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Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,179 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 13 critic

A short documentary in which directors Werner Herzog and Erol Morris make a bet which results in Herzog being forced to eat his own shoe.

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Title: Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
...
Master of Ceremonies
Michael Goodwin ...
Driver / Interviewer
...
Assistant Cook
Chris Strachwitz ...
Dwarf Voice (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Phil Harberts ...
Himself
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Storyline

A passionate cook, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog stuffs some culinary aromatics into his shoe and uses the laces to truss it like a chicken, before he sticks it into a pot with water and duck fat to stew it. It is so that he can bring the stewed shoe to one of the first screenings of Errol Morris' debut film Gates of Heaven (1978) to eat it. This act will fulfill his loss of a bet to Morris, who he met as a student filmmaker, that he would never be able to make a movie. The bet was not Herzog's attempt of a jab against Morris, but rather to support a struggling but gifted Morris in his quest to do whatever was required to finance a movie project. In the process of eating the shoe, Herzog wants to encourage other aspiring filmmakers, and to set an agenda of increasing what he calls adequate images as a true reflection of the world. Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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October 1980 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Herzog has something of a track record with this type of bet. When making "Even Dwarves Started Small" he promised his actors that if they all survived the shoot he would jump into a cactus patch for their amusement. They did, so did he, and he claims to still have some spines in his body as a result. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Werner Herzog: If we speak of television it's just... ridiculous and destructive. It kills us. And talk-shows will kill us. They kill our language. So we have to declare holy war against what we see every single day on television, commercials and... I think there should be real war against commercials, real war against talk-shows, real war against Bonanza, Rawhide or these things.
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Connections

References Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Whisky Shoes
Played by Walt Solek Band
Courtesy of Starr Records
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User Reviews

 
Not a film for the average viewer.
5 September 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Before Errol Morris made his first documentary film, famed German director Werner Herzog apparently said that if the film ever got released, he'd eat his shoe. And, this is where Les Blank got the title for this short.

"Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe" is a film that is not for the average viewer. First, you need to know who Herzog is (and most Americans don't). Second, it would be best to know who Errol Morris is. And third, it would help if you have a lot of patience, as the shoe-eating makes up only a tiny portion of the film. Like Les Blank's other documentary about Herzog ("Burden of Dreams"), he allows Herzog to just talk and talk and talk and only a tiny portion of this has anything to do with eating a shoe. The rest just seems like random rants about the evils of TV, other film projects, his philosophy about documentary films, etc.. If you adore Herzog and would love to just listen to him talk, then this film is for you. Otherwise, you have have trouble sticking with this one.


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