Ten years after the end of World War Two, Germany is experiencing an economic boom. Sleazy fat-cat building contractor Schukert (Adorf) entertains clients at his bordello, where the singer Lola (Sukowa) is the star attraction, as well as his mistress. But Lola craves a bourgeois life and sets her sights on Von Bohm (Mueller-Stahl), the upright new building commissioner, who’s never told about her employer, profession, or place of business. When he finally learns the truth, he rejects Lola and goes after Schukert’s business dealings. But he underestimates Lola’s charm…and Schukert’s power.
“Lola,” the second entry in Fassbinder’s “BRD trilogy” is a loose remake of Sternberg’s “The Blue Angel.” Sukowa excels as the conniving cabaret singer; her show-stopping number in the decadent brothel clearly pays homage to Dietrich’s original Lola. Mueller-Stahl turns in a reliably terrific performance as the patsy who eventually tries (and fails) to do the right thing. Shot in a garish, candy-colored palate, Fassbinder’s devastating satire gleefully exposes the greed, corruption and moral degeneracy enmeshed in Germany’s post-war economic miracle (“Wirkshaftswunder”). Don’t miss highly entertaining, exuberant entry in the Fassbinder oeuvre.