Germany in the autumn of 1957: Lola (Barbara Sukowa), a seductive cabaret singer–prostitute, exults in her power as a tempter of men, but she wants more—money, property, and love. Pitting a corrupt building contractor (Mario Adorf) against the new straight-arrow building commissioner (Armin Mueller-Stahl), Lola launches an outrageous plan to elevate herself in a world where everything—and everyone—is for sale. Shot in childlike candy colors, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Lola, an homage to Josef von Sternberg’s classic The Blue Angel, is a wonderfully satirical tribute to capitalism.

Film Info

  • West Germany
  • 1981
  • 115 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • German
  • Spine #206

Available In

Collector's Set

The BRD Trilogy

The BRD Trilogy

Blu-ray Box Set

3 Discs


Barbara Sukowa
Armin Mueller-Stahl
Von Bohm
Mario Adorf
Matthias Fuchs
Helga Feddersen
Mrs. Hettich
Karin Baal
Lola's mother
Ivan Desny
Elisabeth Volkmann
Hark Bohm
Karl-Heinz von Hassel
Rosel Zech
Mrs. Schuckert
Christine Kaufmann
Y Sa Lo
Günther Kaufmann
Isolde Barth
Mrs. Völker
Karsten Peters
Harry Baer
First demonstrator
Rainer Will
Second demonstrator
Sonja Neudorfer
Mrs. Fink
Nino Korda
TV delivery man
Herbert Steinmetz
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Horst Wendlandt
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Screenplay by
Peter Märthesheimer
Screenplay by
Pea Fröhlich
Screenplay by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Music by
Peer Raben
Xaver Schwarzenberger
Production designer
Rolf Zehetbauer
Production designer
Udo Kier
Production designer
Raúl Gimenez
Art director
Helmut Gassner
Film editor
Juliane Lorenz
Film editor
Franz Walsch
Costume designer
Barbara Baum
Makeup artist
Anni Nöbauer
Makeup artist
Edwin Erfmann
Assistant director
Karin Viesel
Assistant camera
Josef Vavra
Ekkehard Heinrich
Vladimir Vizner


Heartbreak House: Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy
Heartbreak House: Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy
P eople say that drugs killed Rainer Werner Fassbinder, but after taking another look at his films and his writings, I have a different idea. He once said, famously, that he was trying to construct a house with his films, which is hard work. M…

By Kent Jones

Candy-Colored Fassbinder in Madison

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Candy-Colored Fassbinder in Madison

Rainer Werner Fassbinder skewered the emptiness of capitalist values in Lola, a fifties-set homage to Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel, playing this Sunday at the University of Wisconsin.

Playing Catch-Up: A Week of First Encounters at the Quad
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Manhattan’s Quad Cinema reopened last month with a series of events that highlighted the emotional immediacy that comes with the experience of watching movies for the first time.

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Mark Cousins’s Top 10
Mark Cousins’s Top 10

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder


Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder made an astonishing forty-four movies—theatrical features, television movies and miniseries, and shorts among them—in a career that spanned a mere sixteen years, ending with his death at thirty-seven in 1982. He is perhaps remembered best for his intense and exquisitely shabby social melodramas (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)—heavily influenced by Hollywood films, especially the female-driven tearjerkers of Douglas Sirk, and featuring misfit characters that often reflected his own fluid sexuality and self-destructive tendencies. But his body of work runs the gamut from epic period pieces (Berlin Alexanderplatz, the BRD Trilogy) to dystopic science fiction (World on a Wire) as well. One particular fascination of Fassbinder’s was the way the ghosts of the past, specifically those of World War II, haunted contemporary German life—an interest that wedded him to many of the other artists of the New German Cinema movement, which began in the late 1960s.