Her Third

(Der Dritte)

GDR, 1972, 107 min, Color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Cast

Synopsis

Margit Fliesser is a mathematician in her mid-30s who works in a medium-sized company; she has two children and has been divorced twice. Her colleagues like her and respect her professional skills, but she is somewhat shy and inhibited.

 

The reasons for this lie in her past. Following her mother's premature death, Margit became a nurse-trainee, but at some point realized this vocation is not for her. She then went to college, where she studied with Bachmann, who later becomes her first husband; in addition to being her first great love, he also becomes her first great disappointment. Her second relationship – to a blind man – doesn't work out any better.

 

Deciding to take things into her own hands, Margit picks "her third" husband herself, no longer leaving things up to fate. Although this involves considerable effort and the aid of her friend Lucie, Margit achieves her goal: she wins over her colleague, Hrdlitschka, as her third husband.

Commentary

A landmark of European cinema, Her Third is the humorous and touching story of an independent woman’s willingness to break with social conventions in order to experience intimacy and romance and to find a father for her children. The film's depiction of Margit's amorous pursuit of a colleague provides not only an entertaining love story but also a testament to the evolving independence and self-confidence of East German women in the early 1970s. Jutta Hoffmann, who received the Best Actress award for this role at the 1972 Venice Film Festival, stars alongside Oscar-nominated actor Armin Mueller-Stahl.

Awards

1972 Best Actress (Jutta Hoffman), International Venice Film Festival  
1972 Main Prize, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Press comments

Her Third is an entertaining love story, but also a testament to the evolving self-confidence and independence of East German women.”
— The Museum of Modern Art

 

"The film's audience senses the fun Ms. Hoffmann - as well as all the other cast and crew members - had when making the film ... Egon Günther ... really knows how to narrate his film and effectively reach his audience without becoming banal or insincere."
— Michael Hanisch in the Berlin Junge Welt" of Nov. 28, 1971

 

"A film embracing a number of problems such as the ones facing women in society ... An important film."
— Klaus Eder in Christ und Welt on April 24, 1972

 

“Jutta Hoffmann [is] a small person with enormous charisma, who establishes such a direct connection with her viewers that they experience each emotion and laugh and cry with her.”
— Heinz Kersten, film journalist

Availability

Special features:
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • Interview with Writer Günter Rücker
  • Documentary: Sylvia
  • Essay: A Woman and GDR Society
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • Photo Gallery
  • Newsreels about the film (in German)

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