IMDb > Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Fitzcarraldo
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Fitzcarraldo (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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View company contact information for Fitzcarraldo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 October 1982 (USA) See more »
Plot:
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An eccentric visionary brings opera to the jungle See more (77 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Klaus Kinski ... Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo'

Claudia Cardinale ... Molly

José Lewgoy ... Don Aquilino
Miguel Ángel Fuentes ... Cholo
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 ... Blackman At Opera House
Ruy Polanah ... Rubber Baron
Salvador Godínez ... Old Missionary
Dieter Milz ... Young Missionary
William Rose ... Notary (as Bill Rose)
Leoncio Bueno
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Isabel Jimines de Cisneros ... Opera Singer (uncredited)

Jean-Claude Dreyfus ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Jesús Goiri ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Veriano Luchetti ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Lourdes Magalhaes ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Christian Mantilla ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Costante Moret ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Dimiter Petkov ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Mietta Sighele ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Liborio Simonella ... Opera Singer (uncredited)

Directed by
Werner Herzog 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Werner Herzog 

Produced by
Werner Herzog .... producer
Renzo Rossellini .... associate producer
Walter Saxer .... executive producer
Willi Segler .... producer
Lucki Stipetic .... producer
 
Original Music by
Popol Vuh 
 
Cinematography by
Thomas Mauch 
 
Film Editing by
Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus 
 
Production Design by
Ulrich Bergfelder 
Henning von Gierke 
 
Costume Design by
Gisela Storch 
 
Makeup Department
Gloria Fava .... hair stylist
Gloria Fava .... makeup artist
Stefano Fava .... hair stylist
Stefano Fava .... makeup artist
Jaque Monteiro .... assistant makeup artist
Carlos Prieto .... assistant makeup artist
 
Production Management
Gustavo Cerff Abulu .... production manager: Peru (as Gustavo Cerff Arbulú)
George Sluizer .... production manager: Brazil
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred Confalonieri .... assistant director: Brazil (as Frederico Confalonieri)
Jorge Vignati .... assistant director
 
Art Department
César Vivanco Luna .... construction: Camp Rio Camisea
Jaíme Mourõa Rios .... construction: Indin camp
Victor Trigoso .... construction: Camp Rio Camisea
 
Sound Department
Juarez Dagoberto Costa .... sound (as Juarez Dagoberto)
Zezé d'Alice .... sound (as Zezé D'Alice)
 
Special Effects by
Miguel Vázquez .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Rainer Klausmann .... second camera
Beat Presser .... assistant camera
Beat Presser .... still photographer
Hans-Peter Vogt .... lighting technician
Raimund Wirner .... lighting technician
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Franz Blumauer .... assistant costume designer
Elisabeth Irmer .... assistant costume designer
Rosemary Kaye .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Linda Kuusisto .... assistant editor
Carola Mai .... assistant editor
 
Transportation Department
Tercero Efraín Panaifo Indama .... tractorist
 
Other crew
Pedro Natorce Ahuanari .... boat crew
Tomás Parraga Aliaga .... medical staff (as Dr. Tomás Parraga Aliaga)
Walter Pinedo Alvarez .... boat crew
Claire André .... production secretary: Peru
Eglington Ayarza Boulloza .... technical advisor
Pedro Padilla Chota .... boat crew
Guardamino Benigno Paucar .... technical advisor
Victor Tello Pinedo .... medical staff
Nancy Rios .... production secretary: Peru
William Rose .... dialogue director (as William L. Rose)
Anja Schmidt-Zäringer .... script
Werner Schroeter .... opera director: stage scene
El Tigre Carlos Calvo Soria .... forest worker
René Baneo Vazquez .... boat crew
Rachel Griffiths .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Les Blank .... special thanks
Miguel Camateiri Fernandez .... thanks
Nicolás Camateiri Fernandez .... thanks
Pascual Camateiri Fernandez .... thanks
Peter Matthiessen .... special thanks
Joseph D. Peckerman .... special thanks
David Pérez Espinosa .... thanks
Sam Shepard .... special thanks
José Koechlin von Stein .... special thanks: idea
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
158 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:L | Norway:12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:PG (re-rating) (1986) | USA:PG | West Germany:12 (bw)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Jack Nicholson was originally set to star, but left the production.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: During one of the boat drifting scenes, crew members can be seen at the top of the boat, including a man wearing jeans who tries to avoid being spotted by the camera.See more »
Quotes:
Don Aquilino:Ladies and gentlemen, don't worry. This gentleman is harmless. He's just had a, a soul-stirring experience.
Rubber Baron:Sir. My servants will conduct you to the kitchen. My dogs' cook will prepare you a meal. Thank you very much, sir. You were superb.
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo':To your dogs' cook.
[downs champagne glass]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo':To Verdi.
[downs champagne glass]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo':To Rossini.
[downs champagne glass]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo':To Caruso.
[downs champagne glass]
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Eu Eu Eu José Lewgoy (2011)See more »
Soundtrack:
Opera on boardSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
113 out of 128 people found the following review useful.
An eccentric visionary brings opera to the jungle, 24 April 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

Based on a historic figure, this is the story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski), known as "Fitzcarraldo", an eccentric visionary living in Amazonia. He first tried building a Trans-Andean Railroad, but went bankrupt. When we meet him, he's trying to make a living by selling ice to Amazonia natives, although we first see him on a small boat with his sometimes significant other, Molly (Claudia Cardinale). They've traveled 1200 miles down the Amazon to an opera house to hear Enrico Caruso sing, because Fitzcarraldo is an opera fanatic who especially loves Caruso. He loves opera so much that he dreams of building an opera house in the relatively remote outpost of Iquitos, Peru, where he's been living. Understandably unable to find backers for such a venture among Iquitos' wealthy rubber industry leaders, Fitzcarraldo hits upon a scheme for making a bundle of money, and which would eventually enable him to fund the opera house himself. Unfortunately, not all goes as planned.

Fitzcarraldo was a notoriously difficult film to make. Documentarian Les Blank even made his own film detailing some of the difficulties and apparent ironies, The Burden of Dreams (1982). Director Werner Herzog hauled his cast and crew to Amazonia for the shoot, where they ended up trapped in the rain forest for months. At one point the filmmakers' camp was set fire by Indians who objected to the production, there was an air crash in which some of the crew died, and a couple outrageous "stunts" in the film--including the main plot device of the climax--actually were outrageous, dangerous tasks rather than safe effects/model shots, as we'd expect them to be. Just the idea of pulling off the main stunt caused the Brazilian engineer initially associated with the project to abandon involvement. A number of cast members also backed out, including Mick Jagger and Jason Robards, who were both signed on at different points to play Kinski's role. Knowledge of these kinds of issues makes Fitzcarraldo even more fun to watch, and makes the fact that it was completed at all, not to mention that it is such an elegant masterpiece, more remarkable.

The tone of Fitzcarraldo overall closely matches Kinski's depiction of titular character. It is quirky and surreal, but very subtly yet satisfyingly so, with both an almost garish bizarreness (Kinski is quite odd looking in a way) balanced with a sublime beauty. Herzog imbues the film with a lot of gorgeous cinematography, enhanced by his unique sense of pacing. For example, he'll set the mood of a dawn/dusk scene with a lingering shot of a colorful sky, which then functions as symbolic of a night's events without directly showing them. Herzog matches this same technique in his action--he has an ability to say as much with what he doesn't show his actors doing (or saying) as with more conspicuous content.

Herzog also shows himself to be a master of selecting music to enhance mood and tell a story, as he balances an atmospheric Brian Eno-ish score from Popol Vuh, native jungle music, and vintage turn or the century recordings of Caruso singing Bellini, Verdi, Puccini and such. Of course opera is an important plot device that enters the film at various critical points. Even if you don't like opera, however, Herzog and Kinski make it (and the motivation for it) attractive in context, and you may just find this film beginning to turn around your feelings for that music.

It's interesting to note that even with Herzog's unusual pacing, the flow of the film always seems "natural". Fitzcarraldo also has an unusual plot structure, as it almost stream-of-consciously moves from opera in a formal European-seeming setting to a historical dramatic depiction of eccentrics in a native-filled Peruvian town, and then to an exciting adventure tale that is the heart of the film before it finally reaches an irony-filled, beautifully surreal dénouement. The constant throughout all of this is Fitzcarraldo, of course, who can't help being eccentric but charming, both to the film's audience and to other characters.

Fitzcarraldo is often interpreted as being somewhat critical of western encroachment on other cultures, such as Amazonia. Under this view, Herzog is usually seen as ironically "guilty" of the same actions that he's indicting. However, the film does not read as criticism to me. It's much more in line with what is usually considered to be a romantic tendency in Herzog. Fitzcarraldo is not at all a villain in the film, and neither are the European rubber barons. Instead, Fitzcarraldo is lovable and admirable if a bit crazy. The introduction of western culture doesn't end up being a negative. The natives in the film still retain their unique identities, and efforts are made to interact with them in their manner, not to adapt them to Eurocentrism. Cultural change may be inevitable with interaction, but the message of Fitzcarraldo is more that the interaction can produce unique, worthwhile cultures that are amalgamations of their precursors.

Another interesting subtext is that of Fitzcarraldo as Orpheus. Just as Orpheus enchanted wild beasts, trees and rocks on Mount Olympus with his lyre, causing them to "move from their places", Fitzcarraldo uses opera to enchant the natural world in which he is ensconced, eventually "moving mountains".

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Drummers of Burundi shellshell
Subtitles messed up in R4 release Gorgasm
How to make ice? Hypatia42
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