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The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (original title)
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 talk or walk, and bearing a strange note.

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Walter Ladengast ...
...
Kathe, Servant
Willy Semmelrogge ...
Circus director
Michael Kroecher ...
Lord Stanhope
Hans Musäus ...
Unknown Man
Henry van Lyck ...
Cavalry Captain
Gloria Doer ...
Frau Hiltel
...
Hiltel the prison guard
Herbert Achternbusch ...
Bavarian Chicken Hypnotizer
Wolfgang Bauer
Wilhelm Bayer ...
Taunting Farmboy
Franz Brumbach
Helmut Döring ...
Little King
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Storyline

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 talk 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 <mqd8478@is2.nyu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 November 1974 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 the 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 then 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 »

Goofs

When sitting at table, a man tries to take Kaspar's hat. Kaspar's left hand changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Opening caption: Do you not then hear this horrible scream all around you that people usually call silence.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: One Sunday in 1828 a ragged boy was found abandoned in the town of N. He could hardly walk and spoke but one sentence.

Later, he told of being locked in a dark cellar from birth. He had never seen another human being, a tree, a house before.

To this day no one knows where he came from - or who set him free.

Don't you hear that horrible screaming all around you? That screaming men call silence? See more »

Connections

Referenced in Uga Uga: Episode #1.1 See more »

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User Reviews

 
My favorite Herzog Film
3 August 2001 | by See all my reviews

Even if this film had failed on the level of character or narrative (which it doesn't), I would still love this movie for its incredible imagery. The memory/dream sequences are haunting and will never leave my head. The opening shot of a field, long blades grass bowing under the wind to the music of Pachelbel, is extraordinary. And of course there's the performance of Bruno S, the most intensely hypnotic and genuine performance you will ever see.

But my favorite scene is of the impresario and the dwarf king and his kingdom. This is a true Herzog moment -- bizarre but somehow still a moment of striking epiphany -- the dwarf a parallel, isolated soul to Kasper's own isolated, lonely soul. The extremity and weirdness of moments like these seem commonplace and everyday in a Herzog film, and therefore somehow commonplace and everyday even in our own lives.


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