Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Fitzcarraldo starring the incredible Klaus Kinsky is an instant classic. And not just a Herzog classic, but I think a film that surpasses just those who dig his work.
It seems I’ve given nearly all my reviews a 9/10. Strange. Generally I only get movies on Netflix that I think I’d like or I’ve read about or have had good recommendations for. So I usually love every movie. But I don’t want to give any a 10 unless it’s absolutely astonishing. Which, of course, many of Herzogs films are. But this one isn’t my favorite. But it’s close.
In this film, which is a long one at 2 hours and 37 minutes, is another trip into the Amazon jungle just like Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Except this time crazy Klaus plays an Opera enthusiast who is bent on getting his own Opera House built. And to get money, he hears about an unexplored territory in the Amazon with millions of rubber trees. It was unexplored because the river leading to it was very treacherous and no ship has made it out of there.
So Klaus had a plan to go up stream on another river and then actually drag his mammoth ship over the mountain to the other side where the rubber trees were located. This would avoid the treacherous rapids on the other river.
This film is monumental. Herzog filmed hundreds of non-actor natives in the Amazon and they all performed with a certain beauty and humanity. It was amazing to watch them all work together and get this ship up the moutain. You have to see it.