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The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle)(Every Man for Himself and God Against All)

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle)(Every Man for Himself and God Against All) (1974)


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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 6,556

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Movie Info

German director Werner Herzog's internationally acclaimed "breakthrough" film is based on the famous story of mysterious 19th-century child genius Kasper Hauser. As played by Bruno S., Hauser shows up unannounced in the middle of a village square, frightening the populace with his bizarre behavior. He cannot talk, nor is there any indication of his parentage, thus Kaspar is immediately the object of close scrutiny from the authorities. When he finally does develop the power of speech, he reveals


Art House & International, Drama

Werner Herzog

Jan 8, 2002

New Yorker Films

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (1) | DVD (3)

The conflict between logic and the unknowable is as fascinating and exciting for us as it clearly is for Herzog.

July 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lyrical film about the least lyrical of men.

January 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every Man is a superb movie because Mr. Herzog has managed to treat the fable in stunning human and dramatic terms.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

typically, Herzog is more preoccupied with anthropological issues, casting his pre-cultural everyman into a world of social pretence, academic pomposity and dehumanising exploitation, and seeing what comes out of the ensuing confrontations.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: New Empress Magazine
New Empress Magazine

A compassionate, traumatic masterpiece, every frame amazing.

July 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

An unmissable film.

July 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

A great among greats. Bruno S's performance is surely one of the best ever?

July 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

One of [Herzog's] two or three finest films, not to mention surely his most humane.

July 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Stories of humans raised in the wild range from Tarzan to Mama, but none compare to the resonance of Werner Herzog's 1974 film.

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

The drive toward domestication is the drive toward death in Herzog's haunting fable, a travesty of uplifting dramas to go with Aguirre's travesty of swashbuckling epics

May 27, 2013 Full Review Source: CinePassion

It's a very odd story but Herzog brings it across with a touching human side and a refreshing lack of sentimentality.

April 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Stuffed with obscure images and silent passages of profound, frightening insight.

April 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

There is a profound philosophy at the base of Kasper Hauser: How does emotional growth occur, deprived of any foreign influence, sociological, familial or otherwise?

August 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser achieves timelessness through its satire and its sensibilities seem less stodgy than in most period films.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source:

The film has turgid stretches, but this flaw is largely overwhelmed by compositions which are meaningful and hypnotic, and a startling performance from Bruno S as poor Kaspar.

September 10, 2001 Full Review Source:

Kaspar Hauser is one of the purest film examples I know of in which an artist of Romantic sensibility puts society to the test and finds it wanting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner | Comment (1)
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle)(Every Man for Himself and God Against All)

This is an astounding film that truly brings you into the world of this unique character, who was indeed a real person. You can easily wiki Kaspar Hauser to read the different articles for yourself, but the story goes that a teenage boy was abandoned to a soldier with a note stating that he had been kept inside since infancy and taught some basic things, but now could no longer be cared for and that he should be made a soldier or hanged.

Werner Herzog takes some great liberties with the story, as most films do, to acheive a higher resonance of theme. In reality, Hauser was believed by many who took on his case to be a fraud, liar, manipulative, and general hustler. In this Herzog version, he is the innocent, he is the man-babe that has never seen fire, and it is fascinating.

The cinematography is consistent and beautiful; it could be watched for its images alone. This is a fantastic outsider film that examines some greater philosophical queries along the lines of "blank slate".

Why are so many people marking "Not Interested" for this film? Is it Herzog bias? Is it Cannes scorn? (this did win Palm D'Or in three categories)
January 4, 2010

Super Reviewer

A Herzog classic. A wonderfully thought provoking true story of Kaspar Hauser played brilliantly by Bruno. S. The script is to die for, great, great cinema!
October 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

A slow methodical look at the story of this mysterious "foundling" of German folk lore.

A man (I believe the real Kaspar was only 17?) who having been raised entirely in a small cell with no outside contact, is "released" into society, only to find society to be far more constrictive and detrimental then the most solitary of confinement.

As usual Herzog tells his verson of this story in a seemingly simple format and style, that (below the surface) is FULL of deep introspection, passion, pain and heartache. And he does so by filling the screen with actors and locales that make you feel as if you are watching a documentary and not a scripted film.

Herzog's work may not be for everyone, but for those who enjoy taking a thought provoking journey via the mind (and eyes) of an often unconventional journeyman...ENJOY!
September 9, 2009
Robert C

Super Reviewer

The stars alone are for Bruno S and his extraodinary performance as Kaspar Hauser. A man raised in a prison, just to be released to the big prison that is society. Herzog watches this man not with pity, but with admiration.
August 16, 2009
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

    1. Kaspar Hauser: My coming to this world was a terribly hard fall.
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
    1. Kaspar Hauser: What are women good for?
    – Submitted by Victor M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (DE)
  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (UK)
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