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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
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Popularity
4,930 ( 1,983)

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

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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
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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 »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | Spanish | Italian | English

Release Date:

10 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fickaraldo See more »

Filming Locations:

Brazil See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,874
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During one of the region's driest summers on record, river levels plunged to two feet or less. The movie's steamship was stranded on a sand bar for months. When rains came, Werner Herzog found himself working during the wildest rainy season in history. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[first lines]
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': Come on, we are late!
Molly: As long as we're doing it, let's do it in style. A few in minutes more.
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': We're going to miss Caruso!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Northern Exposure: Heroes (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Mimi, Tu Piu Non Torni
from "La Boheme"
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Original recordings by Enrico Caruso
(1902/06) by RCA Victor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad...
27 January 2007 | by RJBurke1942See all my reviews

This is a work of fiction, although the idea for the story and the name came from a real person who actually lived at Iquitos, Peru, and who was a rubber (not robber) baron in the eighteen-nineties.

Arguably, Klaus Kinski (as Fitzcarraldo) was born to play the main role – although Werner Herzog considered taking up the role himself. But, no one can play an eccentric the way Kinski did in this film. It's not Nosferatu (1979), but the wide, staring eyes are looking at you, all the time, in the same spooky way.

And, only an eccentric of the most magnificent kind would dare to take a 340-ton ship up the Amazon and carry it over a mountain down to another river! Isn't that just one of the craziest things you've ever heard of? Well, the truth is Herzog actually did do that and simply used Kinski as his surrogate to prance around the mud and clay, with the local Indians, and generally taking the praise for a job well done. There were no special effects – the production team actually pushed and pulled that hulk up a slope of hundreds of meters and then down to another river.

So, who was really crazy: Herzog or Fitzcarraldo?

Never mind that: just see this movie for the lush, primeval jungles of South America; for the rich tones of various opera singers, including Caruso (on a phonograph); for the stunning photography aboard the ill-fated Molly; for the antics of Kinski, as he thrashes around, pushing himself and others to the limits; for the army of local Indians, pulling the ship over the mountain; for the haunting sound-track provided by Popul Vuh, Herzog's perennial musical team of choice; and, of course, for the lovely Claudia Cardinale – past her prime but still remarkable...

I love this movie and I hope you do also. And, when you have seen it, then see Burden of Dreams (1982), the film that tells the story of the making of Fitzcarraldo. It's maybe better than the fiction...


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