8.1/10
27,460
93 user 93 critic

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale
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
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
Woyzeck (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
My Best Fiend (1999)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale
Stroszek (1977)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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
Stars: Bruno S., Eva Mattes, Clemens Scheitz
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared 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
Grizzly Man (2005)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A devastating and heart-rending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov
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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Klaus Kinski ... Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo'
Claudia Cardinale ... Molly
José Lewgoy ... Don Aquilino
Miguel Ángel Fuentes ... Cholo
Paul Hittscher Paul Hittscher ... Captain (Orinoco Paul)
Huerequeque Enrique Bohorquez Huerequeque Enrique Bohorquez ... Huerequeque (The Cook) (as Huerequeque Enrique Bohórquez)
Grande Otelo Grande Otelo ... Station master (as Grande Othelo)
Peter Berling ... Opera Manager
David Pérez Espinosa David Pérez Espinosa ... Chief of Campa Indians
Milton Nascimento ... Black Man At Opera House
Ruy Polanah Ruy Polanah ... Rubber Baron
Salvador Godínez Salvador Godínez ... Old Missionary
Dieter Milz Dieter Milz ... Young Missionary
William Rose William Rose ... Notary (as Bill Rose)
Leoncio Bueno Leoncio Bueno
Edit

Storyline

Fitzcarraldo is an obsessed opera lover who wants to build an opera in the jungle. To accomplish this he first has to make a fortune in the rubber business, and his cunning plan involves hauling an enormous river boat across a small mountain with aid from the local Indians. Written by Rune Sandnes <rune@nvg.unit.no>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Language:

German | Spanish | Italian | English

Release Date:

10 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fickaraldo See more »

Filming Locations:

Brazil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected as the West German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 55th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. See more »

Goofs

When the two crew members fight with each other, the shadow of the camera is visible on the left one. See more »

Quotes

Don Aquilino: Ladies and gentlemen, don't worry. This gentleman is harmless. He's just had a, a soul-stirring experience.
Rubber Baron: Sir. My servants will conduct you to the kitchen. My dogs' cook will prepare you a meal. Thank you very much, sir. You were superb.
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': To your dogs' cook.
[downs champagne glass]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': To Verdi.
[downs champagne glass]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': To Rossini.
[downs champagne glass]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': To Caruso.
[downs champagne glass]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Juliet, Naked (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Opera on board
from "I Puritani" by Vincenzo Bellini
Orquesta Sinfonica del Repertorio, Lima
Conducted by Maestro Manuel Cuadros Barr
Chorus Camerata Vocale "Orfeo"
Soli: Dona Elvira: Isabel Jimines de Cisneros
Arturo: Liborio Simonella
Giorgio: Jesús Goiri
Walton: Christian Mantilla
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Audacious and imperfect, unique and disappointing
22 December 2009 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

The plot, and the necessary parallel in making the movie, is audacious, and the end is a quiet, satisfying thrill. That, and the intense performance by the lead, Klaus Kinski, is what keeps people watching this movie, which is utterly unique.

But Fitzcarraldo is not especially lyrical, original, well-written, or well-acted. It has not worn well. I first saw it sometime in the 1980s and it was somehow mesmerizing, if imperfect. The whole exotic flavor of Peru and these foreigners acting exceedingly foreign was based on a dreamy idea that high culture (opera) can and should rise above all else. It was a triumph of the spirit of the individual. Twenty years later that is tempered by the absolute imperialism, bombast, blindness, and idiocy of it all. No longer swayed by the aura of the plot, the flaws in the way the film was made jump out.

For starters, the language. To have some native Spanish speakers talking in German and others, with haphazardness, speaking Spanish or some indigenous language, is inconsistent. Not that they should speak English, no way, but either have them seem to be natives with a knowledge of German, or just use subtitles. Further worrisome are the stereotypes, the "types" of people cast as the cook, his lovers, the captain, the natives, and so on, many of whom do not really act so much as play out their cardboard expectations.

The camera-work is interesting because it is not notable--and maybe this is intentional, because too much lyricism would distract from the facts. But the facts, you notice, are not really convincing. We have a fictional movie no matter how painstaking the famous scenes with the boat toward the end. It falters too often into cliché and, actually, mediocrity (I see this even in the last scene, the crowd on the shore, there they are, nothing more is said).

Maybe I take it to literally, and I should blur out the details. Because as a metaphor of possibility, and of the huge price you have to pay to succeed, or to fail beautifully, it still holds up. In some weird way, because it dared to be different, the movie is still remarkable. But something different than I once thought.


22 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 93 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

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