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Stroszek (1977)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  12 January 1977 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 7,511 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 41 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:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Bruno and Eva are driving to Railroad Flats, Herzog and the cameraman strapped themselves by their belts to the hood of the car while going down the freeway. They were stopped by police and avoided getting a ticket by telling the officer that they were just some "Kraut film students" and the officer let them go. The same officer stopped them again later that day for the same offense. See more »

Goofs

The position of Bruno's hand when talking with Shertz about where Eva is changes twice during that sequence. See more »

Quotes

Eva: Well, taking a boat to New York and Florida... Isn't there a park there? What's it called? Where the bears run around free?
Der Bruno Stroszek: That's the Grizzlies.
See more »

Connections

References Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Lost John
Written and Performed by Sonny Terry
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bruno S. as in spectator...
6 July 2004 | by (Palo Alto, CA, USA) – See all my reviews



If you're going to watch this, I strongly recommend you allot time for the DVD version with Herzog's commentary. It adds some warmth and a lot of insight into what on the surface could be seen as a simple film wherein the characters don't change despite the fact that their environs do.

Yep another indictment of the impersonal and imposing modern world and those that it plows under. At the same time, it had a strange flavor, reminiscent of being cursed at in English by a non-native speaker. Perturbing on one level, but sort of playful in its twisted delivery.

On the first watching of the film, I knew nothing about Bruno S. the person...but did find him a bit of a miscreant. Later on we learn that "Stroszek" serves as somewhat of a biopic, strung together with flotsam and jetsam from Herzog's own travels and travails. Herzog's casting is beyond odd, and for that I am grateful...others may be put off.

But part of Herzog's anachronistic/anarchic approach is to take non-actors and place them in a state of inaction. Through this process, we get something more like life than cinema, and yet strangely unlike either. The spiral downwards of Bruno feels inevitable, and is nowhere near enjoyable to watch. The film is frustrating to me, as Bruno remains no more than a spectator in the debacle of his own life. He's a complex simpleton, refusing to march to the beat of his own conundrum.

We are promised a false rebirth, with the visit to the preemie birth ward...but Bruno spent too much time wrapped up and strangled by his umbilical Berlin cord. The move to America finds rifles growing like corn stalks, and one even takes root in our anti-hero's hands.

The film feels rife with symbolism, but I wonder how much of that is a fact that Herzog himself is a magnet for fools' gold. If you, like myself prefer such esoteric elements over the coign of the silver screen, then this film should have enough rewards for you. But ultimately, I think you'll feel shortchanged.

The soundtrack however does deserve a favorable mention, the beauty of dilapidated sound is easier to appreciate than dilapidated surroundings for me. And whereas the musings of Bruno did not ring true for me, his homespun, junkyard music certainly did.

6/10

I look forward to seeing other Herzog films, but I'm starting to wonder if I (or you) should see them in any particular order. Again the commentary was a big plus, I'm impressed at the sort of improvisational movie-making Herzog guides.


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