Fitzcarraldo (1982)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  10 October 1982 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 20,632 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 84 critic

The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Jonathan and Lucy live in Wismar and the Count wants a house there. Varna is a port on the Black Sea, close to Dracula's castle.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale
Cobra Verde (1987)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The feared bandit Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski) is hired by a plantation owner to supervise his slaves. After the owner suspects Cobra Verde of consorting with his young daughters, the owner ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, King Ampaw, José Lewgoy
Woyzeck (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Franz Woyzeck is a hapless, hopeless soldier, alone and powerless in society, assaulted from all sides by forces he can not control.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Eva Mattes, Wolfgang Reichmann
My Best Fiend (1999)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young journalist (Lespert) helps the French President compile his memoirs.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Jalil Lespert, Philippe Fretun
Uranus (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After World War II, a small French village struggles to put the war behind as the controlling Communist Party tries to flush out Petain loyalists. The local bar owner, a simple man who ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Berri
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Blanc
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion


Complete credited cast:
Miguel Ángel Fuentes ...
Paul Hittscher ...
Captain (Orinoco Paul)
Huerequeque Enrique Bohorquez ...
Huerequeque (The Cook) (as Huerequeque Enrique Bohórquez)
Grande Otelo ...
Station master (as Grande Othelo)
Peter Berling ...
Opera Manager
David Pérez Espinosa ...
Chief of Campa Indians
Milton Nascimento ...
Black Man At Opera House
Ruy Polanah ...
Rubber Baron
Salvador Godínez ...
Old Missionary
Dieter Milz ...
Young Missionary
William Rose ...
Notary (as Bill Rose)
Leoncio Bueno


Fitzcarraldo is an obsessed opera lover who wants to build an opera in the jungle. To accomplish this he first has to make a fortune in the rubber business, and his cunning plan involves hauling an enormous river boat across a small mountain with aid from the local Indians. Written by Rune Sandnes <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

10 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fickaraldo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


SEK 1,793,870 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Werner Herzog destroyed all the footage of Jason Robards and Mick Jagger (Herzog has said that he never keeps the outtakes and unused footage of any of his films). When he wanted to use some of that footage in his film My Best Fiend (1999) ("My Best Fiend - Klaus Kinski")), there remained only what had been included in documentarian Les Blank's film Burden of Dreams (1982). See more »


When the two crew members fight with each other, the shadow of the camera is visible on the left one. See more »


Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': How can anyone learn patriotism from a school book?
Young Missionary: The Government requires it.
Old Missionary: The natives get used to it. Like vaccination.
Young Missionary: The children already feel like little Peruvians. The other day I asked them, "Are you Indians?" "No," they said, "not we, the ones up the river, they are Indians." And then I asked. "What are Indians?" "They said to me "Indians are people who can't read and who don't know how to wash their clothes."
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': And what about the older people?
Old Missionary: Well, we can't seem to cure them of the...
See more »


La Bohème
Written by Giacomo Puccini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad...
27 January 2007 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is a work of fiction, although the idea for the story and the name came from a real person who actually lived at Iquitos, Peru, and who was a rubber (not robber) baron in the eighteen-nineties.

Arguably, Klaus Kinski (as Fitzcarraldo) was born to play the main role – although Werner Herzog considered taking up the role himself. But, no one can play an eccentric the way Kinski did in this film. It's not Nosferatu (1979), but the wide, staring eyes are looking at you, all the time, in the same spooky way.

And, only an eccentric of the most magnificent kind would dare to take a 340-ton ship up the Amazon and carry it over a mountain down to another river! Isn't that just one of the craziest things you've ever heard of? Well, the truth is Herzog actually did do that and simply used Kinski as his surrogate to prance around the mud and clay, with the local Indians, and generally taking the praise for a job well done. There were no special effects – the production team actually pushed and pulled that hulk up a slope of hundreds of meters and then down to another river.

So, who was really crazy: Herzog or Fitzcarraldo?

Never mind that: just see this movie for the lush, primeval jungles of South America; for the rich tones of various opera singers, including Caruso (on a phonograph); for the stunning photography aboard the ill-fated Molly; for the antics of Kinski, as he thrashes around, pushing himself and others to the limits; for the army of local Indians, pulling the ship over the mountain; for the haunting sound-track provided by Popul Vuh, Herzog's perennial musical team of choice; and, of course, for the lovely Claudia Cardinale – past her prime but still remarkable...

I love this movie and I hope you do also. And, when you have seen it, then see Burden of Dreams (1982), the film that tells the story of the making of Fitzcarraldo. It's maybe better than the fiction...

23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
US blu ray release January 2015 notvertigo
What's the advantage of getting the boat into the other river system? Stryke01
Am I the only one... shoobe01-1
Subtitles messed up in R4 release Gorgasm
Fitzcarraldo NOT in the Top 250? Absurd! niktemadur
language? thomasiversen
Discuss Fitzcarraldo (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: