Down 9,104 this week

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
"Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  1 November 1974 (West Germany)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 11,843 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 41 critic

Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note;... See full summary »



0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

Related News

Why 1974 was the best year in film history
| Hitfix
The Antic Visions of Herbert Achternbusch

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 28 May 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 30 Jul 2013
a list of 49 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 41 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser.

User Polls

6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Stroszek (1977)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In Berlin, an alcoholic man, recently released from prison, joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in a determined dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruno S., Eva Mattes, Clemens Scheitz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The foreman of a small village glassworks dies without revealing the secret to the famous "Ruby Glass".

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz
Woyzeck (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Franz Woyzeck is a hapless, hopeless soldier, alone and powerless in society, assaulted from all sides by forces he can not control.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Eva Mattes, Wolfgang Reichmann
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
Cobra Verde (1987)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The feared bandit Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski) is hired by a plantation owner to supervise his slaves. After the owner suspects Cobra Verde of consorting with his young daughters, the owner ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, King Ampaw, José Lewgoy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Fini Straubinger, M. Baaske, Elsa Fehrer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Jonathan and Lucy live in Wismar and the Count wants a house there. Varna is a port on the Black Sea, close to Dracula's castle.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
Fata Morgana (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Lotte Eisner, Eugen Des Montagnes, James William Gledhill
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Signs of Life (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Brogle, Wolfgang Reichmann, Athina Zacharopoulou
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruno S. ...
Walter Ladengast ...
Professor Daumer
Brigitte Mira ...
Kathe, Servant
Willy Semmelrogge ...
Circus director
Michael Kroecher ...
Lord Stanhope
Hans Musäus ...
Unknown Man
Marcus Weller
Gloria Doer ...
Frau Hiltel
Volker Prechtel ...
Hiltel the prison guard
Herbert Achternbusch ...
Bavarian Chicken Hypnotizer
Wolfgang Bauer
Wilhelm Bayer ...
Taunting Farmboy
Franz Brumbach
Johannes Buzalski
Helmut Döring ...
Little King


Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note; he later explained that he had been held captive in a dungeon of some sort for his entire life that he could remember, and only recently was he released, for reasons unknown. His benefactor attempts to integrate him into society, with intriguing results. Written by Mike D'Angelo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 November 1974 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Werner Herzog's said at his Rogue Film School, that the following scenes were shot with a Super-8mm camera: a) The opening scene on the river. b) The montage of landscape shots early in the film. c) Right after the man in black teaches Kaspar how to walk. d) The Caucasus pyramid sequence. e) The caravan in the desert with the old man tasting the sand. Herzog talked about how for some of landscape shots early in the film he mounted a telephoto lens on the end of wide angle lens onto his Super 8 camera. This distorted the edges of the images and created a white/halo effect around the frame. On the DVD audio commentary of this film he mentions how for the Caucasus pyramid sequence he projected the image onto a screen and than re-photographed the image with a 35mm camera at a different frame rate from the projected speed. He also used this technique with the caravan in the desert sequence. See more »


After Kaspar is left in the town square, there is one shot of him where the way he holds the note, and the way the bandanna is tied, that is different from before or after. See more »


Kaspar Hauser: What are women good for?... Can you tell me that, Katy? Women are not good for anything but sitting still!
See more »


Referenced in Sanctuary (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The mystery of Kaspar Hauser
7 November 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD AGAINST ALL (Werner Herzog - West Germany 1974).

Lacking a traditional narrative or dramatic structure and full of obscure images, this film feels more like a hypnotic dreamlike experience. It also features one the more enduring trends in Herzog's work: the featuring of individuals with exceptional physical or psychological conditions.

The film is based on the true story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appears on the market square in the German town of Nuremberg in 1828. This strange occurrence has become one of the most enduring inspirations in German history, literature and science, with well over a thousand books written on the case. When Kaspar Hauser was found, he could barely grunt, let alone speak and caused a minor sensation among the locals. After living in a cellar for years with only a pet rocking horse, he is abandoned by his protector and provider, the mysterious "Man in Black." Having been isolated from all humans except his mysterious protector, Kaspar is suddenly thrust into civilization, and is expected to adapt himself to 19th-century society. He becomes a public spectacle and everyone in town lines up to catch a glimpse of him. Soon the local officials in town decide he is too much of a (costly) burden and, in an attempt to profit from the public interest, he is turned over to a circus ringmaster, where he is added to the local carnival freak show, as one of "The Four Riddles of the Spheres." The other three include "a midget king", "A little Mozart" (an autistic or catatonic child), and a lute playing "savage". When Hauser comes under the tutelage of a sympathetic professor (Walter Ladengast), he gradually acquires an impressive degree of socialization and learns to express himself with a reasonable degree of clarity, but most of society's conventions, manners and thoughts is more the young man is able to adjust to.

Herzog adopted a technique of incorporating film material shot by others filmmakers into the film. Early on in the film, just before Kaspar is found on the town square, Herzog used material shot on super 8 of a Bavarian landscape and the town of Dinkelsbühl, that was almost disposed off, but Herzog thought it would be ideal for his film. These grainy shots, accompanied by a requiem of Orlando DiLasso, make for one of the most haunting images I've ever seen on film. Dream sequences are another important aspect in this film. In one of them, Kaspar Hauser has dream images of the Sahara desert, for which Herzog used material he shot in the Western Sahara on earlier occasions. I don't know of any other director who used this technique to such avail up until now. One of the most stunning scenes is when the "Man in black" leaves him with the shot on the mountain and soon after the music with the requiem starts. It's almost like a romantic twist on 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Herzog has done a fantastic job recounting the legend of Kaspar Hauser to the screen. The casting of Bruno S. in the role of Kaspar Hauser is of particular interest. He was a street artist in Berlin, when Herzog found him and decided he would be ideal to play the role of Kaspar Hauser. Before this, Bruno S. had a troubled past. After being severely beaten by his mother, he became deaf and was placed in an institution for retarded children at the age of three. At nine, when he tried to escape, he was transferred to a correctional institution. With further escape attempts, he amassed a number of criminal offenses and was incarcerated for more than twenty years. The authenticity of Bruno's performance brings such an element of sincerity to the film, that makes it almost impossible not to root for his cause. Bruno S. also starred in Herzog's STROSZEK (1976).

Camera Obscura --- 10/10

51 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Enigma of Warner Herzog imppmi
(for everybody who liked the film)just a few more votes... lemuriit
Blind man in the desert Electric_Head
What is the opening music? StevieGB
Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle liperta
Who is harder to educate? Kaspar Hauser or Helen Keller? sanjay_duff
Discuss The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: