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The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

PG  |   |  Action, Comedy  |  10 September 1980 (South Africa)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 41,429 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 31 critic

A comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization and its stranger aspects, including a clumsy scientist and a band of revolutionaries.



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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Sandra Prinsloo ...
N!xau ...
Louw Verwey ...
Michael Thys ...
Nic de Jager ...
Fanyana H. Sidumo ...
Joe Seakatsie ...
Brian O'Shaughnessy ...
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Narrator (voice)


A Sho in the Kalahari desert encounters technology for the first time--in the shape of a Coke bottle. He takes it back to his people, and they use it for many tasks. The people start to fight over it, so he decides to return it to the God--where he thinks it came from. Meanwhile, we are introduced to a school teacher assigned to a small village, a despotic revolutionary, and a clumsy biologist. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At last, a comedy everyone can laugh with! See more »


Action | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

10 September 1980 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Los dioses deben estar locos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$51,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was world's biggest non-US box office hit during its release. See more »


When the helicopter blows up, wires that hold it in the air are visible. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: It looks like a paradise, but it is in fact the most treacherous desert in the world... the Kalahari. After the short rainy season, there are many waterholes, and even rivers. But after a few weeks, the water sinks away into the deep Kalahari sand, the waterholes dry up, and the rivers stop flowing. The grass fades to a beautiful blond colour that offers excellent grazing. But for the next nine months there will be no water to drink, so most of the animals move away, leaving the ...
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Referenced in 30 Rock: Plan B (2011) See more »


Song With Thumb Piano
Music by Andrew Tracey
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User Reviews

Perfection of Simplicity, nothing more, nothing less
15 May 2004 | by (America) – See all my reviews

This movie is not a big budget action film, this movie is not an emotional soap opera, or a tearjerker, this is a simple little film about the simple things in life. This South African produced film has proven to be one of the best I have seen in quite a long time. N!xau, a native bushman plays a bushman in this movie. A coke bottle has destroyed his villages life as it has been proven to be an excellent tool, but everyone wants it. So the young Bushman is told by the village elders to throw the ‘evil thing' off the ends of the earth.

On his long and perilous journey he runs into all kinds of different people, some terrorists, a man studying animals, an uptight urban teacher, and some trouble along the way, obviously. The movie is just so funny, the film is told from the point of view of the bushman, and is poignant as well. The movie manages to be very different, and extremely unconventional, at least by American standards.

I have to admit I am glad I got to see this movie. A lot of great foreign films do not make it over to America, and that is sad, but this movie is excellent, it is funny, sweet, and all around one of the best movies I have seen. The writing is congruent and sharp, the performances do not at all seemed forced and the ensemble here manage to come off appropriately hilarious without taking away from the plot.

There are some political overtones here as well, as the movie takes a few shots at apartheid, when it was still around. Also in my mind the movie is extremely satirical of the instability that the region faces. The funniest part of the movie were the terrorists. They were so incredibly inept and silly I couldn't help laugh at them. If they weren't tripping over closing doors they were tripping over themselves.

Marius Weyers as the biologist who is clumsy but well meaning also steals the show, and his assistant, played by Louw Verway is excellent, but the real star of the show is N!Xau, who makes such an excellent lead and does wonderful here. What amazes me about him was he was about forty when he did this film. There is no way for him to know when he was born, but the man looks so youthful, it is incredible, I thought he was a teenager! Shows you how much I know. Anyway see this incredible film, it is more than worth it.

63 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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