbinder as the Lead

Rainer Werner Fassbinder not only directed the film but also played the lead role, making it a unique and personal project for him.

A Tragic Love Story

The movie tells the story of Fox, a working-class carnival worker who wins the lottery and falls in love with a wealthy man named Eugen. However, their relationship takes a tragic turn.

Social Critique

Fox and His Friends serves as a scathing social critique, highlighting the class divide within society and the exploitation faced by marginalized individuals.

Emotional Rollercoaster

The film takes the viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, evoking a wide range of emotions from empathy to frustration and sadness.

Controversial Themes

Fox and His Friends explores controversial themes of sexuality, money, and power, pushing boundaries and challenging societal norms of the time.

Fassbinder’s Dark Humor

Fassbinder’s dark humor is evident throughout the movie, providing moments of levity amidst the often bleak and tragic storyline.

Impressive Production Design

The production design in Fox and His Friends is meticulously crafted, immersing viewers in the gritty urban landscape of 1970s Munich.

Allowing Realism to Shine

The film’s raw and realistic portrayal of characters and their struggles adds authenticity to the narrative, making it relatable and impactful.

Fassbinder’s Directorial Style

Fassbinder’s distinctive directorial style is evident in Fox and His Friends, characterized by long takes, minimalistic sets, and intense performances.

Critical Acclaim

The film received critical acclaim upon its release, praised for its bold storytelling, powerful performances, and thought-provoking themes.

International Recognition

Fox and His Friends gained international recognition, solidifying Fassbinder’s status as a leading figure in the world of cinema.

Fassbinder’s Acting Skills

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s performance in the movie showcases not only his directorial prowess but also his exceptional acting skills.

Timeless Relevance

Despite being released over four decades ago, the issues addressed in Fox and His Friends still resonate with audiences today, highlighting the timeless relevance of the film.

Influential Filmmakers

Fox and His Friends has had a profound influence on subsequent generations of filmmakers, inspiring them to push boundaries and challenge societal norms in their own work.

Political Commentary

The movie serves as a powerful political commentary, shedding light on the corruption and inequality prevalent in society.

Complex Characters

The characters in Fox and His Friends are complex and multidimensional, adding depth and nuance to the narrative.

Emotional Impact

The film leaves a lasting emotional impact on viewers, forcing them to confront uncomfortable truths about society and themselves.

Exploration of Identity

Fox and His Friends delves into the exploration of identity, sexuality, and self-discovery, challenging societal norms and prejudices.

Memorable Quotes

The movie is known for its memorable quotes, capturing the essence of the characters and their struggles.

Intimate Cinematography

The intimate cinematography in Fox and His Friends captures the characters’ emotions and vulnerabilities, drawing viewers into their world.

Powerful Soundtrack

The film’s powerful soundtrack adds another layer of emotion, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

A Reflection of Reality

Fox and His Friends reflects the harsh realities of life for marginalized individuals, raising awareness and encouraging social change.

Influential Sound Mixing

The sound mixing in the film is considered pioneering, with its use of naturalistic sounds and ambient noise.

Fassbinder’s Unique Vision

Fox and His Friends is a testament to Fassbinder’s unique artistic vision, showcasing his ability to blend realism with stylized storytelling.

Critique of Capitalism

The movie offers a scathing critique of capitalism, exposing the inherent flaws and inequalities within the system.

Exploring the Human Condition

Fox and His Friends explores the universal themes of love, betrayal, and the human condition, resonating with audiences on a profound level.

Award-Winning Performances

The cast delivers award-winning performances, elevating the quality and impact of the film.

Psychological Depth

The film delves into the psychological depths of its characters, revealing their vulnerabilities, desires, and inner conflicts.

Gender and Sexuality Exploration

Fox and His Friends challenges traditional notions of gender and sexuality, offering a nuanced exploration of identity.

Provocative Presentation

The provocative presentation of the narrative in Fox and His Friends challenges audience expectations and assumptions.

Powerful Symbolism

The film employs powerful symbolism to convey its messages, adding layers of meaning to the narrative.

Immersive Storytelling

Fox and His Friends immerses viewers in its captivating storytelling, engaging them on both an intellectual and emotional level.

Enduring Legacy

Fox and His Friends has left an enduring legacy in the world of cinema, continuing to inspire and provoke discussions to this day.


In conclusion, “Fox and His Friends” is a captivating and thought-provoking film that delves into the themes of love, greed, and the complexities of human relationships. With its stellar performances, nuanced direction, and poignant storytelling, the movie has cemented its place as a classic in the world of cinema. Whether you’re a fan of German New Wave cinema or simply someone who appreciates compelling storytelling, “Fox and His Friends” is a must-watch.


1. Who directed the movie “Fox and His Friends”?

The movie “Fox and His Friends” was directed by the renowned German filmmaker, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder was known for his distinct visual style and his exploration of social and political themes in his films.

2. When was the movie released?

“Fox and His Friends” was released in 1975.

3. What is the genre of the film?

The movie “Fox and His Friends” falls under the genre of drama. It explores complex emotions and human relationships in a thought-provoking manner.

4. Can you provide a brief plot summary?

The film revolves around the story of Franz “Fox” Biberkopf, a working-class man who wins a large sum of money in a lottery. This windfall changes his life as he becomes entangled in new relationships and experiences the ups and downs of newfound wealth.

5. Are there any notable performances in the movie?

Yes, the movie features outstanding performances, particularly from its lead actor, Fassbinder himself, who portrays the character of Franz “Fox” Biberkopf. His portrayal is powerful and brings depth to the complicated protagonist.

6. What are some of the themes explored in the film?

“Fox and His Friends” touches upon themes of love, friendship, betrayal, social class, and the corrupting influence of wealth. It raises questions about the authenticity and stability of relationships in the face of greed and power.

7. Is “Fox and His Friends” a critically acclaimed movie?

Yes, the film has been widely praised by critics and remains highly regarded in the world of cinema. It has been hailed for its powerful storytelling, compelling performances, and its exploration of the human condition.

8. Where can I watch “Fox and His Friends”?

“Fox and His Friends” may be available for streaming on certain platforms, or you may be able to find it on DVD or Blu-ray. Checking popular streaming services or contacting your local video store might be a good place to start.

9. Is “Fox and His Friends” suitable for all audiences?

The film contains mature themes and explicit content, so viewer discretion is advised. It is recommended for mature audiences who appreciate thought-provoking and emotionally intense storytelling.

10. Are there any other movies by Rainer Werner Fassbinder that you would recommend?

Absolutely! If you enjoy “Fox and His Friends,” you may also want to explore other notable films by Fassbinder such as “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul,” “The Marriage of Maria Braun,” and “Berlin Alexanderplatz,” all of which showcase his unique filmmaking style and exploration of complex human relationships.

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