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Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 3 April 1977 (USA)
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1:37 | Trailer

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In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Klaus Kinski ... Don Lope de Aguirre
Helena Rojo ... Inez
Del Negro Del Negro ... Brother Gaspar de Carvajal
Ruy Guerra ... Don Pedro de Ursua
Peter Berling ... Don Fernando de Guzman
Cecilia Rivera Cecilia Rivera ... Flores
Daniel Ades Daniel Ades ... Perucho
Edward Roland Edward Roland ... Okello
Alexandra Cheves Alexandra Cheves ... (as Alejandro Chavez)
Armando Polanah Armando Polanah ... Armando
Daniel Farfán Daniel Farfán
Julio E. Martínez Julio E. Martínez ... (as Julio Martinez)
Alejandro Repullés Alejandro Repullés ... Gonzalo Pizarro
Indianern der Kooperative Lauramarca Indianern der Kooperative Lauramarca
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Storyline

A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirres, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to "the golden city", or to certain destruction? Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A breathtaking journey into the heart of darkness. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

English | Quechua | Spanish | German

Release Date:

3 April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aguirre, the Wrath of God See more »

Filming Locations:

Huayna Picchu, Peru See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$370,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, as well as several other early films by Werner Herzog, were shot on a 35mm camera that he stole as a young man from the Munich Film School, a predecessor to today's prestigious film school 'HFF München'. Herzog himself never was a film student there or anywhere. He readily admits to the theft but also justifies it with the significance of the films he's made with the camera and his right to artistic expression: "It was a very simple 35mm camera, one I used on many other films, so I do not consider it a theft. For me, it was truly a necessity. I wanted to make films and needed a camera. I had some sort of natural right to this tool. If you need air to breathe, and you are locked in a room, you have to take a chisel and hammer and break down a wall. It is your absolute right."[Cronin, 2003] See more »

Goofs

The "dead" Indian slave opens his eyes as the horse walks by. See more »

Quotes

Brother Gaspar de Carvajal: 'Thou lettest man flow on like a river, and Thy years know no end. As for man, his days are like grass as a flower on the field, so he blossoms. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more.' You know, my child, for the good of our Lord, the Church was always on the side of the strong.
See more »

Connections

Featured in What Is Cinema? (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes (Lacrime Di Re)
Written by Florian Fricke
Performed by Popol Vuh
Published by Edition Intro Meisel
Courtesy of Gammarock Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly the Worst Highly Acclaimed Picture Ever
20 April 2010 | by LemmusLemmusSee all my reviews

Werner Herzog's widely acclaimed film about a 16th century expedition into the Southern American jungle looks like some hippie commune happened upon a bunch of costumes and a camera and decided to make a movie because "everybody's an artist".

Klaus Kinski, in the title role, does his wild-eyed Kinski routine, overshadowing in the process the rest of the cast who seem to be on a mission to demonstrate that acting's actually hard.

The editing is poor. The results of the complete post-production sound overdub range from the o.k. to the ridiculous.

All aspects of the camera-work are done really badly. As for choices of frames and camera movement, nothing in particular seemed to motivate the former except for the desire to show the person that's speaking most of the time; the latter makes you remember that it's not easy to hold a camera still when you have one leg in the river, the other on an uneven stone and nothing to stabilize the camera. The lighting and colours? Well, you can see everything alright.

The complete absence of a narrative arc, the lack of motivation for some scenes (during one I got the impression that the actor was wondering when it would be over so he could finally scratch his arse) and the quality of the dialogues might lead the naive observer to believe that they just made the story up as they went along. But no. From Wikipedia:

"Herzog wrote the screenplay "in a frenzy", and completed it in only two and a half days. Much of the script was written during a 200-mile (320 km) bus trip with Herzog's football team. During the bus trip, his teammates got drunk after winning a game and one of them subsequently vomited on several pages of Herzog's manuscript, which he immediately tossed out the window. Herzog claims he can't remember what he wrote on these pages.

"The screenplay was shot as written, with some minor differences."

When people say that something's "so bad that it's good", they usually mean that a work of art is unintentionally funny, and indeed I had to laugh when I watched some of the death scenes, which seem like reenactments of something out of The Simpsons. But what kept me watching was the fascination with the yawning gap between the film's renown and the real thing. Incredible.


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