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Stroszek (1977)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | 12 July 1977 (USA)
In Berlin, an alcoholic man, recently released from prison, joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in a determined dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog (book)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Bruno S. ... Der Bruno Stroszek
Eva Mattes ... Eva
Clemens Scheitz Clemens Scheitz ... Scheitz
Wilhelm von Homburg ... Souteneur
Burkhard Driest Burkhard Driest ... Souteneur
Clayton Szalpinski Clayton Szalpinski ... Mechanic
Ely Rodriguez Ely Rodriguez ... Indian mechanic's helper
Alfred Edel Alfred Edel ... Jail headmaster
Scott McKain Scott McKain ... Scott (as Scott Mc Kain)
Ralph Wade Ralph Wade ... Auctioneer
Michael Gahr Michael Gahr ... Prisoner Hoss
Vaclav Vojta Vaclav Vojta ... Doctor (as Dr. Vaclav Vojta)
Yuecsel Topcuguerler Yuecsel Topcuguerler ... Turk prisoner (as Yücsel Topcugürler)
Bob Evans Bob Evans ... Bob Evans
Der Brave Beo Der Brave Beo ... Beo
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Storyline

Bruno Stroszek is released from prison and warned to stop drinking. He has few skills and fewer expectations: with a glockenspiel and an accordion, he ekes out a living as a street musician. He befriends Eva, a prostitute down on her luck. After they are harried and beaten by the thugs who have been Eva's pimps, they join Bruno's neighbor, Scheitz, an elderly eccentric, when he leaves Germany to live in Wisconsin. In that winter bound, barren prairie, Bruno works as a mechanic, Eva as a waitress. They buy a trailer. Then, bills mount, the bank threatens to repossess the trailer, Eva wants privacy, and inexorably, the promise of a new life deserts Bruno. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Ballad

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | English | Turkish

Release Date:

12 July 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stroszek See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A dialogue sample from the film is used to transition the first two tracks on the Ratatat album "LP4". See more »

Goofs

Bruno's coffee cup on the piano disappears. See more »

Quotes

Eva: No-one kicks you here Bruno.
Der Bruno Stroszek: Not physically, here they do it spiritually.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Brief History of Errol Morris (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Way Down to Phoenix
Written and Performed by Chet Atkins
See more »

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User Reviews

About Infant Gymnastics....and then some.
14 March 2004 | by SinnermanSee all my reviews

Admittedly, I was hooked from start go by Werner Herzog's Stroszek. This film's weird and unpredictable rhythm intoxicated me. From its arresting images (reflections from a hanging glass bottle) to the hypnotic sounds (Chet Atkins' guitar strumming languidly along a highway), these cinematic hallmarks of the great Werner Herzog flooded Stroszek mysteriously, unobtrusively and most of all, very lovingly.

Strange enough, the kitschy surreality of this film's music (a good example will be that iced lake radar search sequence) reminds me strongly of those 70's Classic Taiwanese "Beach" Dramas. You know, the kind where a pair of arms-outstretched love birds would run in slomo towards each other via opposite ends of a sandy seashore? I know, the cultural reference may be lost to non-Chinese readers and I apologise. But yes, this flick stirs and stimulates my free associative imagination with wild and insane glee. I kid you not, people. I kid you not.

However, major credits need be given to the lucidity and forceful presence of one Bruno S.

Sample below quote.

The Bruno to Eva: "And now comes the question. All my friends waited for me, but this is my best friend....my "Black Friend"(a piano). What's going to happen to my friend when Bruno goes dead someday? Where are these things and these instruments going to end up? What's going to happen to them. Someone must answer this for me." (And then, they just stared at each other, throughout and after.....)

Above affecting sequence punctuated the bittersweet vulnerability of one Bruno S. As a simple, slightly challenged man-child, Bruno had very limited human relationships all his life. As such, he guilelessly transfers his genuine feelings onto "placebo" objects. But despite of his checkered past (years of physical abuse and institutional upbringing), this socially inadequate man ably exudes generosity, kindness and unguarded honesty. Given half a chance, he will just as likely shower his unconditional love onto those whom he cares for, namely Eva. (As was shown in one scene set to the haunting tinkles of Moonlight Sonata). All in, Bruno is thus an exceptionally good man. But will there yet be more to this Bruno than meet the eyes? I dunno....

Throughout this film, I am captivated by Bruno's earnest glow; so refreshingly tender and devoid of artifice. In reaction to his search for meaning in life, love and other myriad mysteries (like "birds confiscators" or "speed-talking" men - don't ask.), Bruno's expressive face never lies. I felt immensely privileged to share in his bliss (or despair) at any given points in time. This fascinating creature tugged at my strings more often in this movie than the combined twitches of so many affected actors out there. I friggin' love this charming dude and hence, I cannot help but root for the guy. You go, Bruno!

Like the best of Herzog's works, Stroszek boasts of many scratch head-worthy moments. (Especially considering my having seen the Enigma of "Heart of Glass".) But these pecularities only serve to propel my viewing experience into mystical realms. For buried within its seemingly artful surfaces, lies aching balms of "cinematic capsules". They will randomly burst and engulf the inclined and willing. They will seep into one's consciousness and never let you go. I hence don't think I can ever erase the wonderous memories of those stolen moments already, from "Peddling Sabine" to "Infant Gymnastics", from "Not 4, but 5" to "$32". Most infamously, how can I not mention that "Dancing Chicken"? Brilliant!

At this point, I will like to urge all to venture forth into Herzog's film universe. For if you're willing, or foolhardy enough to take that plunge, you may yet discover a film like Stroszek to be ceaselessly beautiful and effortlessly moving.


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