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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')
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

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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?
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Connections

Featured in The South Bank Show: Werner Herzog (1982) See more »

User Reviews

 
Herzog's Speeds: Slow, Slower, Slowest
6 February 2000 | by lucifergarySee all my reviews

I admire this film very much - however, I don't much like it. Herzog attempts to cause the audience to relate to the boredom suffered by three pathetic german troops stranded on the Greek island of Kos during WWII. Herzog succeeds too well. I was able to relate far too well to the main character slipping into madness from boredom. A beautiful, but utterly boring film. What more is there to say?


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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM25,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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