7.1/10
8,262
36 user 63 critic

Woyzeck (1979)

Not Rated | | Drama | 24 August 1979 (USA)
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

Writers:

Georg Büchner (play), Werner Herzog
Reviews
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Stroszek (1977)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
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
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
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young man named Kaspar Hauser suddenly appears 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
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Action | Adventure | Biography
    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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A geologist employed by an Australian mining company finds himself disputing the rights of some aborigines who believe their land to be sacred.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruce Spence, Wandjuk Marika, Roy Marika
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
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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Klaus Kinski ... Woyzeck
Eva Mattes ... Marie
Wolfgang Reichmann ... Captain
Willy Semmelrogge Willy Semmelrogge ... Doctor
Josef Bierbichler ... Drum Major
Paul Burian Paul Burian ... Andres
Volker Prechtel ... Handwerksbursche (as Volker Prechtl)
Dieter Augustin Dieter Augustin ... Marktschreier
Irm Hermann ... Margret
Wolfgang Bächler Wolfgang Bächler ... Jew
Rosemarie Heinikel Rosemarie Heinikel ... Käthe (as Rosy-Rosy Heinikel)
Herbert Fux ... Unteroffizier
Thomas Mettke Thomas Mettke
Maria Mettke Maria Mettke
Edit

Storyline

Everything in town appears calm, placid, lovely. But Woyzeck, a rifleman assigned as an orderly, hears voices -- the times are out of joint, at least in his cosmos. To his captain, Woyzeck is a comic marvel: ignorant but courageous, full of energy to little purpose. To a local doctor, Woyzeck is a curiosity, the object of cruel study. Woyzeck, 40, has a young wife, Marie, and a small child. He dotes on them, but Marie, even though she has periods of guilt and remorse, carries on affairs and flirtations. When the captain lets drop broad hints of Woyzeck's being a cuckold, his inner demons and the voices of the spheres take over. Will madness bring action? Of what sort? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

24 August 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Werner Herzog's Woyzeck See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The production of this film was finished in just 18 days. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits scenes we see Woyzeck being coerced into conducting a series of military drills by the drill instructor. Woyzeck has his rifle slung over his left shoulder. This is incorrect as it should be on his right shoulder. Additionally, he also brings his "rifle down" to the incorrect side. The Prussian Army shouldered their rifles on the right shoulder (facing front). See more »

Quotes

Marie: [to her man during a fight] I'd rather have a knife in my body than your hand on me.
See more »

Connections

Version of Woyzeck (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Running through creation like a razor"
27 July 2007 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

Woyzeck is Werner Herzog's only ever adaptation of a stage play. There are always problems in the transition of a play from stage to screen. The theatre relies on the power of words and performances, whereas cinema is built more upon images and set pieces. Herzog, an unconventional yet adaptable director, handles the conversion well, giving it a cinematic presentation while still retaining the integrity of the source material.

Buchner's play is a strong story, albeit incredibly grim and depressing. Klaus Kinski, as the title character, is driven insane by military routine and scientific over-analysis, and apparently the role had an irreversible effect on the already psychologically unstable actor. It's typical Herzog material, looking at insanity, dehumanisation and people driven to extremes. Also, like his previous picture Nosferatu, it is another link between the German New Wave and the German Expressionist movement of the 1920s, as it shares that movement's obsessions with psychological analysis and social entrapment.

In filming Woyzeck, Herzog creates an unusual mixture of obviously real locations and rather static, theatrical direction, with few cuts or camera moves. In typical Herzog style there is an unnerving quietness and tranquillity. He isn't afraid to flaunt the advantages of the cinematic medium over the theatrical, with some beautiful landscape shots, and Kinski darting about in and out of close-up and stepping into shot from behind the camera – an effect impossible on the stage. The climactic murder scene is also very well done, and here the picture is at its most openly cinematic.

Kinski is clearly very deep in his performance, and its no wonder the material had such an impact on him. It's a pity, but he is ideal for the role. It's hard to imagine anyone else bringing that much intensity and realism to the part. Really, these collaborations between him and Herzog are the best examples of his unique acting talent because they were, as far as I know, the only opportunities he had to play lead roles. Also worth a mention here are the excellent supporting performances from Eva Mattes and Josef Bierbichler, European actors who deserve far more recognition.

Because of its theatrical origins Woyzeck is perhaps the one Herzog film in which the narrative takes precedence over the look of the thing. On the one hand, this is a good thing because it is much more focused and doesn't digress as his pictures tend to. But for me it also makes it a weaker entry in his filmography, because his films generally rely on their powerful imagery. Still, it is watchable, short and sweet, with some interesting moments.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 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