7.2/10
1,821
14 user 30 critic

Signs of Life (1968)

Lebenszeichen (original title)
A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writers:

Werner Herzog (screenplay), Achim von Arnim (inspired by the short story 'Der tolle Invalide auf dem Fort Ratonneau')
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of dwarfs at a correctional facility erupt in anarchy.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The foreman of a small village glassworks dies without revealing the secret to the famous "Ruby Glass".

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz
Fata Morgana (1971)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Lotte Eisner, Eugen Des Montagnes, James William Gledhill
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Fini Straubinger, M. Baaske, Elsa Fehrer
Cobra Verde (1987)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the 1800s, paroled Brazilian bandit Cobra Verde is sent to West Africa with a few troops to man an old Portuguese fort and to convince the local African ruler to resume the slave trade with Brazil.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, King Ampaw, José Lewgoy
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A geologist employed by an Australian mining company finds himself disputing the rights of some aborigines who believe their land to be sacred.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruce Spence, Wandjuk Marika, Roy Marika
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

What is faith and religion to Russians after the fall of communism? We get the insight into the Russian Orthodox church as well as different folk and shamanic beliefs.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Anna Hitch, Vissarion
Woyzeck (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Last Words (1968)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The story of a solitary man who refuses to leave a Greek island (at one time a leper colony) is told by a strange variety of characters who don't have much to say except to repeat their ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Lefteris Daskalakis, Antonis Papadakis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two famous competitive climbers make a bet on who can climb Cerro Torre, one of the most dangerous mountains in Argentina and the world, first. As the day of the climb approaches, their increasing competitiveness becomes destructive.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Stefan Glowacz, Mathilda May
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young man named Kaspar Hauser suddenly appears in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to talk or walk, and bearing a strange note.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Brogle ... Stroszek
Wolfgang Reichmann ... Meinhard
Athina Zacharopoulou Athina Zacharopoulou ... Nora
Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg ... Becker
Wolfgang Stumpf ... Captain
Henry van Lyck ... Lieutenant
Julio Pinheiro ... Gypsy
Florian Fricke Florian Fricke ... Pianist
Heinz Usener Heinz Usener ... Doctor
Achmed Hafiz Achmed Hafiz ... Greek resident
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jannakis Frasakis Jannakis Frasakis
Eleni Katerinaki Eleni Katerinaki
Edit

Storyline

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying fortress, they guard a munitions depot. There's little to do: Becker, a classicist, translates inscriptions on ancient tablets found in the fortress, Meinhart devises traps for cockroaches, Nora helps Stroszek make fireworks using gunpowder from grenades in the depot. Slowly, in the heat and torpor, Stroszek goes mad, drives the others from the fortress, and threatens the city with blowing up the depot. With care, the German command must figure out how to get him down. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | Greek

Release Date:

9 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Signs of Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Kos, Greece See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

DEM25,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay is based on a story by (Ludwig) Achim von Arnim, which he wrote in 1818 and is called "Der tolle Invalide auf dem Fort Ratonneau" (The Mad Invalid at Fort Rattoneau). Until 1997 it was the only story written by Arnim that was previously translated into English. See more »

Quotes

Young Child: Now that I can talk, what shall I say?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Werner Herzog's First Feature Film: A Masterpiece
29 July 2003 | by BloodfordraculaSee all my reviews

Signs of Life is Werner Herzog's very first feature film and also one of his best. The script may have even inspired Stephen King's novel The Shining. In Signs of Life we have an injured soldier and his wife working as the caretakers of a military fortress on a Greek island. The soldier eventually goes mad with boredom and tries to kill his wife and everyone else.

Werner Herzog wrote the award winning script in 1964 and made the film in 1967 with only $20,000 at age twenty-five with a stolen 35mm movie camera. Herzog's script is amazing and all of the actors perform flawlessly. Signs of Life has great photography and a great use of Greek music and has Herzog's distinctive slow pace which may seem like torture to the average viewer who's been forced-fed a steady diet of fast food images.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed