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Fitzcarraldo (1982) - movie overview

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

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Plot Description

DVD Release Date
• R1: Nov 16, 1999

MPAA Rating

Running Time
2 hours, 38 minutes

Country West Germany, Peru

Studio Pro-Ject Filmproduktion, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen

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Genre: Adventure, Drama, Experimental, Suspense

Plot: Director Werner Herzog returns to the exotic locales and obsessive themes of previous works in his Amazon masterpiece, FITZCARRALDO. Klaus Kinski gives a terrifying and determined portrayal of mad genius Fitzcarraldo, whose twin goals of making a fortune off the Amazon rubber trade and bringing an opera house to the jungle give the film its crushing centerpiece--the maniacal leader’s Sisyphean efforts at hauling a gigantic steamship over a mountain bank. The single-minded and wickedly energetic Fitzcarraldo moves mountains (and a boat) with his will and along the way acts out a stunning and emotional battle between man and nature, as in the similarly themed Herzog/Kinski collaboration AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD.

Herzog’s razor-sharp attention to the minutiae of both Fitzcarraldo’s madness and the jungle’s corresponding apathy and enormity makes the film a breathtaking metaphor for civilization’s impact on the natural world. The documentary style of the film (the cast and crew actually hauled the boat over the mountain) gives the tale an urgency and suspense that, combined with Kinski’s bravado performance and Herzog’s striking sense of landscape, make FITZCARRALDO an unforgettable experience.

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 Directed by
Werner Herzog
Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Invincible
 Written by
Werner Herzog
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet, What Dreams May Come, Grizzly Man
Klaus Kinski
For a Few Dollars More, Doctor Zhivago, Aguirre: The Wrath of God
Claudia Cardinale
Once Upon a Time in the West, Eight and a Half, The Pink Panther
Paul Hittscher
Burden of Dreams
Grande Otelo
It's All True
Peter Berling
The Name of the Rose, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Homo Faber
Milton Nascimento
Coronel e o Lobisomem, O
 Music By
Popol Vuh
Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre, My Best Fiend

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