Zishe is a young Polish-Jewish locksmith with delicate feelings yet great physical strength. Discovered by an entrepreneur, he is persuaded to go to Nazi Berlin to impersonate the strongest man in the world. Dressing up in a silly barbarian costume, Zishe performs his act every evening at the “mystery house” run by Hanussen, a famous Danish hypnotist. As he is filled with doubts about what role God has set aside for him in the world, the young man tries to rebel against Hanussen, who patently supports Hitler and anti-Semitism. —Thessaloniki International Film Festival
One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production… read more
Herzog's best. Dialogue, acting, location, setting. An utter masterpiece. Sure it may have been better being honest on language geographically and historically but ... er...well...er. As it goes this film is one of Werner Herzog's favorites and he was a little mystified by it's relatively poor reception.
This for me was honestly the worst Herzog film I've seen. Granted there was the traditional appeals to Werner of a strange outsider who winds up doing something great and there were some nice nature shots but the story was lob-sided. The acting was terrible and simply the flow was so choppy. Not a fan.