6.4/10
1,005
12 user 8 critic

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck... (1976)

How much Wood would a Woodchuck chuck... - Beobachtungen zu einer neuen Sprache (original title)
Herzog examines the world championships for cattle auctioneers, his fascination with a language created by an economic system, and compares it to the lifestyle of the Amish, who live nearby.

Director:

Werner Herzog
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
God's Angry Man (TV Short 1981)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The documentary follows Gene Scott, famous televangelist involved with constant fights against FCC, who tried to shut down his TV show during the 1970's and 1980's, and even argues with his... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Gene Scott, Werner Herzog
Handicapped Future (TV Movie 1971)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Illuminating look at the way physically disabled people were dealt with in West Germany in the late 60's / early 70's.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Rolf Illig, Werner Herzog, Adolf Ratzka
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
Huie's Sermon (TV Movie 1981)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The reverend Huie L. Rogers delivers an intense and impassioned sermon at his church in Brooklyn.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Huie L. Rogers
La Soufrière (1977)
Documentary | Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Herzog takes a film crew to the island of Guadeloupe when he hears that the volcano on the island is going to erupt. Everyone has left, except for one old man who refuses to leave. Herzog ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog
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
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four guys break into an old castle and find uniforms and military equipment. They then prepare to defend it from an imaginary enemy.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Brumm, Georg Eska, Karl-Heinz Steffel
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
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
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The film features several horse trainers and other track workers talking about their roles at the track, always eventually interrupted by an older man who claims to be the true authority, ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Petar Radenkovic, Mario Adorf, Hans Tiedemann
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Werner Herzog
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Werner Herzog ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Steve Liptay Steve Liptay ... Himself (uncredited)
Scott McKain Scott McKain ... Himself (uncredited)
Ralph Wade Ralph Wade ... Himself (uncredited)
Leon Wallace Leon Wallace ... Himself (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

Herzog examines the world championships for cattle auctioneers, his fascination with a language created by an economic system, and compares it to the lifestyle of the Amish, who live nearby. Written by <mikewittr@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

auctioneer | amish | See All (2) »

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Edit

Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

September 1976 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck... See more »

Filming Locations:

New Holland, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Herzog has said that he believes auctioneering to be "the last poetry possible, the poetry of capitalism." See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Bang!...zzz...Bang!: learning the Herzog way.
29 September 1999 | by alice liddellSee all my reviews

Rather tiresome Herzog documentary, in which he performs his usual variation on Brechtian alienation by providing his audience with space to think, and then hitting them over the head anyway. The subject matter is the 1976 Cattle Auctioneering World Championships, wherein a bunch of rednecks speedyodel at cows. Herzog would use this phenomenon with great dramatic power in his similarly bludgeoning treatise on America, STROZZEK, but without a fictional framework, the subject becomes monotonous and irritating.

Herzog sees these auctioneers as a major site of American capitalism. Unlike other World Championships, where a skilled jury honour the most successful, this competition is strictly business, the jurors voting for the man they'd most like to represent them. Herzog compares this to the Amish community - enemies of capitalism - in whose town the event takes place. This is an easy jibe, and one that ignores the possible intolerance and repression that can breed in such close-knit groups.

The film is full of such contentiousness. Herzog is a last bastion of righteous modernism in a prevaricating post-modernist age of crisis, confusion and doubt. All his films are made with a firm point of view, offering an unproblematic alternative, but his attacks on convention and tyranny can be rather tyrannical themselves. Herzog appropriates everything. Take, for example, the issue of voices. He interviews competitors. They speak in English, but he talks for them, over them, in German, speaking for them. If the subtitles (another level!) are anything to go by, he's also translating them without due precision, and subtleties of meaning are lost. If his English isn't good enough, it's a mark of his arrogance that he thinks this doesn't matter.

Herzog points out that there is a strange musicality to the auctioneering. He then makes us endure the art for over 20 minutes, presumably to give us time to ruminate over it. So we do. Sometimes it sounds like yodelling, at others babbling dictators, at others raving evangelists. We think about how this 'new' language (both verbal and body) developed, and note the disparity between its local specificity, almost ethnicity, and its centrality to an international capitalism. We may even note the link between the auctioneers and the cattle they're selling, in the businessmans' minds.

All this will probably come to you after two minutes, but Herzog refuses to stop, piling on these yokels whose meagre curiosity value has long since waned. Can you imagine - 20 minutes of cattle moving from one pen to another, buyers whooping, and this insane, ghastly yodelspeak ringing through your ears like a trapped bluebottle. Then - then! - after you've been given time to make up your own mind, Herzog comes along and tells you what he thinks anyway! And guess what? It's exactly the same as what you'd figured out for yourself! Arrrrgh!

(The film has one value though. Canadians really do speak as SOUTH PARK suggested. Which, when you think aboot it, is unfortunate.)


14 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 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

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed