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My Best Fiend (1999)
"Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Biography  |  7 October 1999 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 7,335 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 39 user | 67 critic | 17 from

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 »


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Credited cast:
Himself - Narrator / Interviewer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Justo González ...
Paul Hittscher ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself - Wilbur (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Eva Mattes ...
Thomas Mauch ...
Himself (archive footage)
Benino Moreno Placido ...
Beat Presser ...
Fitzcarraldo (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Walter Saxer ...
Himself (archive footage)
Lucki Stipetic ...
Himself (archive footage)


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 fit of rage, Kinski completely destroyed the bathroom. From this chaos, a violent, love-hate, profoundly creative partnership was born. In 1972, Herzog cast Kinski in 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God'. Four more films would follow. In this personal documentary, Herzog traces the often violent ups and downs of their relationship, revisiting the various locations of their films and talking to the people they worked with. Written by L.H. Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

7 October 1999 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

My Best Fiend  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,677 (USA) (5 November 1999)


$95,612 (USA) (25 August 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kinski: [performing and reciting his text for the audience] I am not the Jesus of the official church who the police, bankers, judges, hangmen, officers, church bosses and other powerful people tolerate. I am not your superstar...
See more »


Features Woyzeck (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Utterly fascinating documentary about the extraordinary Klaus Kinski. Absolutely essential viewing for all Kinski buffs!
17 March 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'My Best Friend' is one of the most fascinating documentaries I've ever seen about movies and acting. Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski only made five movies together, but what extraordinary movies they are! Kinski made many, many movies, many of them absolutely awful (though all worth watching even if only for him). In fact it's difficult to think of any other actor of his undoubted talent who slummed it quite as much as he did. Herzog is regarded as one of Germany's greatest ever directors and made many fine movies without Kinski, but the two together were really something special. Just watch the astonishing 'Aguirre: The Wrath Of God' if you want to be floored by total genius! Much of this documentary deals with the trials and tribulations of that movie's troubled shoot, but their other four collaborations are also discussed. Their relationship was a complex one and really hard to get your head around. At times they literally tried to kill each other, but then there's footage included that shows their obvious warmth and affection for each other. You could say that this documentary provokes more questions than answers, and if you are looking for a straightforward explanation of Kinski's behaviour and what Herzog REALLY thought about him then maybe you could regard this as a failure. Anyway, I was enthralled and I think any fan of Kinski must regard this as essential viewing. From the opening footage of a raving Kinski on stage proclaiming he was Christ to the final moments of a butterfly flitting around his face this is mesmerizing stuff, and not to be missed by anyone with every a remote interest in this unique actor. Highly recommended!

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