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

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  3 April 1977 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 35,159 users  
Reviews: 189 user | 156 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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Cast

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
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Storyline

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 <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

3 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aguirre, the Wrath of God  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$370,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The monkeys that appear at the end of the film were somewhat difficult to acquire. According to Werner Herzog's commentary, he paid the men who were to provide them only half of what they asked for, as he didn't trust them and thought they would try to run off with the money without providing the monkeys. He was proved right, as they had sold the monkeys to someone else and they were to be flown to Florida. In desperation, Herzog pretended he was the veterinarian and that the monkeys didn't have their vaccination documents, which allowed him to finally get the monkeys and film their scenes. After this, all the monkeys were set free into the wild. See more »

Goofs

The "dead" Indian slave opens his eyes as the horse walks by. See more »

Quotes

Balthasar: I was a prince in this land. No one was allowed to look directly into my eyes. But now I'm in chains, like my people, and I must bow my head. Almost everything was taken from us. I can't do anything; I'm powerless. But I am also sorry for you, because I know there is no escape from this jungle.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cannes... les 400 coups (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Thematically Profound, Visually Stunning
11 July 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Filmed not far from Machu Picchu, the legendary lost city of the Incas in the mountains of Peru, the opening images of this film are breathtaking in their natural grandeur and visual scale. A long cavalcade of 16th century Spanish soldiers slowly winds its way, serpentine like, down a steep mountain face. It's one of the most impressive and awe-inspiring openings in film history.

The soldiers are searching for El Dorado, the fabled Andean city of gold. The caravan includes the story's main character, Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), a greedy, ambitious soldier who will stop at nothing in his quest for riches and power. Also included is Inez, a young, well-meaning woman who wears blue velvet and white lace. Representing the Spanish Crown, she rides in a wheeless carriage, described in the movie as the "sedan-chair", a flimsy, enclosed wooden box toted by other soldiers. The carriage, painted blue and red, is so out of place in this rugged wilderness, it's the first clue that the entire mission is a fool's errand, based on romantic dreams and delusions. Against the backdrop of towering mountains and dense jungle, the sedan-chair and Inez' regal looking clothes make Spanish royalty look impotent.

Eventually, only a small convoy of soldiers, along with Inez and her sedan-chair proceed, as El Dorado becomes ever more elusive. Down the Amazon River the little band of adventurers traverse, encountering one problem after another. Aguirre, having long since taken command, leads them on, ever in search of that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Throughout the film, Aguirre rarely smiles. He displays a strange body language, sometimes leaning sideways or backwards, his thoughtful, stern face with reactions that are slow and deliberate. His behavior suggests other Messianic "leaders", like Jim Jones, who led his flock of followers to their doom in 1978 in the jungles of Guyana.

"Aguirre, The Wrath Of God" is a story of adventure, a story about the mystery of the unknown. It's a story about dreams and fantasies of greed. It's a very physical film. Every single scene, without exception, was filmed outdoors.

It's a non-Hollywood type film, too. There are no sets, and some of the plot and dialogue are improvised, enhancing spontaneity and grim realism. It's a film not unlike "Deliverance" (1972).

"Aguirre, The Wrath Of God" is one of the most visually striking film I have ever seen. And the underlying theme of mankind's arrogance, against an implacable Nature, is starkly apparent. The film is visionary, profound. It will leave many viewers changed, enriched, perhaps even a little wiser.


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