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

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Biography  |  7 October 1999 (Germany)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 7,268 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 39 user | 67 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

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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Director: Werner Herzog
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Narrator / Interviewer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Herself
Justo González ...
Himself
...
Himself - Wilbur (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Eva Mattes ...
Herself
Thomas Mauch ...
Himself
Benino Moreno Placido ...
Himself
Beat Presser ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Fitzcarraldo (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Walter Saxer ...
Himself (archive footage)
Baron van der Recke ...
Himself
Baronin van der Recke ...
Herself
Andrés Vicente ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

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 <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 October 1999 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

My Best Fiend  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$95,612 (USA) (25 August 2000)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Werner Herzog: [Herzog and Thomas Mauch are looking at Mauch's infamous picture of Kinski trying to strangle Herzog] I truly like this very much. It happened because he must have sensed the presence of your camera.
Thomas Mauch: He also just wanted to let you have it, didn't he?
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An actor's life
31 May 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Werner Herzog's brilliant documentary about his friend Klaus Kinski gives us an insight into the troubled life of this great actor who gave his all to whatever films he elected to appear in. Mr. Herzog offers a different account on Mr. Kinski, who could be infuriating in his egomania, which seems to be at the center of the story. However, one only sees glimpses of the man who could be charming and who could be generous to his fellow actors.

Having met Mr. Kinski on two occasions, we only saw a charismatic man in a relaxed atmosphere. It appears the pressures of making a film propelled the actor into a frenzy that comes out clearly in what Mr. Herzog is showing us in the documentary. Mr. Kinski was probably his own worst enemy because his sense of pride in the role he was portraying took the best out of him. Therefore the hysterics and the fights with his director and the crew, notably the aggression on Justo Gonzalez's head, while playing a violent scene that could have killed him.

On the other hand we catch some of the soft side of the actor as we hear a loving account by Eva Mattes, who played with Mr. Kinski in "Woyzek". Also Claudia Cardinale shares some vivid memories with the director as she recounts her experience with Mr. Kinski while filming "Fitzcarraldo".

The film is an important document, as it illustrates the spirit of a man that was unique in his own madness. Mr. Herzog's shows clearly this actor was a man possessed whenever he played a role in front of a camera. Because of the document we feel enlightened somewhat in having known the man that gave movie fans his best and more.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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