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Stroszek [1977]

Bruno S. , Eva Mattes , Werner Herzog    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 7.65
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Stroszek [1977] + Woyzeck [1978]
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Product details

  • Actors: Bruno S., Eva Mattes, Clemens Scheitz, Wilhelm von Homburg, Burkhard Driest
  • Directors: Werner Herzog
  • Producers: Werner Herzog
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Widescreen, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,814 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


After being released from prison, Berlin street musician Bruno Stroszek (Bruno S.) finds himself lost in a world where he simply doesn't belong. So along with his prostitue girlfriend (Eva Mattes) and an eccentric neighbour (Clemens Scheitz), Stroszek moves to America, where he's told, everyone is rich. It doesn't take long, however, after moving into a mobile home and taking a job as a mechanic, for Stroszek to realize that the streets of Railroad Flats, Wisconsin aren't paved with gold. Featuring a remarkable cast and one of the most bizarre, memorable endings in film history, Werner Herzog's STROSZEK is a brillian tragicomedy which explores what happens when the American dream becomes a nightmare. ABOUT THE DVD: The film is presented in COLOUR and WIDESCREEN format (1.66:1 Aspect Ratio) and runs for 103 minutes - the AUDIO is the original GERMAN language (there is a choice of Stereo or 5.1 DTS soundtracks on the disc) - SUBTITLES are ENGLISH language and are optional (they can be switched on or off via the menu) - SPECIAL FEATURES are an Audio Commentary by (Producer, director and writer of the film) Werner Herzog and Norman Hill, the film's original Theatrical Trailer and a Werner Herzog Biography and Filmography

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning culture clash... 12 Jan 2002
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:VHS Tape
Bruno S. regroups with Herzog after their previous collaboration, 'The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser'. Though this film is probably closer to 'Even Dwarfs Started Small'...It begins with the eponymous protoganist leaving an asylum and going to live in the 'real world' of Berlin...This section is depressing, due to the bullying of two pimp characters who torture him in an obscure manner using a piano (?). His best friends are an old man and a prostitute. The German section is fairly grim- until they decide to leave for the utopia of America...We get them doing the tourist thing, before heading to Wisconcin (or some other US-backwater)- where Stroszek enjoys beer, temporary work in a garage and selling his soul to his bank manager for a mobile home...While the old man confounds the locals with the best dual language jokes this side of 'Ghost Dog' (the film is not unsimilar to 'Stranger than Paradise'). The tragedy, albeit absurd has to occur- it involves polite bank managers, lorry drivers and auctioneers. The only options left are crime- our European outsiders are now the ultimate outsiders...The final scene is heartbreaking & hilarious: the dancing chickens offering an influence on 'Blue Velvet'- and the film demonstrating their was something in the air ('Eraserhead' was released the same year). There are cars on fire. And a ski-lift...
This is the film Ian Curtis (Joy Division) watched, prior to listening to Iggy Pop's 'The Idiot' and killing himself. This is also the film that David Lynch watched in his hotel room (it was the same television transmission) and was amazed by...Probably my fave Herzog, it deserves to be seen by everyone, though 'Aguire...' and 'The Enigma...' are probably better films. What can I say?- a stunning culture clash. The outsiders outsiders.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece from a true original. 21 Feb 2008
When Werner Herzog made 'the Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser' in 1974, a film about an incarcerated social outsider who is suddenly thrust into the real world, he cast an unknown Bruno S', himself a real life social outsider, in the main role. The casting was inspired, and Herzog later wrote 'Stroszek' with Bruno in mind. Today, the movie comes across as the most unpitying portrayal of the American dream as has been seen in cinema.

Just released from prison, Bruno finding German life unbearable, is told that to get money he must move to America. With his prostitute girlfriend (the wonderful Eva Mattes) and a borderline crazy neighbour (Clemens Sheitz), he crosses the Atlantic in pursuit of the American dream. But instead of a life of riches and ease, he ends up in Railroad Flats Wisconsin where poverty forces him to attempt the shoddiest bank robbery ever seen.

Even with Herzog's wicked sense of humour, this is difficult viewing. The concept of a stranger in a strange land has rarely, if ever, been put to better use. But what lifts this picture to truly indespensible status, is Bruno's incredible performance. With his vocal tics and thousand yard stare, he commands the screen and comes across as one of the strangest intelligences i've yet to see.

But equal credit must go to Herzog himself when you realise what a shoe-string affair the whole production was. Sprawled on a moving car bonnet to get shots, filming set-ups whenever he could (he often filmed without permission from the authorities and high tailed it when he got found out) and getting arrested several times in a single day (apparently the same officer arrested him twice!), the great German director must be championed for getting this film finished at all.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than the dancing chicken... 17 Sep 2005
Stroszek is a simple story about a simple man, who leaves for America with an abused prostitute and an elderly neighbour, in the hope of starting a new life away from the violent and antagonistic Berlin underbelly, that they'd previously been caught up in. To any other filmmaker, the plot would serve as the backdrop to the spiralling melodrama that envelops the character's lives and the harsh realities of their situation. However, in Herzog's hands, the film becomes a surreal, stylised, darkly-comic piece of bleak absurdity, as his characters set off on a stark and seemingly directionless odyssey across the American mid-west, in the earnest belief that the land of opportunity will reward their hard-work, passion and tenacity, with wealth, happiness and good fortune.
Because of these elements, the film has been interpreted by many critics as a scathing review of the American dream and the treatment of naive foreigners who dare to step foot on U.S. soil. However, as far as I'm concerned, the film has much more depth to it than that limiting interpretation would suggest, with Herzog really showing us the destruction of the human spirit and the on going role of the perpetual outsider in society. Obviously, from this, the film has certain parallels with his great masterpiece, The Enigma of Kasper Hauser, right down to the casting of Bruno S. as the titular Bruno Stroszek. The casting of Bruno gives the film a certain solemnity, with many elements of the plot (abuse, alienation, mental disability and institutionalisation) drawing parallels with Bruno's own tragic real life and his unbelievable back story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly dissection of the American dream
This is famous as the apocryphal film that Ian Curtis watched before he committed suicide, which gives you no small clue as to the tone within - a feel-good date movie it ain't. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Anorakus
3.0 out of 5 stars more weird than profound
i was looking forward to watching this film, anticipating a good laugh or something to think about. i didn't get much of either. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by John Whewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Herzog's best movie?
Perhaps one of Herzog's best films: about the abused outsider and street musician (Bruno M) in Hamburg who emigrates to the U.S. with two odd friends to find happiness.
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Rolf Sdvstrvm
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruno!
Stumbled across this as part of an early Herzog collection I'd got out of the local library. Moving and hilarious in equal measure; helped by the increbible performance of the... Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2011 by Dm Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Political cinema at its best
Bruno S, Herzog's strange doppelganger, gets his own homage here in a film which draws heavily on his talents, his mental struggles and even uses his flat as the main character's... Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2009 by Peter Scott-presland
3.0 out of 5 stars A horrible life - brutally real
I watched this because I read in the biography of Ian Curtis that this was the last movie he watched before his suicide. Read more
Published on 21 May 2009 by Hud
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than the dancing chicken....
Stroszek is a simple story about a simple man, who leaves for America with an abused prostitute and an elderly neighbour, in the hope of starting a new life away from the violent... Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2008 by Jonathan James Romley
4.0 out of 5 stars A study in violence
From beginning to end, this film seemed to me to be about violence: that on the sensitive character of Stroszek, that of the thugs on Bruno, that rather more muted violence which... Read more
Published on 10 Nov 2007 by Miriana Ponte
5.0 out of 5 stars A bleakly uniquely uplifting downbeat Herzog wonder
With all the inherent contradictions that implies! The key image of a broken down car going round in endless circles from Herzog's earlier Even Dwarfs Started Small turns up again... Read more
Published on 15 Dec 2006 by Trevor Willsmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Herzog at his best
A haunting journey. Bruno S' portrayal is extraordinary - art mirroring life & must at times have been a painful experience (The unwanted son of a prostitute, Bruno S. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2006 by R. Smerdon
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