Faded glory and fame

Munich, 1955: Veronika Voss, a star in pre-war Germany – and rumour has it that she had an affair with Joseph Goebbels – has lost all her fame. When she meets sports journalist Robert Krohn, she realizes that he has never heard of her. Still, they strike up an affair, Krohn enthralled by her fickle character and irresistible allure. He decides to write a book about once famous, but now forgotten actresses, of course including Voss. As he delves into Voss' life, he discovers the dubious role neurologist Dr. Marianne Katz is playing in it.

Fassbinder's story is loosely based on the career of German actress Sybille Schmitz (1909-1955), while also being inspired by Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard. Fassbinder himself has a cameo role in the film, with his mother Liselotte Pempeit also making an appearance.