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

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  November 1974 (USA)
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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.



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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 <>

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Release Date:

November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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 »


In the autopsy scene, the operating table is equipped with an exhaust pipe which is white and smooth. It looks like plastic, because no material of that era could have a similar appearance, also the pipes at that time were made of lead. See more »


Kaspar Hauser: Mother, I am so far away from everything.
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User Reviews

Werner Herzog: Like A Prophet
6 January 2003 | by (Calgary, Canada) – See all my reviews

Not only is THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER Werner Herzog's best film but I also believe it to be the greatest film ever made along with Stanley Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. KASPAR HAUSER has some of the most incredible and powerful images ever filmed.

The opening shot is that of a rye field blowing in the wind; we hear Pachelbel's 'Cannon' and the following words appear on the screen; "Don't you hear that horrible screaming all around you? The screaming men call silence." This sequence perfectly captures the spirit of this film; the beauty of suffering seen through the eyes of a human that is untainted and unformed by society.

This film changed my life. I now see the world with a new set of eyes. It has the most amazing photography, brilliant use of music and an amazing performance by Bruno S.; a schizophrenic street musician who never acted before and who had been incarcerated for most of his life.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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