Lili Marleen (film)

Lili Marleen is a 1981 West German drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Hanna Schygulla.[1] The screenplay was produced using the autobiographical novel Der Himmel hat viele Farben (The Heavens Have Many Colors) by Lale Andersen. However, according to Lale Andersen's last husband, Arthur Beul, the film's plot bore little relation to her real life.

Lili Marleen
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRainer Werner Fassbinder
Produced by
Written by
StarringHanna Schygulla
Music byPeer Raben
  • Xaver Schwarzenberger
  • Michael Ballhaus
Edited by
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Juliane Lorenz
Release date
  • 14 January 1981 (1981-01-14)
Running time
120 minutes
CountryWest Germany


The film is set during the Third Reich and is about the forbidden love between the German singer Willie (Hanna Schygulla) and the Swiss Jewish composer Robert Mendelssohn (a character based on Rolf Liebermann), who actively seeks to help an underground group of German Jews.


Awards and nominations

Of the 23 theatrical films that Fassbinder directed, Lili Marleen was the only one that Germany submitted to the Academy to be considered for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination. The film, while a German production, was one of the few that Fassbinder shot in English. Ultimately, the film was not nominated.[2]

See also


  1. Canby, Vincent. "New York Times: Lili Marleen". NY Times. Retrieved 24 August 2008.
  2. Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
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