7.4/10
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13 user 30 critic

Lebenszeichen (1968)

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (inspired by the short story 'Der tolle Invalide auf dem Fort Ratonneau')
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Brogle ...
Stroszek
Wolfgang Reichmann ...
Meinhard
Athina Zacharopoulou ...
Nora
Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg ...
Becker
Wolfgang Stumpf ...
Captain
Henry van Lyck ...
Lieutenant
Julio Pinheiro ...
Gypsy
Florian Fricke ...
Pianist
Heinz Usener ...
Doctor
Achmed Hafiz ...
Greek resident
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jannakis Frasakis
Eleni Katerinaki
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Storyline

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying fortress, they guard a munitions depot. There's little to do: Becker, a classicist, translates inscriptions on ancient tablets found in the fortress, Meinhart devises traps for cockroaches, Nora helps Stroszek make fireworks using gunpowder from grenades in the depot. Slowly, in the heat and torpor, Stroszek goes mad, drives the others from the fortress, and threatens the city with blowing up the depot. With care, the German command must figure out how to get him down. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Signs of Life  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 25,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Werner Herzog's first feature film. See more »

Quotes

Young Child: Now that I can talk, what shall I say?
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User Reviews

 
Fine Art: non-hysterical look at our hysterical and consuming obligations
7 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is smart enough not to let you know where the moment of tension, if any, or departure, will appear. The lead flips out when he does and for no better reason than he just flips out which makes his reactions to his situation all the better to appreciate. Herzog's other characters including the leads commandant deal with the situation in a perfectly sane manner, again surprising the viewer with their lack of all the hysterical clichés associated in movies by Kraut mannerisms. The photography in itself is like Henri Cartier Bresson was coaching Herzog. Visually, and as a screen play, you have the best combination like when Eugene O'Neil said that a play wright's job is to put people in a room and get them to talk to each other. This movie is fine sherry, it is not a champagne cocktail. The film glistens from it's lack of "get it's?"


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