Werner Herzog's movies ranked in order of likingby tobias_681 | created - 06 Mar 2014 | updated - 07 Jan 2018 | Public
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1. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
PG | 158 min | Adventure, Drama
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.
Klaus Kinski stars in both of my top picks. In my opinion he is a great actor. He might have been mad but that did certainly not hurt his acting. It rather improved it (but it seems he was hard to work with). I have never seen a madman performance that lives up to his.
2. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.
Herzog actually stole the monkeys for the last take. It improved the movie since the monkeys were awfully cute.
3. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
PG | 107 min | Drama, Horror
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.
I love the original and while this is not as good it's certainly one of the few remakes that actually does justice to it's surce material.
4. Lessons of Darkness (1992)
Not Rated | 54 min | Documentary, War
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.
5. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History
A young man named Kaspar Hauser suddenly appears in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to talk or walk, and bearing a strange note.
The lead actor was actually retarded. It was a great choice from Herzog to star him. He did a great job here.
6. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
G | 99 min | Documentary
Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.
Votes: 16,490 | Gross: $0.94M
Usually this is not ranked among Herzog's greatest movies. But in my opinion it is. I loved his take on life in this. The scene with the "mad" penguin is so extremely strong. It actually made me cry.
7. Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)
Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as a U.S. naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Viet Cong, recreating many events for the camera.
8. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.
Votes: 72,047 | Gross: $1.70M
Herzog and Cage work brilliantly together.
9. Into the Abyss (2011)
PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.
Votes: 15,178 | Gross: $0.22M
I've never seen a stronger film on hate and love. I cried 5 times I think.
10. My Best Fiend (1999)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography
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 »
Votes: 9,795 | Gross: $0.10M
This movie is incredibly interesting. Some say Herzog wanted to make himself look good. I don't think thats true. I don't think Herzog cares about looking good. He rather offers an insight in what madness is and our perception of it. In fact some may define Herzog himself as mad because of all the things he went through to make his movies (for example endangering his entire crew while making Aguirre). Some (most) people would not do this. He did because to him the movie was more important than other things. Was Kinski actually mad? I have still got no clue.
12. Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary
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 »
This documentary really gets under your skin.
13. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
G | 90 min | Documentary, History
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity.
Votes: 14,359 | Gross: $5.23M
14. The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1985 TV Movie)
45 min | Documentary
Werner Herzog follows mountaineers Hans Kammerlander and Reinhold Messner during their expedition into climbing the Gasherbrum mountains, which has some of the most difficult peaks to be ... See full summary »
16. Grizzly Man (2005)
R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography
Votes: 49,664 | Gross: $3.17M
18. Fata Morgana (1971)
Not Rated | 79 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.
19. Cobra Verde (1987)
Not Rated | 111 min | Adventure, Drama
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.
21. La Soufrière (1977)
30 min | Documentary, Short, Biography
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 »
22. The White Diamond (2004)
Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary
About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur ... See full summary »
23. Signs of Life (1968)
91 min | Drama
A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »
25. Stroszek (1977)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama
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.
26. Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)
R | 100 min | Drama
A geologist employed by an Australian mining company finds himself disputing the rights of some aborigines who believe their land to be sacred.
27. Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary
A documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhtia, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century.
Votes: 7,307 | Gross: $0.34M
28. Heart of Glass (1976)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama
The foreman of a small village glassworks dies without revealing the secret to the famous "Ruby Glass".
The ending might still be the best scene he ever filmed.
31. Wings of Hope (2000 TV Movie)
65 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography
Werner Herzog returns to the South American jungle with Juliane Koepcke, the German woman who was the sole survivor of a plane crash there in 1971. They find the remains of the plane and recreate her journey out of the jungle.
32. Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices (1995 TV Movie)
59 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
Works, legend and murders of Carlo Gesualdo, a notorious Italian composer and murderer from the 16th century.
33. Rescue Dawn (2006)
PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Biography, Drama
A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.
Votes: 97,125 | Gross: $5.49M
35. Herdsmen of the Sun (1989 TV Movie)
52 min | Documentary
Herzog's documentary of the Wodaabe people of the Sahara/Sahel region. Particular attention is given to the tribe's spectacular courtship rituals and 'beauty pageants', where eligible young... See full summary »
36. Queen of the Desert (2015)
PG-13 | 128 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
38. Bells from the Deep (1993)
60 min | Documentary
What is faith and religion to Russians after the fall of communism? We get the insight into the Russian Orthodox church as well as different folk and shamanic beliefs.
41. Precautions Against Fanatics (1969)
12 min | Short, Drama
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 »
15 min | Short
Four guys break into an old castle and find uniforms and military equipment. They then prepare to defend it from an imaginary enemy.
44. La Bohème (II) (2009)
4 min | Documentary, Short, Music
Part of a series of opera shorts by different directors. Herzog combines O Soave Fanciulla ("Oh you vision of beauty" from Puccini's La Boheme) with images of harsh life in Africa.
45. Last Words (1968)
13 min | Short
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 »