Effi Briest (Fontane Effi Briest)
Effi Briest (Fontane Effi Briest) (1977)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's adaptation of a late 19th-century novel by Theodor Fontane is an austere period piece that may be the least characteristic of the German director's films. The titular heroine, played by Fassbinder regular… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 16, 1977
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2003
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 70% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tony Rayns
Time Out

Filmed in black and white, with extraordinary delicacy and reserve, this is one of Fassbinder's best films.

Full review…
Clancy Sigel
The Spectator

It's so visually boring, insanely talkative, arrogantly formalistic.

Full review…
TV Guide

One of the finest films to come out of postwar Germany.

Full review…
Vincent Canby
New York Times

It's visually beguiling -- its cameramen having found shades of gray between black and white I'm not sure I've seen before -- and it is performed by the Fassbinder stock company with the precision and style one seldom finds outside the legitimate theater.

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Compelling viewing for the delicate way it unfolds and leaves a tingling feeling there's a lot more going on than it seems.

Full review…
Matt Bailey
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

The film demonstrates not only Fassbinder's usual superb technical control and ability to elicit superbly nuanced performances from his actors, but also an unprecedented affinity for literary adaptation and historical sensitivity.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The slow, deliberate pace is sometimes taxing, but this story of a 16-year-old girl locked in the boredom of a loveless marriage is perfectly suited to Fassbinder's stifling mise-en-scene.

Full review…
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

In spite of achieved small-budget period flavor, the film is ponderously top-heavy in its setting up and complication.

Full review…
Christopher Null

It's Fassbinder's arm's-length direction that makes Effi Briest come off as cold and detached instead of calculating and sad.

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Fassbinder directs this period piece with an impressive technical sophistication, something evident in the exquisite mise-en-scène and cinematography. And he… More
John Ballantine
My readers know that I am not usually a fan of period pieces but this one works well.
Marcus Woolcott
Gave up half way through, definitely not one of Fassbinder's best works.