Effi Briest

Synopsis: In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town. She soon bears a daughter, Annie, and hires the lapsed Catholic Roswitha to look after her. Effi is lonely when her husband is away on business, so she spends time riding and walking along the shore with Major Crampas. Instetten is promoted to Ministerial Councillor and the family moves to Berlin, where Effi enjoys the social life. Six years later, the Baron is given letters from Crampas to Effi that convince him that they had an affair. He feels obliged to challenge Crampas to a duel and banish Effi from the house.
Genre: Drama, History
Production: Wellspring Media Inc.
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
135 min







In front of the Briests'

manor in Hohen-Cremmen...

the famiIy seat since the time

of EIector Georg WiIheIm...

the viIIage street Iay stiII,

bathed in the midday sun.

On the park side,

a wing buiIt on at right angIes...

cast a broad shadow

on a white-and-green chequered path...

and on a Iarge, round fIower bed

with a sundiaI in the middIe...

and Canna indica and rhubarb

around its edge.

Effi, you should have become

an equestrian artiste.

Always on the trapeze, an aerial spirit!

l do believe you would enjoy it.

Perhaps, Mama.

But then who would be to blame?

Whom do l take after if not you?

Or do you think Papa?

You have to laugh yourself.

Why don't you make a lady out of me, then?

Would you like that?



Don't be so boisterous, Effi!

Not so impetuous!

lt worries me when l see you like this.



Baron lnnstetten was not even 20...

when he was garrisoned over there

with the Rathenow regiment...

and was on friendly terms

with the local landowners.

He especially liked to visit

my grandfather's estate in Schwantikow.

Not because of grandfather, of course.

When Mama talks about it...

it's obvious for whom he came...

and l think the feeling was mutual.

What happened then?

Everything took its natural course...

as it always does.

He was still so very young.

Then father came along.

He was already in the council of nobles

and owned Hohen-Cremmen...

and she accepted him without more ado...

and became Frau von Briest.

And what became of lnnstetten?

He didn't kill himself,

or he wouldn't be coming today.

He resigned his commission...

and began to study law.

But Frau von Briest,

who couId aIso be unconventionaI herseIf...

detained Effi as she was hurrying off.

She Iooked at

the charming young creature...

who was stiII fIushed from pIaying

and in the bIoom of youth.

And she confided to her.:

''I think you had best stay as you are.

''Yes, stay as you are.

You Iook very comeIy...

''so innocent and unprepared,

not at aII primped up.

''And that's the main thing right now.

''I have something to teII you, Effi.''

She took her daughter by both hands.

''I must teII you....''

''What's the matter, Mama?

You frighten me.''

''I have to teII you, Effi...

''that Baron Innstetten

has asked for your hand.''

''Asked to marry me? SeriousIy?''

''It's not a matter to joke about.

''You saw him two days ago,

and I think you Iiked him.

''He is oIder than you,

but that is aII to the good.

''He's a man of good character,

weII-situated and weII-bred...

''and if you don't say no,

which I scarceIy expect you to do...

''by the age of 20, you wiII be...

''where others are at 40.

''You'II rise much higher than your mother.''

Effi, come here!

Effi was not greatIy interested...

in mundane possessions...

but when she went stroIIing

with her mother...

perusing the window dispIays

and went into the Demuth store...

to purchase aII manner of things

for her honeymoon in ItaIy...

her true character reveaIed itseIf.

OnIy the most eIegant things wouId do...

and she wouId renounce

aII idea of the second-best.

Second-best meant nothing to her anymore.

She knew how to do without things...

and in forgoing things Iike that,

she seemed undemanding.

But when she reaIIy

set her heart on something...

it had to be quite exceptionaI...

and in that respect, she was demanding.

What else have you set your heart on?

-Nothing, Mama.

-Nothing at all?

Nothing, quite seriously.

But if there were something....


lt would be a black Japanese screen...

with golden birds on it...

with long bills like cranes.

And a lamp for our bedroom

that would radiate a red light.

Now you're silent and look at me...

as if l'd said something improper.

No, Effi, not improper...

and certainly not to your mother.

l know you too well.

You have a great imagination...

and you conjure up pictures of the future.

The more colourful they are...

the lovelier and more desirable

they seem to you.

l became aware of that when we were

shopping for your honeymoon.

Now you think it would be wonderful...

to have a bedroom screen...

with all kinds of fabulous beasts on it...

and all lit by a dim red lamp.

lt seems like a fairy tale to you...

and you would like to be the princess.

Yes, Mama, that's how l am.

Yes, that's how you are.

l'm aware of that.

But, my dear Effi,

we have to tread warily in life...

especially we women.

Don't you love Geert?

Why shouldn't l love him?

l love Bertha,

l love Hulda, l love old Niemeyer...

and needless to say, l love you and Papa.

l love everyone

who's nice to me and spoils me.

Geert will spoil me, too.

He wants to buy me jewellery in Venice.

He doesn't know l don't care for jewellery.

l prefer to clamber around

and play on the swing...

fearing that something will break

and l'll fall...

but knowing it won't cost me my neck.

Do you love your cousin Briest?

Very much. He's always so amusing.

Would you have liked to marry him?

Good heavens, no!

He's hardly more than a boy.

Whereas Geert's a man...

a handsome man...

with whom l can cut a dash...

who will make a mark on the world.

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (German: [ˈʁaɪ̯nɐ ˈvɛɐ̯nɐ ˈfasˌbɪndɐ]; 31 May 1945 – 10 June 1982) was a West German filmmaker, actor, playwright and theatre director, who was a catalyst of the New German Cinema movement. Although Fassbinder's career lasted less than fifteen years, he was extremely productive. By the time of his death, Fassbinder had completed over forty films, two television series, three short films, four video productions, and twenty-four plays, often acting as well as directing. Fassbinder was also a composer, cameraman, and film editor. Fassbinder died on 10 June 1982 at the age of 37 from a lethal cocktail of cocaine and barbiturates. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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