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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the greatest movies ever made, all in one place
Kinski is probably my favourite actor of all time, and Herzog is easily one of my favourite directors. Naturally, I find their five collaborations to be nothing short of genius. Here we have a selection of brilliant, varied films, from the claustrophobic intensity of Aguirre, the brooding horror of Nosferatu, the tortured insanity of Woyzeck, the powerful obsession of...
Published on 19 Dec 2006 by mxd10

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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent films, but technically flawed
I was recommended this in HMV without having even heard of Herzog and Kinski (I've only been exploring foreign cinema for a year now), and I bought it on the spot, and as far as the films are concerned I have not been disappointed. Herzog seems to be a master of directing cinematic beauty, and these five films show it. Personally, I think Aguirre is the best film of the...
Published on 15 Jan 2005 by L. Andrews


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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the greatest movies ever made, all in one place, 19 Dec 2006
This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Kinski is probably my favourite actor of all time, and Herzog is easily one of my favourite directors. Naturally, I find their five collaborations to be nothing short of genius. Here we have a selection of brilliant, varied films, from the claustrophobic intensity of Aguirre, the brooding horror of Nosferatu, the tortured insanity of Woyzeck, the powerful obsession of Fitzcarraldo and the brutally poignant Cobra Verde, my only regret is that they didn't make more films together. My Best Fiend tops it off, a fascinating and insightful documentary into this incredible partnership.

The picture and sound are good, most films offering the choice between original German with English subtitles and English dubbing, but the former is always the best choice. One reviewer complained that Fitzcarraldo suffered from poor subtitling - but why watch it with German dubbing when the movie was originally filmed in English?

The films come nicely packaged in six thin DVD cases, each one colour-coded and revealing a picture of the movie's poster. These all slot comfortably into a stylish two-piece cardboard box. There's a booklet with production notes on each film as well, and most of the films have on-disc biographies and commentaries.

Absolutely essential.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kinski, one of the Greatest actors of his generation?, 29 Jan 2006
This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I think that he is, his on screen presence is as powerful as any actor I have ever seen. From the dark ferocity, burning evil of Kinskis portrayal of 'Nosferatu'; without question he is the greatest 'vampire' to have ever graced cinema. To the manic depressive/shockingly haunting eyes of his portrayal of 'Woyzeck' his character in the films name-sake; indeed one of the most troubled yet somehow believeable characters seen on film.
Woyzeck versus Travis Bickle?....that would be an interesting answer.
Outstanding.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant box-set of Herzog/Kinski collaborations..., 29 Feb 2004
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Werner Herzog's association with Klaus Kinski is surely one of the most famous unions in cinematic history, the two collaborating over several films and causing much amusingly deranged gossip- much of which is found in the brilliant documentary My Best Fiend (1999)That Herzog/Kinski had a love-hate relationship is a bit of an understatement- the two both revealing plans to murder the other during and after making the films included in this brilliant box-set.
To be fair, Herzog made plenty of brilliant films without Kinski- notably The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser & especially Stroszek (both made with Bruno S.).& there are many other Herzog films worth watching- Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Even Dwarves Started Small, Heart of Glass, Wings of Hope etc. But this box-set has the key works- & the odd folly.
Aguire, Wrath of God (1972) remains the definitive Herzog/Kinski film- the tale of conquistadors searching for Eldorado & instead finding destruction & madness is mindblowing. Many of the tales of its production are found in My Best Fiend- making it Apocalypse Now before Apocalypse Now. There are many wonderful scenes in this- the opening Peruvian mountain shot, the absence of the modern world, the head-chopping scene that counts to ten, the boat in a tree hallucination & especially the final shot of an insane Kinski surveying his empty kingdom of monkeys. *****
1979 saw Kinski again work with Herzog after the two fell out- reasons for which might be found in Kinski's suitably deranged memoir & My Best Fiend. Nosferatu, a remake of Murnau's classic of German expressionism, is very enjoyable & predicts masterpiece remakes like Gus Van Sant's Psycho **** While Woyzeck is a fairly satisfying adaptation of Buchner's unfinished 19th Century play- which Tom Waits recent album Blood Money is also based on. Kinski is brilliantly cast & the opening speeded-up shots feel very edgy & pose a notion that both Herzog and Kinski were very punk rock ****
Fitzcarraldo (1982) surprisingly came #44 in Channel 4's Top 100 Films of all time- which filled me with hope (well, until we got to #1 Star Wars...). It's very much a companion to Aguire, & has more madness set on a South American river. My Best Fiend has an earlier version of it with Mick Jagger & Jason Robards in!- anyway, ***** Finally there is Cobra Verde- very well summed up by its scenes in My Best Fiend (Kinksi rolling round in the sea, seemingly lost forever...)- another great looking historical epic adapted from Bruce Chatwin's The Viceroy of Ouidah. It has its moments- think of it as a bonus that is worth a look, ***
This Herzog-boxset is a brilliant DVD-set, an absolute must for anyone remotely interested in cinema & great value when you consider that several of these films were reissued on DVD a few years ago at a cost each of about half the price of this set. I'd buy it for Aguire... & My Best Fiend alone- can we have a Herzog-documentaries set and maybe a smaller Bruno S- set now, pretty please?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A penniless man has no use for morals in the world", 13 April 2010
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I came to this set under false circumstances. I was after a copy of the `Kaspar Hauser' film and saw that it was included in a Herzog set (review pending at the time of writing). I also noticed that a set of Herzog/Kinski movies was also available at a very reasonable price and bought this latter set on a whim. I am so glad I did. Apart from `Fitzcarraldo', I had not seen any of these films before, but now I see why they often appear in so many lists of top films.

All (apart from `Woyzeck' and the documentary) come with a helpful director's commentary, but one must also be on one's guard against falsehoods, exaggerations, and poor memory. For example, Herzog says `Aguirre' was filmed using one stolen camera, yet a second camera is credited. There also seems to be some confusion as to whether Kinski or Herzog himself wanted the former to do both `Nosferatu' and `Woyzeck'. And the final scene of `My Best Fiend' sees Kinski enjoying a butterfly, which seems to contradict what we are told about the actor's supposed aversion to the animal world.

For each film, there is always some shot that remains vividly in the memory, whether it is the opening descent of the mist-enshrouded mountain of `Aguirre'; the silent plague-ridden ship entering the harbour in `Nosferatu'; the conveyance of the steamship over the hill in `Fitzcarraldo'; or the polio victim on the beach at the end of `Cobra Verde'. Whilst I praise these movies on a number of heads, there is also nevertheless an unfortunate testimony to the poor treatment of some of the animals used in the films, such as the horse in `Aguirre', and the monkey and cat in `Woyzeck'.

AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD (1972) is the first and earliest of this bunch. Filming in the Amazon jungle brought logistical and financial problems that would scare most directors, but Herzog also had to cope with the loose cannon of Kinski, a modern version of Shakespeare's Richard III. Floods, fevers, hundreds of native extras, and the need to write dialogue off the cuff, appear to have made Herzog thrive.

From the famous and fantastic opening shot, I was hooked. Filmed like a fly-on-the-wall documentary of the traumas faced by a missing Conquistador expedition, the descent down the Amazon is a descent into madness, dreams, and despairing messianism. Some events are crude, such as the questioning of the two natives arriving in their canoe, but this quasi-amateurism only adds to the reality of the documentary style.

NOSFERATU (1979) is Herzog's homage to Murnau's 1920s version of the Dracula tale, a film that the director considers "the best German film ever". Filmed in Holland (Delft), Moravia, and eastern Slovakia, this is a rare attempt by Herzog at a genre film, but Kinski's Nosferatu is not frightening; rather, he is a sad and lonely figure. Herzog thinks that the scene between Dracula and Lucy is the best love scene he ever shot.

There are very effective transformations on screen between the real world and that of Nosferatu using landscape, light, and music. The film has a great atmosphere but some inconsistencies, and a not too stringent seeking for period detail betray the lack of a high budget. And, yes, there is some poor direction too: often, only one take was made. As well as the commentary, this film contains an added extra: a thirteen-minute contemporary featurette, narrated by Herzog, in which he claims, "All my films come out of pain. That's the source. Not pleasure." No wonder working with Kinski was so fruitful!

WOYZECK (1979) sees Kinski as the common man used in his ignorance by his so-called betters. (Woyzeck's claim that, "A penniless man has no use for morals in the world", could conceivably apply to all of Kinski's roles in this set.) But another way is to see Kinski the actor and Woyzeck the part as two sides of the same coin: a tormented and troubled visionary unable to cope with his jealousy. Look at his face when he commits the murderous deed.

Again, there is effective use made of music in the score, from folk band to classical. The urban setting of the film is perfect, but the extras are often too wooden. And the long takes could effectively have reduced the story from its seventy-seven minutes to only sixty.

FITZCARRALDO (1982) saw a return to the Amazon. It is of greater interest because Kinski was not Herzog's first choice; Jack Nicholson, Jason Robards - and Mick Jagger as FItzcarraldo's sidekick - were all considered first. And if Kinski wouldn't do it, then Herzog himself would have played the part. It was also shot in English, although the director thinks the German dubbed version - both are available on this disc - is culturally the more authentic. Legends were made about the superlative logistics involved in this production - the transporting of the ship across the hill is only the most well-known, for arson, piranhas, snakes, plane crashes, and the police authorities likewise took their toll. And all this on top of the problem that is Kinski! In the commentary, Herzog elaborates on all these issues.

COBRA VERDE (1987) was filmed again in South America, but also in West Africa, thus linking effectively the slave trade between the two continents in the eighteenth century that is the basis of the tale. Given his previous experience of Kinski, one is dumbfounded to hear that Herzog planned from the start for the actor to play the title role. Beautifully shot on both continents, portraying in turn dire working conditions and authentic regal pageantry, the film lingers but never loses its interest to the eye and mind. Herzog revels in the fact that Hollywood would never have told this story, and would never have told it in the way he did.

MY BEST FIEND (2000) is Herzog's affectionate demolition job on Kinski, who died in 1991. Herzog revisits some of the sites of his film creations, but also the house in Munich that he shortly shared with him when the director was only thirteen: "From the very first moment, he terrorised everyone", says Herzog. "I never thought it possible that someone could rave for 48 hours." Of course, stories of the making of the films themselves also intrude with plenty of behind-the-scenes shots, and this documentary is - intentionally and unintentionally - as much about Herzog as it is about Kinski. Full marks to the director for including other takes on Kinski that differ from his own.

This is a fantastic set; I am so glad I purchased it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great films, 2 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
All the films in this box set are good, although I felt Cobra Verde was not up to the standard of the others. I would normally have given five stars for the films, but for a couple of disappointment. firstly, as someone else already said, the dvd's have few extras, although the documentary My Best Friend compensates for this. The second problem is the subtitles. The subtitles don't always seem to have been included. For example in the scene in Nosferatu where Jonathan tells his wife he is going to Transalvania several pieces of dialogue are missing. This isn't such a big problem, since there is english audio and the actors expressions convey their meaning, but it still annoying.
Despite this, the box set is a must buy and good value, especially as all the films would be worth buying seperately at a far higher price
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All of the Kinski & Herzog filmic collaborations in one box!, 17 Mar 2004
This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
"Aguirre", "Nosferatu","Woyzeck","Fitzcarraldo" and "Cobra Verde" are all films dominated by the mania of Klaus Kinski - never was the phrase "wild staring eyes" more apt.
As Kinski explains in the documentary "My Best Fiend", included as a 6th DVD which vainly attempts to explain their relationship,all of Herzog's films emminate from pain so don't expect an easy ride with any of them!
"Aguirre: The Wrath of God" is a haunting slow burner in which the determined Kinski attempts to find the mythical Elderado. The stunning cinematograhy shows the Peruvian rainforest to be a foe as malevolent to the Spanish Conquistadors as the Indians were.
"Nosferatu" - perhaps the most accessible of the 5 films - is a mysterious vampire film without horror in that Kinski's Dracula is more lonely and pitiful rather than the scary villain as so often portrayed.
"Woyzeck" - shows Kinski at his most inspired in the central role of a private who is treated terribly by all around him and living on the edge of his wits. He is ultimately unable to contain his true emotions when his wife - whom he loves deeply -has a fling with a handsome bandmaster.
"Fitzcarraldo" is a film rather limited in scope plotwise in that it is about a crazed lover of opera who succeeds in transporting a ship across a mountain (yes honest). I found this film a little too long and ultimately rather pointless although the Kinski (who played Fitzcarraldo)struggle with nature was still mesmerising.
"Cobra Verde" marks the point at which the relationship between Kinski and Herzog turned sour - in Herzog's words "I couldn't control him anymore" - with Kinski,once again playing the titular character,as a South American bandit who ultimately becomes stranded in Africa trying to gain slaves for a landowner.
Several stunning films, consistently excellent performances - particularly from Kinski of course - interesting themes explored (most notably human suffering), fantastic cinematography, but also a couple of dissapointments.
Each DVD is nicely packaged in a slimline case whichs contain a copy of the original film's release poster. Extras include commentaries and trailers for each film but little else.
A must buy for lovers of cinema who don't want to always watch plot lead films but enjoy being challenged!
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent films, but technically flawed, 15 Jan 2005
By 
L. Andrews "jointhepartyuk" (Newport, South Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I was recommended this in HMV without having even heard of Herzog and Kinski (I've only been exploring foreign cinema for a year now), and I bought it on the spot, and as far as the films are concerned I have not been disappointed. Herzog seems to be a master of directing cinematic beauty, and these five films show it. Personally, I think Aguirre is the best film of the box. And kinski is without doubt one of the most fascinating actors that i've ever come across.
The packaging is fantastic (Anchor Bay are usually good at this), but the films are let down by its subtitling. Sometimes the actors are speaking and there is nothing on the screen to indicate what they are talking about, with the only alternative being to switch to English audio. Fitzcaraldo is by far the worst film for this, where at times a good twenty seconds of dialougue can be missed.
If you can put up with theEnglish audio track, and you're a fan of these movies, then this boxset is for you.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another comment about subtitles, 5 Feb 2006
By 
Simon Pride (NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
..being that in some cases they are carelessly, or maybe wilfully wrong. In Nosferatu Harker accepts the commission from Renfield to go to Transylvania because he wants to buy a nicer house for Lucy, but this is mistranslated twice as bigger. In Aguirre, near the start, Pizzarro and Aguirre are talking by the river. In German the exchange goes:
P: It's all downhill from here [he is speaking both literally and metaphorically - they've just come over a colossal mountain range to a river valley]
A: It's all *uphill* from here!
The subtitles manage to lose the sense and the rhetoric, and add in a dramatic intention that the screenwriter (WH) didn't intend:
P: Things will get better from now on [banal, loses the rhetorical connection with the landscape and the dramatic action of the previous ten minutes]
A: We're all going under! [unwarranted, at odds with the actual line]
This sort of niggling inconsistency to no benefit dogs the subtitling in all the ones in the set I've watched so far. OK, if you don't understand German, it won't matter that much, but if you do, it grates a little.
Nevertheless, if you love European art cinema and don't have these titles, rectify the situation immediately!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Herzog/Kinski Box Set DVD, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I was requested to buy this as a gift for my brother who couldn't wait to own it! He would recommend it to like minded people!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Marathon, 18 Nov 2011
By 
Miles (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
A few years back the Filmspotting podcast ran one of their movie marathons covering all the movies in this box set. Great to watch each movie then revisit the filmspotting episode. If you like film this set covering all the Herzog/Kinski collaborations is really useful to be able to reference.
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