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Stroszek (1977)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  12 January 1977 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 7,129 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 37 critic

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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Title: Stroszek (1977)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruno S. ...
Der Bruno Stroszek
Eva Mattes ...
Eva
Clemens Scheitz ...
Scheitz
Wilhelm von Homburg ...
Souteneur
Burkhard Driest ...
Souteneur
Clayton Szalpinski ...
Mechanic
Ely Rodriguez ...
Indian mechanic's helper
Alfred Edel ...
Jail headmaster
Scott McKain ...
Scott
Ralph Wade ...
Auctioneer
Michael Gahr ...
Prisoner Hoss
Vaclav Vojta ...
Doctor
Yuecsel Topcuguerler ...
Turk prisoner
Pit Bedewitz ...
Souteneur
Bob Evans ...
Bob Evans
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

12 January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stroszek  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Werner Herzog invited editor Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus to the set to oversee continuity. Known to highly dislike Herzog's movies (with the exception of Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)), she was so disgusted by the scenes that she started to signal the camera operator to stop shooting. Infuriated by this, Herzog threatened to hit her with a shovel. See more »

Goofs

The pot of coffee on the piano changes position. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Control (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Way Down to Phoenix
Written and Performed by Chet Atkins
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant
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.


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