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With: Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira, Willy Semmelrogge, Michael Kroecher, Hans Musaeus, Marcus Weller, Gloria Doer, Volker Prechtel
Written by: Werner Herzog
Directed by: Werner Herzog
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: German, with English subtitles
Running Time: 110
Date: 11/01/1974

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

4 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This Werner Herzog masterpiece casts the real life misfit Bruno S. as Kaspar, an oddity from the 19th century that baffles historians and storytellers to this day. One day Hauser simply turned up in a German small town square holding a letter and a prayer book, unable to speak more than a few words or even walk. The townspeople took it upon themselves to teach him the ways of polite society, but a mysterious figure -- possibly his former captor -- attempts to kill him. It's a very odd story but Herzog brings it across with a touching human side and a refreshing lack of sentimentality. The film has also been released as Every Man for Himself and God Against All. The Anchor Bay DVD comes with a great commentary track by the director.

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