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4.3 out of 5 stars33
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 2 May 2011
I had tried for a very long time and in lots of places to get this video and 'hey presto' Amazon came up with the goods. Not only was it at a very acceptable price but was delivered within 48 hours right to my door. Excellent service. Many thanks indeed.
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on 21 February 2009
Time can do strange things shifting perspectives on a great movie. Twenty-seven years on from its first release, we now watch "Fitzcarraldo" almost inevitably with the destruction of the rainforest, the exploitation and genocide of indigenous people, and the threat to the ozone layer in mind. What once was an unqualified epic celebration of a crazy dreamer now invokes horror at what he is doing, and his fellow robber/rubber barons inspire nothing but disgust. To indicate the shift in attitudes, when I watched this with my partner recently, he cheered when the indians cut the ship adrift to send it to its destruction.

Not only is the film about failure, failure to set up the trade network which will finance the opera house, failure to build the opera house, it is also about a pointless failure. At the end of the film Fitzcarraldo spends the money he makes from selling the boat back to the man he bought it from originally on bringing an opera company up the river from Manaus to Iquitos. And while it is greeted with smiling enthusiasm by all and sundry, you can't help wondering why he didn't use his brothel-keeping girlfriend's money to do this in the first place.

This is not to detract from the extraordinary intensity of Klaus Kinski's importance, or from the bravura sequences on the Amazon and raising the ship across the mountains. But it puts it into a different perspective, and, it has to be said, highlights the longueurs of the opening section, with far too much time spent on a cardboard Claudie Cardinale. Abd it also makes the ending more satisfactory as an artificially-manufactured feel-good one.
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on 19 August 2003
Herzog has done it once again with Kinski. What a beatiful movie this is. In reality they indeed took that ship over the hill that proved to be quite a challenge as in the movie. Kinski gives a monumental performance as a failed enterpreneur trying an unonceivable challenge. The soundtrack full of carouso is perfect and the ending of the movie is something not easily forgotten.
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on 3 August 2003
This is one of the greatest collaborations of Kinski/Herzog. Yhe movie is simply breathtaking. Kinski's performance is perfect, the story is challening and so is the plot. The music soundtrack is one great to own and alltogether if you like Herzog/ Kinski moviesdo not pass on this one; it is a masterpiece
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I first saw Fitzcarraldo in the early eighties as part of a Channel 4 series on the German New Wave Cinema. Plenty of Herzog and Fassbinder! Fitzcarraldo really stood out as I hadn't seen anything quite like it before or, for that matter, since. The image of the steamship going up the slope was unique.

Although I was looking forward to seeing the film again on this DVD I must say that the impact the second time around was much less than I expected. It is undoubtedly a five star film, but I wish in a way I had left the memory alone. The accompanying documentary feature from Les Blank only succeeded in removing more of the magic from my memory of the film.

Perhaps it needs a cinema showing to get the full effect of the scale, or perhaps I've become jaded by years of CGI, I don't know. Unfortunately all I tend to remember of the film now are the annoying bits rather than the majestic images I had before!
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on 16 February 2014
A film without a lot of point and the real star is the river steamer. Nonetheless, an epic in its own right and worth the money.

John.
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on 27 May 2015
A tour de force. Great movie, great (true) story. Klaus Kinski is brilliant as usual...And then there is the story behind the story....
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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2006
The simple story of a failed Peruvian rubber baron who decides to spend his wife's money on a ship, sail it through a no-go-area infested by head-hunters and then employ said head-hunters to drag his ship over a mountain. There is a brilliant film hiding away here but unfortunately it is sandwiched between a slightly boring beginning and extremely disappointing end. That said it IS pretty epic and the type of fiming that - with the event of CGI - will never, sadly, be repeated.
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on 19 May 2013
This really was a lovely old movie to watch. Fasinating sceens and the story was so interesting. I will rewatch this one.
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on 28 April 2016
... one of my favourites, and with the fascinating addition of The Burden of Dreams.
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