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Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Klaus Kinski , Ruy Guerra , Werner Herzog    Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 140.14
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Product Description


Quite simply a great movie, one whose implacable portrait of ruthless greed and insane ambition becomes more pertinent every year. The astonishing Klaus Kinski plays Don Lope de Aguirre, a brutal conquistador who leads his soldiers into the Amazon jungle in an obsessive quest for gold. The story is of the expedition's relentless degeneration into brutality and despair, but the movie is much more than its plot. Director Werner Herzog strove, whenever possible, to replicate the historical circumstances of the conquistadors, and the sheer human effort of traveling through the dense mountains and valleys of Brazil in armor creates a palpable sense of struggle and derangement. This sense of reality, combined with Kinski's intensely furious performance, makes Aguirre, the Wrath of God a riveting film. Its unique emotional power is matched only by other Herzog-Kinski collaborations like Fitzcarraldo and Woyzek. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra. Werner Herzog directed this surreal tale of a mad, power-hungry 16th-century conquistador who leads a doomed expedition through Spain in search of a lost city of gold. 1973/color/94 min/NR/German/subtitled.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herzog and Kinski go Tarkovsky. May 24 2004
Wraith of God was actually made in 1972 in German and got its US debut in 1977 and provided Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) with a vision. The film is pure art through and through using the Amazon River as a backdrop for the epic tale of Spanish conquistadors finding themselves abandoned in South America on a quest to find the legendary city of gold 'El Dorado'. Set a few decades after the Inca Empire has fallen in the 16th century, these troops of Spanish explorers have been selected by the head explorer for the region, and founder of Mexico - Pizarro, to find the lost gold. Within a few days of being on the Amazon the conquistadors are split on the rapids. Soon there is a mutiny, murder, revenge and betrayal as the dreams of vast wealth and power drive all of them to their doom.
The combination of Kinski and Herzog is electric. Here, on a shoe-string budget, they make mountains out of nothing as Tarkovsky did on 'Stalker'. The costumes and sets are all obviously mostly made by the actors and whatever film crew that would actually risk hanging around Herzog and Kinski for the gung-ho shoot. This is kino-art's rendition of Hearts of Darkness. The actual suffering of the film crew (and some cruelty to animals - several horse falling scenes, the pillaging of a village with an attack on pigs and a monkey being thrown aside) is clearly visible in the narrative which borders on extreme adlibbing most of the time as well as hard labour (moving a cannon on a small wagon around the jungle, building rafts with a toilet on board and living off the land). The improvisation though is classic in every sense of the word making Herzog and Kinski instant important additions to the world of high profile art film makers. The cinematography is spot on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into madness... Sept. 24 2010
By Edmonson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Aguirre" (1972) is directed by Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo) and was filmed on location in the Peruvian rain forest on the Amazon River. The movie is loosely based on Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski) who was involved in a 1560 expedition that left Peru to find the city of El Dorado. Herzog combined this story with another Amazonian journey of Gonzalo Pizarro in 1541-1542. In real life Aguirre was a professional soldier who decided he could overthrow the Spanish rule of Peru with the 300 men on the journey. Aguirre murdered Ursua and proclaimed Guzman the "Prince of Peru", and eventually also murdered Guzman. As with many of Herzog's films the actors were pushed to the limits in the filming of this movie as they had to climb up mountains, hack through thick jungle, and ride river rapids on rafts built by natives. During the filming a storm flooded the river and subsequently buried the film sets and destroyed the rafts. This flooding was incorporated into the movie. The film has a hypnotic quality that takes one down the path of madness and hallucination. Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film "Apocalypse Now" would be influenced by this film's visual style and narrative elements.

This particular version is in English or German, with English subtitles. The movie was originally filmed in English in mono, but the German soundtrack is superior in 5.1 Dolby Digital. The amazingly ethereal soundtrack is by Popol Vuh. This DVD's format is full screen 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herzog and Kinski's Vision of Manifested Madness May 28 2004
On the eastern slopes of the Andes during the Spanish expedition , Gonzalo Pizarro urges his men to continue through the thick Amazon forests despite the dangers within the dark and humid jungle. The tale of Pizarro's venture begins with an ominous warning as it is revealed to the audience that the only surviving evidence of the expedition is a journal kept by Brother Gaspar de Carvajal, a monk who travels to spread the gospel of Christianity. This bleak foreshadowing induces an inching uneasiness into the mind of the audience. This is enhanced by further looming incidents such as native slaves dying like flies from simple colds and food shortage. The low supply of food leads to a decision to split the group where one group should return for provisions and the other should continue searching for a gold shimmering city. This tale then follows the ill-fated who continue the journey for the legendary city as they are drawn deeper into the cruel world of the Amazon. Deaths of several men forebode the grim future of the expedition, which the leadership wants to call off and return to the safety of civilization. However, Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), a high ranking soldier, commands a rise against the leadership based on a proud vision of greatness and worldly riches beyond imagination that drives him to thrust deeper into the unexplored rainforest. Aguirre's vision draws the expedition into a personal realm of madness and destruction, which leads to only one certain fate.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God has a lingering effect on the audience as the eerie atmosphere created by Herzog persists from the initial shot to the final scene. There are several components that generate this bizarre ambiance of the story such as cinematography, idiosyncrasies, mise-en-scene, and performances by the cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into a green silence April 13 2004
Enough has been written here of the movie's virtues, of its subtlety and gloomy charm. I just want to share the memory of the very last scene, the scene any viewer will find unforgettable: the ragged raft on the brown Amazon; the lush, green indifference of the jungle bordering it off; a swarm of tiny monkeys scuttling over the rusty cannon, between languid corpses and strewn, broken junk; a transcendent blue sky; and the lonely, so very lonely-hopeless-defiant silhouette of Aguirre wandering and stumbling in circles with his purple shirt sleeves dangling and an absurdly large rapier on his belt, the hilt level with his chest. He is the last man on this earth. He wanders, and wanders, and wanders...
See the film.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars inexplicable
I'm at a loss to describe this movie. Let's just say that young people who dissect movies instead of expecting to be entertained by them will appreciate this one.
Published on Jan. 3 2010 by K. LENOVER
5.0 out of 5 stars More artistic than historic.
Called "A breathtaking journey into the heart of darkness."

The cinema tail of the conquest of Don Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski) and how it might have been as they... Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2006 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars The doomed quest for El Dorado
I am new to Warner Herzog, and "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" is the 2nd of his films that I have seen. Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by Zack Davisson
4.0 out of 5 stars You will be cut into 198 pieces!
"Aguirre, The Wrath of God" is one of director Werner Herzog's most memorable movies, and was written in 2-1/2 day and shot in five weeks. Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by K. Gittins
1.0 out of 5 stars horrid excuse for an "art" film!
I don't care what anyone else writes herein; this is a bad film, a poorly made film, and Kinski is overtouted and overlauded as being a "great" actor, where I don't see... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Janine Koenig
1.0 out of 5 stars horrid excuse for an "art" film!
I don't care what anyone else writes herein; this is a bad film, a poorly made film, and Kinski is overtouted and overlauded as being a "great" actor, where I don't see... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Janine Koenig
5.0 out of 5 stars Aguirre the supreme perfection
Werner Herzog was in the seventies togeteher with the unforgettable Fassbinder, the alpha and the omega in the germany filmography of those film makers born at the end of the world... Read more
Published on May 7 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey Into Madness and Oblivion
Herzog's loose adaptation on an obscure 16th century Spanish expedition that disappeared in the Amazon basin in search of the legendary city of El Dorado. Read more
Published on May 4 2004
I don't want to get into the details of this film,read other posts.I just wanna say WERNER HERZOG is the one the world's greatest,boldest,visionary film makers. Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by John V. Ellingson
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