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Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre, the Wrath of God)

Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre, the Wrath of God) (1972)


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Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0



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Movie Info

The most famed and well-regarded collaboration between New German Cinema director Werner Herzog and his frequent leading man, Klaus Kinski, this epic historical drama was legendary for the arduousness of its on-location filming and the convincing zealous obsession employed by Kinski in playing the title role. Exhausted and near to admitting failure in its quest for riches, the 1650-51 expedition of Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro (Alejandro Repulles) bogs down in the impenetrable jungles of

Oct 24, 2000

New Yorker Films

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (1) | DVD (15)

Made for buttons, it's an awesome feat of filmmaking.

June 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aguirre, Wrath of God is not just a great movie but an essential one.

October 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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This is a splendid and haunting work.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the great haunting visions of the cinema.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Aguirre, The Wrath of God" leaves you feeling as if you are watching a documentary rather than a fictionalized drama. In some ways, what you are seeing is nothing short of the absolute truth.

June 29, 2013 Full Review Source:

Idiosyncratic visionaries don't come any more idiosyncratic or visionary than Werner Herzog.

June 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Herzog's riveting Brechtian epic about a catastrophic expedition across the Andes and down the Amazon in 1560 is arguably his best work ...

June 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The whole movie merges landscapes and character with such force that, once seen, you never forget it.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Herzog's vision of man disregarding nature and bringing about his inevitable demise is an intoxicating one, and one that demands to be revisited through this wonderfully restored print.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys

It looks more magnificent and mad than ever, one of the great folies de grandeur of 1970s cinema, an expeditionary Conradian nightmare like Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

A journey down river to the mouth of Hell, but also so much more.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

A classic that screams to be seen on the big screen.

June 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Ramshackle chaos and insanity.

June 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

A visionary work, Aguirre is one of Herzog's greatest achievements.

June 22, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

An essential hallucination, subsequently mined by Coppola, Weir and Malick but unsurpassed in its vision of the withering yet liberating madness beneath our armor

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

This 1972 German film eschews narrative for hallucinatory images and long takes that plunge you into the whirlpool of the main character's madness. It's less storytelling than a visually disturbing fever dream.

September 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Potheads who watch this will probably check their stash the next morning to see if any of it's gone.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

A seminal film without which we almost cerainly would not have with us either Apocalypse Now or much of the ouevre of Terence Malick.

October 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinemania

A saga of adventurers driven headlong into annihilation by their own hubris and desire for immortality.

October 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

One of the best films ever made.

July 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Takes us into a visually stunning and surreal Heart of Darkness adventure.

April 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There is a lingering voodoo in the movie that never lets you forget the folly of man's puny sins against a dark universal order of which insanity, sickness, and death are the inevitable symptoms.

October 7, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre, the Wrath of God)

I've seen it but I've never REALLY seen it.
July 4, 2007

Super Reviewer

Wonderful!!!! *****
July 18, 2013
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

The documentary "My best fiend" stunningly portrayed the love/hate relationship between director Werner Herzog and his star Klaus Kinski, this is one of their collaborations showing that both were willing to go to lengths to realize a project. One of the film's biggest assets, but also one of the greatest obstacles in the making, is the filming on location in the South African jungle. The impressive opening shot alone makes you appreciate the effort. With the river and the jungle almost becoming hostile characters of their own, Aguirre's expedition faces constant threats both from the outside and within, unable to escape their fate. Despite of the impressive landscapes, the film almost feels like an intimate play. Some of the acting feels a tad amateurish, but it actually gives the result an even more realistic touch. As the expedition has nothing left to do than kill time and miraculously hope for food while sitting on their raft, the movie suffers a little under its own slowness. Still, a memorable and impressive historical drama.
September 19, 2012

Super Reviewer

Deep in South American jungle there's something afoot. A splinter group from Pizzaro's expedition is sent to find El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. This group is steeped in Christianity as they spread it throughout the new land and the natives that inhabit it. It's like a trade in a way: We'll give you Christ if you give us the gold. As the film progresses and the group heads further into the jungle everything begins to fall apart as the natives become more and more restless and Aguirre (Klaus Kinski) develops the obsession of being the next Cortez.

Aguirre lends itself to so many films that came after it, particularly Apocalypse Now. The basic premise between the two films is the same. A mission on a boat slowly falls into total chaos. Just like the characters on screen, we have no idea what's around the bend in the river ahead. With Aguirre, there are two things that make it such a great movie. The first is Werner Herzog's direction. All great directors use the environment and the background as another character in their film. Herzog accomplishes this by making shots seem so beautiful and so sinister at the same time. What lies in the trees over there? Herzog gets into the soul of the jungle right along with the souls of the characters.

Of course when we talk about characters we have to discuss the second part of the Aguirre equation and that is Klaus Kinski. He is that desire, that rage, that cut throat individual that will advance to his goal no matter what the cost. He surveys the land like a god looking over his domain. He will start is own empire, even when things are at their darkest. In a way Aguirre and Kinski are bound by their identities. They're the same person in the end.

Aguirre is one of those films that people stumble upon. A story that doesn't sound like much on the surface becomes an imaginative journey into the unknown. A story that is universal in nature, Aguirre is a great piece of German cinema.
April 26, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Don Lope de Aguirre: If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am the Wrath of God! The earth I walk upon sees me and quakes! But whoever follows me and the river, will win untold riches. But whoever deserts...
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
    1. Brother Gaspar de Carvajal: You know, my child, for the good of our Lord the Church was always on the side of the strong. What's the priest's point, and what was his interest in continuing with the expedition?
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
    1. Don Fernando de Guzman: All the land to our left and all the land to our right now belongs to us. I solemnly and formally take possession of all this land. Our country is already six times larger than Spain, and everyday we drift makes it bigger.
    2. Don Lope de Aguirre: Have you seen any solid ground that would support your weight?
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
    1. Don Lope de Aguirre: I, the wrath of God, will marry my own daughter and with her I'll found the purest dynasty the earth has ever seen.
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
    1. Don Lope de Aguirre: I am the great traitor. There must be no other. Anyone who even thinks about deserting this mission will be cut up into 198 pieces. Those pieces will be stamped on until what is left can be used only to paint walls. Whoever takes one grain of corn or one drop of water... more than his ration, will be locked up for 155 years. If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees... then the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am the wrath of god. The earth I pass will see me and tremble. But whoever follows me and the river, will win untold riches.
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
    1. Don Lope de Aguirre: That man is a head taller than me. That may change.
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
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  • Aguirre, The Wrath of God (UK)
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