Klaus Kinski, Eva Mattes, Wolfgang Reichmann, Willy Semmelrogge,

Herzog’s drama of an ordinary man driven mad by the everyday militarism of his world is based on the extraordinary nineteenth-century play by Georg Büchner, which anticipated such movements as Expressionism and the theater of the absurd. Blankly staring ahead into an abyss only he can see, a soldier and manservant (Klaus Kinski) dutifully listens to his master’s opinions, while at home he plays husband and father with a similar mix of mental detachment and physical rigor, seemingly playing out the days until, finally, “the world goes dark.” “Herzog is a poet,” wrote Vincent Canby, “for whom neither Marx nor Freud supplies all the answers.”

Jason Sanders
  • Werner Herzog
Based On
  • the drama by Georg Büchner

  • Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein
  • German
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 82 mins
  • American Genre Film Archive

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