Every Man for Himself and God Against All

Critics Consensus

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser marks a powerfully humane entry in writer-director Werner Herzog's acclaimed oeuvre, further bolstered by tremendous work by star Bruno S.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,778

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Movie Info

When Kaspar Hauser (Bruno S.), a young German man, is suddenly released from an existence of inexplicable confinement, he is forced into regular society. Barely capable of communicating, Hauser is exploited in a circus sideshow until he is taken under the wing of the kindhearted Professor Daumer (Walter Ladengast), who slowly helps him acclimate to conventional life, even teaching him to read and write. Despite his best efforts, however, Hauser may not be able to escape the horrors of his past.

Cast & Crew

Bruno S.
Kaspar Hauser
Walter Ladengast
Professor Daumer
Hans Musaus
Unknown Man
Willy Semmelrogge
Circus director
Michael Kroecher
Lord Stanhope
Henry van Lyck
Cavalry Captain
Gloria Doer
Frau Hiltel
Werner Herzog
Screenwriter
Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein
Cinematographer
Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus
Film Editor
Henning von Gierke
Production Design
Ann Poppel
Costume Designer
Gisela Storch
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle)(Every Man for Himself and God Against All)

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (1)

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

  • Jul 03, 2016
    A curious little film.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    Kaspar Hauser is fascinating. The film is rife with symbolism that one can just as well leave open. Indeed, the original story is itself mysterious. The villagers struggle to understand Hauser, he struggles to understand them, but the viewer does not have to struggle through the film. The production values and transfer are low, especially by today's standards, but the performance more than makes up for that.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 16, 2010
    Think Edward Scissorhands without the fantasy or love story and you're halfway there. I'm also no fan of Philosophy, but the discussions in the latter half of this film make Waking Life look (even more) stupid. Hauser's logic defies rationality and yet it works. Bruno S may not be an actor, but he's brilliant in the title role.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2010
    Looking at the plot, it's certainly a theme that can give way for some usual "spirit-soaring" cheesy melodrama. Or may have been twitched a little bit to become a story of an "unexposed man making an intellectual and emotional difference". But Herzog, always the daring auteur, chose not to delve much in such artificial displays, but instead transformed the camera as a mere observer of the real-life parable unraveling on celluloid, without raising any judgments, or taking sides. The film's solely about Kaspar Hauser, but although it's a specific film tackling a specific person's life, the story also hits wider nerves, especially of those concerning the issue of isolated existentialism. But although its a film not mainly in-touch with its artificially dramatic side, there's a scene that has no doubt, touched my heart, and gave me a genuine feeling of Kaspar's naive, yet penetrating knowledge. It's a conversation between Kaspar and a professor, with Brigitte Mira of "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" fame sandwiched between the two. It's a logic test for Kaspar, which he managed to answer with such innocence that it's really quite amazing for a person of his intellectual capacity to even mutter. The professor, of course not showing his shame, blabbered more about logical technicalities, which made him even more laughable in the face of a person who should have been nothing more but a study. Snob intellect defeated by simple, open-minded counter answer, a thematic element delicately integrated in between Herzog's trademark imagery, and his very original "footage storytelling" that continues on through his wide filmography. All of these converging flawlessly to form once more, a true work of art . If "Stroszek" is about alienation on a foreign land, "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser" is about detachment from the rest of the world; indeed a social extremity transformed into subtle beauty.
    Ivan D Super Reviewer

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