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Fitzcarraldo (1982)

Cast: Klaus Kinski, Jose Lewgoy, Miguel Angel Fuentes, more...
Director: Werner Herzog
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Foreign, Germany, Adventure, Wilderness & Nature
Running Time: 157 min.
Languages: English, German
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

German filmmaker Werner Herzog has never done anything by halves. When Herzog tackled Fitzcarraldo, the story of an obsessed impresario (Klaus Kinski) whose foremost desire in life is to bring both Enrico Caruso and an opera house to the deepest jungles of South America, the director boldly embarked on the same journey, disdaining studios, process shots, and special effects throughout. The highlight of the story is Fizcarraldo's Herculean effort to haul a 300-plus ton steamship over the mountains. No trickery was used in filming this grueling sequence, and stories still persist of disgruntled South American film technicians awaiting the opportunity to strangle Herzog if he ever sets foot on their land again. In the end, Herzog proved to be as driven and single-purposed as his protagonist, and it is the audience's knowledge of this that adds to the excitement of Fitzcarraldo. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Commentary with Director Werner Herzog, Producer Lucki Stipetic and Norman Hill
  • Still Gallery

GreenCine Member Reviews

Herzog's Heart of Darkness Sounds Suspiciously Like Opera by yeqotz November 1, 2005 - 5:55 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
My only experience with Werner Herzog prior to renting "Fitzcarraldo" was chuckling through "Incident at Loch Ness" and thinking that I would, sometime, rent "Grizzly Man" for its macabre appeal.

What I expected, via my imperious American assumptions, was a "difficult" film--an arty European exercise with stoic German roots. What I got, on the other hand, was the engaging story of one man's mad quest to build an opera house in the South American jungle, and the power of his passion to drag others along on this unorthodox journey.

"Fitzcarraldo" proves a little tidy in the end, but it's still a worthwhile view for these reasons: Klaus Kinski's face can move from defeat to rage to rapture in a sublime moment. The interaction amongst the white men, the "civilized" Peruvians, and the native tribes betrays a fascinating, rapidly shifting balance of power. And what the hell--Herzog moves an entire steamship over a mountain, for real!

Burden of dreams, indeed by jogilvy July 19, 2002 - 4:24 PM PDT
8 out of 10 members found this review helpful
It takes a maniac to make a film like this, one about a maniac who decides to build an opera house in the middle of the jungle.

Crushing, inspiring, brilliant, in every sense of the word.

If you like this, you MUST SEE the documentary BURDEN OF DREAMS....

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.84)
287 Votes
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