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Stroszek (1977)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 12 January 1977 (USA)
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.




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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Der Bruno Stroszek
Eva Mattes ...
Clemens Scheitz ...
Burkhard Driest ...
Clayton Szalpinski ...
Ely Rodriguez ...
Indian mechanic's helper
Alfred Edel ...
Jail headmaster
Scott McKain ...
Scott (as Scott Mc Kain)
Ralph Wade ...
Michael Gahr ...
Prisoner Hoss
Vaclav Vojta ...
Doctor (as Dr. Vaclav Vojta)
Yuecsel Topcuguerler ...
Turk prisoner (as Yücsel Topcugürler)
Bob Evans ...
Bob Evans
Der Brave Beo ...


Bruno Stroszek is released from prison and warned to stop drinking. He has few skills and fewer expectations: with a glockenspiel and an accordion, he ekes out a living as a street musician. He befriends Eva, a prostitute down on her luck. After they are harried and beaten by the thugs who have been Eva's pimps, they join Bruno's neighbor, Scheitz, an elderly eccentric, when he leaves Germany to live in Wisconsin. In that winter bound, barren prairie, Bruno works as a mechanic, Eva as a waitress. They buy a trailer. Then, bills mount, the bank threatens to repossess the trailer, Eva wants privacy, and inexorably, the promise of a new life deserts Bruno. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

12 January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stroszek  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scenes of Stroszek's apartment were shot in Bruno S.'s apartment. The piano, which Bruno really does call his "black friend", was bought with his salary from The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), and the concern over its future is real. See more »


When Bruno and the gang buy the car, a camera reflection is visible on the window of the green pickup driving by. The driver of that vehicle looks at the camera. See more »


Bank employee: We need... the money.
See more »


Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »


Silver Bell
Performed by Ada Jones, Billy Murray.
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User Reviews

5 February 2005 | by (somerville, ma) – See all my reviews

I discovered Werner Herzog first through his remake of Nosferatu and then through Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre: The Wrath of God. Though the brilliance of those movies is unimpeachable, Stroszek, at least for me, stands at the apex of Herzog's oeuvre.

This intensely moving and satisfying film which begins in Germany and winds up in Wisconsin is solid through and through. There's not a weak moment or weak element to be found. The acting, especially by Bruno S., is completely unaffected and without over-stylization (there is, perhaps, a reason for this - they aren't acting, simply being). The story itself deals with melodramatic elements without steering into soap opera territory and the film's ideology is not black in white. There's subtlety and complexity to the ideas put forth in this film about America, Germany, human beings, life, etc. Moreover, Stroszek avoids beating the audience's brains with its ideas; Herzog presents them in the context of the story, smoothly integrated.

And then there's the beautiful photography, particularly of the American Midwest; Herzog and his cameramen capture perfectly the cold, stark, desolate magnificence of the upper-Plains. To draw a weird comparison, the photography here is the equivalent of Husker Du's New Day Rising - crisp, harsh, and gorgeous simultaneously.

Stroszek also has a justifiably well-known ending, both surreal and completely sensible. Though any other director would be unable to top an ending such as that in Aguirre (the slumped conqueror, floating on a monkey-covered raft), Herzog does just that here.

Truly, if you have not seen any Herzog, this is a great place to start; then go see Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu, Woyczek, and Invincible. The man is brilliant and I await with bated breath Grizzly Man, his new project.

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

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