Lola (1981 film)

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For other uses, see Lola (disambiguation).
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Produced by Horst Wendlandt
Written by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Pea Fröhlich
Peter Märthesheimer
Starring Barbara Sukowa
Armin Mueller-Stahl
Mario Adorf
Music by Peer Raben
Distributed by United Artists Classics
(US theatrical)
(Region 1 DVD)
Release dates
  • 20 August 1981 (1981-08-20) (Germany)
  • 4 August 1982 (1982-08-04) (United States)
Running time
113 minutes
Country West Germany
Language German

Lola is a 1981 West German film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and is the third in his BRD Trilogy. The first film in the trilogy is The Marriage of Maria Braun (BRD 1) and the second is Veronika Voss (BRD 2).


In 1957–1958 in Coburg, in post-World War II West Germany, Schuckert (Mario Adorf) is a local construction entrepreneur whose methods of gaining wealth include shady business practices such as bribing the local officials. His latest scheme, to erect a building with a large basement for a brothel is endangered with the arrival of von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl), a high-minded building commissioner.

Von Bohm tries to institute gradual change of the system from within, rather than exposing the participants, and suggests that Schuckert builds three additional storeys (allowing Schuckert to make significantly more money) on the aforementioned building instead of just a cellar. Meanwhile he falls in love with a beautiful woman named Lola (Barbara Sukowa), who has a child named Mariechen with Schuckert and whose mother works as Von Bohm's housekeeper ("Haushaelterin"). Lola had initially heard of Von Bohn from Schuckert, and then from her mother. When visiting her mother at Von Bohm's house one day, Lola is struck by a Ming vase and her mother tells her that Von Bohn goes to the local library weekly to read about East Asian antiques. Lola made a concerted effort to seduce Von Bohn by reading in the East Asian section of the local library. They are attracted to each other, and von Bohm starts thinking of marriage, going so far as to buy an engagement ring for Lola and eloping with her. However, Lola then sends him a letter saying that she wants to break up. Von Bohm finds out that she is a cabaret singer and prostitute in the town brothel, where most of von Bohm's adversaries are her clients, and that she is the "personal toy" of Schuckert, and he collects evidence against Schuckert to expose the corruption.

However, because the town has benefited so much from shady capitalism, no one cares. Von Bohm is seduced by the corrupt money to be made and marries Lola. Schuckert gives the brothel to Lola and von Bohm on their wedding day. While von Bohm is out walking, Schuckert takes Lola to bed.


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