Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
"Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  3 April 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 36,096 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 158 critic

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.



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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Helena Rojo ...
Del Negro ...
Peter Berling ...
Cecilia Rivera ...
Daniel Ades ...
Edward Roland ...
Alexandra Cheves ...
(as Alejandro Chavez)
Armando Polanah ...
Daniel Farfán
Julio E. Martínez ...
(as Julio Martinez)
Alejandro Repullés ...
Indianern der Kooperative Lauramarca


A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirres, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to "the golden city", or to certain destruction? Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On this river, God never finished his creation. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

3 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aguirre, the Wrath of God  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$370,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In spite of the extensive jungle filming, no one came down with malaria or other tropical diseases, except for one case of hepatitis. See more »


When Pizarro sends off the expedition, he expects them to return in one week. However, when Don Pedro tells the men that they have to return by foot, he says that they could make it in two weeks "as Pizarro said". See more »


Don Lope de Aguirre: I am the great traitor. There must be no other. Anyone who even thinks about deserting this mission will be cut up into 198 pieces. Those pieces will be stamped on until what is left can be used only to paint walls. Whoever takes one grain of corn or one drop of water... more than his ration, will be locked up for 155 years. If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees... then the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am the wrath of God. The earth I pass will see me and tremble. ...
See more »


Featured in Portrait Werner Herzog (1986) See more »


Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes (Lacrime Di Re)
Written by Florian Fricke
Performed by Popol Vuh
Published by Edition Intro Meisel
Courtesy of Gammarock Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Herzog's masterpiece
14 November 2001 | by (Tucson) – See all my reviews

AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD (1972) Spaniards in search of El Dorado descend down an intense mountain peak with barely a path on it. Men slosh through a wet jungle forest with cannibals, dragging horses, cannons and women on thrones with them. Rafts try to navigate harsh rapids with no end in sight, sending one of them into a whirlpool. This is the first ten minutes. And it is probably easier than what it took to make the film.

Werner Herzog's masterpiece follows Klaus Kinski as a conquistador leading a group of men through his personal madness in Peru, searching for the mythical city of gold. Kinski wasn't an actor, he was a time-traveller, and his performances for Herzog are his best. My favorite scene of all his work is in this film early-on: as the huge group of slaves struggle and burn their souls carrying a woman on a throne-chair against the unforgiving jungle mud and trees, Kinski suddenly appears in the middle to offer a helping hand. He writhes and morphs, grabbing the slaves and shoving them, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Fools!!! The sedan chair is stuck!"

AGUIRRE is what got Herzog noticed around the world as part of a new group of German filmmakers along with Fassbinder and Wenders. His previous film was EVEN DWARVES STARTED SMALL, which resulted in Kinski calling him, "A mere dwarf director." The battles between he and Kinski should be legendary by now. The final result in Herzog stating he will grab his gun and kill both himself and Kinski as the actor was threatening to leave the production. Kinski was convinced and finished the film.

This story and more is part of the excellent analog track by Herzog, covering all of the hardcore production that overwhelms the more famous Coppola problems making Apocalypse Now. Herzog didn't have millions of dollars, rather 300 grand, had to live on the rafts for months and deal with the jungle and Kinski. But he never bitches - you do what you have to do, and the film is never compromised, from the costumes, the beautiful real locations and the boat hanging in the tree to the eerie group of small monkeys at the end (which Herzog had to steal, even though he paid for them). The analog track is constant (many now seem to take pauses to watch the film) with background on the idea, actors, filming and philosophies. Yes, that is a real mummy in the cannibal camp, for which Herzog's brother had to buy a passenger ticket for the plane ride over.

The DVD is another fantastic release giving the nice treatment to a title that can't be making them millionaires. The image looks great and is not letterboxed, so I assume that that is how Herzog prefers it. The three trailers didn't add much to the presentation, but that's a minor point. When they are finished with the entire Herzog collection, it will be one of the most fascinating career studies on DVD.

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