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also known as The Enigma of Kasper Hauser I Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle

Every Man for Himself and God Against All1974

  • 4.3
Werner Herzog retells the true story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who, without explanation or the ability to speak coherently, appears in the middle of Nuremberg in 1828. After learning to write and talk, Kaspar's strange musings and wild claims describing his life before Nuremberg only deepen the mystery of his origins. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, this is the first of two collaborations between Werner Herzog and non-actor Bruno S. (discovered by Herzog in a documentary about street musicians). - Tom Fritsche

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3 members like this review

In The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Herzog takes on a real-life story of a young man left in Nuremberg, Germany with only the clothes on his back and a note in his hand. In 1828, the man to be known as Kaspar Hauser was left in the early morning streets of Nuremberg. Taught only a handful of phrases, Mr. Hauser was if anything an oddity, an anomaly and knew not even of the simplest things in life, such as reading, writing, talking and walking. An unrefined soul, who was taken under the wing of many in Nuremberg, and taught to speak and communicate with others, became part of the community. In casting Bruno S., a German man, who had been abused as a child and spent close to a third of his life in mental institutions, Herzog had appeared to have cast the perfect person to play Kaspar Hauser. Unrefined in his nature, both Hauser's character and the person portraying him both lived on the fringes of the societal norm. Animalistic at times, Kaspar Hauser slowly becomes important, as not only a character but also as a human being. Treated not only as a patient, but also as a pupil. Someone taught to learn and understand life, all the while someone learning and understanding him, and who he was.

This film, is enjoyable on so many levels. One of them, is finding out what became of Mr. Hauser, and who he was. Where he came from, what he learned, as well as what was learned from those studying him. Another aspect, is also wondering where the line between his character and the true personality of Bruno S. cross.

The films of Herzog during the 70's all seemed to capture the essence of the moment. He took many old tales, and adapted them into films without compromising the stories integrity and also re-creating the period of the story. The time and the place, which in this movie happens to be Nuremberg in 1828 to the late 1830's. There is always the feeling of almost being there, and feeling what it was like to live in that certain place in history.

Easily one of Herzog's best, this film also has a funny side to it too.

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114196.small
top reviewer

In The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Herzog takes on a real-life story of a young man left in Nuremberg, Germany with only the clothes on his back and a note in his hand. In 1828, the man to be known as Kaspar Hauser was left in the early morning streets of Nuremberg. Taught only a handful of phrases, Mr. Hauser was if anything an oddity, an anomaly and knew not even of the simplest things in life, such as reading, writing, talking and walking. An unrefined soul, who was taken under the wing of many in Nuremberg, and taught to speak and communicate with others, became part of the community. In casting Bruno S., a German man, who had been abused as a child and spent close to a third of his life in mental institutions, Herzog had appeared to have cast the perfect person to play Kaspar Hauser. Unrefined in his nature, both Hauser's character and the person portraying him both lived on the fringes of the societal norm. Animalistic at times, Kaspar Hauser slowly becomes important, as not only a character but also as a human being. Treated not only as a patient, but also as a pupil. Someone taught to learn and understand life, all the while someone learning and understanding him, and who he was.

This film, is enjoyable on so many levels. One of them, is finding out what became of Mr. Hauser, and who he was. Where he came from, what he learned, as well as what was learned from those studying him. Another aspect, is also wondering where the line between his character and the true personality of Bruno S. cross.

The films of Herzog during the 70's all seemed to capture the essence of the moment. He took many old tales, and adapted them into films without compromising the stories integrity and also re-creating the period of the story. The time and the place, which in this movie happens to be Nuremberg in 1828 to the late 1830's. There is always the feeling of almost being there, and feeling what it was like to live in that certain place in history.

Easily one of Herzog's best, this film also has a funny side to it too.

3 members like this review

I had high hopes since I recall the book and admire Herzog...but not this one

Herzog has been a favorite of mine since my introduction to his films in 1976 with Aguirre the Wrath of God. I love the visuals and the characters he creates.