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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$ 103.38
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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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Customer Reviews

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 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 Aguirre the supreme perfection May 7 2004
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 war two.
Herzog has always been a high risk director. He liked to walk in the knife's edge in every film he made in those years.
But what Herzog got with this work fullfilled with superb cinematography, edition, casting, script, was something unbelievable.
In fact if you analyze carefully like me , that I 've seen all his following works, it's useless to state this is the masterpiece of Herzog, even Fitzcarraldo, filmed also with Kinski years after.
The powerful script with the Amazonas river as natural frame, the huge realism in that overpower sequence in the river with those men who are caught in circles night and day, that amazing answer who gives the priest as request to Don Pedr de Ursua when he repplies: You'll know that the church has been always with the power, such answer in the midle of the jungle, the trip around the river and the progressive growing of emotional euphoria, the madness, the sense of gretaness in the midle of nowhere, the slow decay of the reality and the final fall with monkees as his loyal servants, the work of camera , makes that film sublime, unique and one of the most supreme examples of how to make a film now and ever.
If you stiil haven't seen this movie, don't waste just any minute of your time and buy it. You'll see like me at least twenty five times and will get always something new, so typical of the masterpieces.
Kinski , in the peak of his craft. There were not enough prizes in the world enough worthy to gratify this performing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into madness...
"Aguirre" (1972) is directed by Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo) and was filmed on location in the Peruvian rain forest on the Amazon River. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2010 by Edmonson
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 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Into a green silence
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... Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by Trulle Yors
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