7.9/10
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46 user 79 critic

My Best Fiend (1999)

Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (original title)
Trailer
1:30 | Trailer
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
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Werner Herzog ... Self - Narrator / Interviewer
Claudia Cardinale ... Self
Eva Mattes ... Self
Beat Presser Beat Presser ... Self
Guillermo Ríos ... Self (archive footage)
Andrés Vicente Andrés Vicente ... Self (archive footage)
Justo González Justo González ... Self
Benino Moreno Placido Benino Moreno Placido ... Self
Baron van der Recke Baron van der Recke ... Self
José Koechlin von Stein José Koechlin von Stein ... Self
Bill Pence Bill Pence ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Hittscher Paul Hittscher ... Self (archive footage)
Mick Jagger ... Self - Wilbur (archive footage)
Klaus Kinski ... Self (archive footage)
Tom Luddy ... Self (archive footage)
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Storyline

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 fit of rage, Kinski completely destroyed the bathroom. From this chaos, a violent, love-hate, profoundly creative partnership was born. In 1972, Herzog cast Kinski in Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). Four more films would follow. In this personal documentary, Herzog traces the often violent ups and downs of their relationship, revisiting the various locations of their films and talking to the people they worked with. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite their very frequent and not rarely violent on-set rivalry, Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski actually had deep respect to each other. After the release of Fitzcarraldo (1982), both met at a film festival and greeted each other, like close friends, with a hug. See more »

Quotes

Beat Presser: [Herzog and Presser are looking at Presser's famous picture of Kinski trying to strangle Herzog] I truly like this very much. It happened because he must have sensed the presence of your camera.
Beat Presser: He also just wanted to let you have it, didn't he?
See more »

Connections

References Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) See more »

User Reviews

 
An actor's life
31 May 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Werner Herzog's brilliant documentary about his friend Klaus Kinski gives us an insight into the troubled life of this great actor who gave his all to whatever films he elected to appear in. Mr. Herzog offers a different account on Mr. Kinski, who could be infuriating in his egomania, which seems to be at the center of the story. However, one only sees glimpses of the man who could be charming and who could be generous to his fellow actors.

Having met Mr. Kinski on two occasions, we only saw a charismatic man in a relaxed atmosphere. It appears the pressures of making a film propelled the actor into a frenzy that comes out clearly in what Mr. Herzog is showing us in the documentary. Mr. Kinski was probably his own worst enemy because his sense of pride in the role he was portraying took the best out of him. Therefore the hysterics and the fights with his director and the crew, notably the aggression on Justo Gonzalez's head, while playing a violent scene that could have killed him.

On the other hand we catch some of the soft side of the actor as we hear a loving account by Eva Mattes, who played with Mr. Kinski in "Woyzek". Also Claudia Cardinale shares some vivid memories with the director as she recounts her experience with Mr. Kinski while filming "Fitzcarraldo".

The film is an important document, as it illustrates the spirit of a man that was unique in his own madness. Mr. Herzog's shows clearly this actor was a man possessed whenever he played a role in front of a camera. Because of the document we feel enlightened somewhat in having known the man that gave movie fans his best and more.


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Details

Country:

Germany | UK | USA

Language:

German | English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 October 1999 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

My Best Fiend See more »

Filming Locations:

Peru See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,677, 7 November 1999

Gross USA:

$95,612
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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