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Fitzcarraldo (1982)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  10 October 1982 (USA)
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Reviews: 77 user | 83 critic

The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Miguel Ángel Fuentes ...
Paul Hittscher ...
Captain (Orinoco Paul)
Huerequeque Enrique Bohorquez ...
Huerequeque (The Cook) (as Huerequeque Enrique Bohórquez)
Grande Otelo ...
Station master (as Grande Othelo)
Peter Berling ...
Opera Manager
David Pérez Espinosa ...
Chief of Campa Indians
Milton Nascimento ...
Black Man At Opera House
Ruy Polanah ...
Rubber Baron
Salvador Godínez ...
Old Missionary
Dieter Milz ...
Young Missionary
William Rose ...
Notary (as Bill Rose)
Leoncio Bueno


Fitzcarraldo is an obsessed opera lover who wants to build an opera in the jungle. To accomplish this he first has to make a fortune in the rubber business, and his cunning plan involves hauling an enormous river boat across a small mountain with aid from the local Indians. Written by Rune Sandnes <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

10 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fickaraldo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


SEK 1,793,870 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A Peruvian logger bitten by a deadly snake made the dramatic decision to cut off his own foot with a chainsaw to prevent the spread of the venom. Werner Herzog commented, "It was a good decision - he lived". See more »


When the two crew members fight with each other, the shadow of the camera is visible on the left one. See more »


Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': How can anyone learn patriotism from a school book?
Young Missionary: The Government requires it.
Old Missionary: The natives get used to it. Like vaccination.
Young Missionary: The children already feel like little Peruvians. The other day I asked them, "Are you Indians?" "No," they said, "not we, the ones up the river, they are Indians." And then I asked. "What are Indians?" "They said to me "Indians are people who can't read and who don't know how to wash their clothes."
Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald - 'Fitzcarraldo': And what about the older people?
Old Missionary: Well, we can't seem to cure them of the...
See more »


Referenced in Burden of Dreams (1982) See more »


Opera on board
from "I Puritani" by Vincenzo Bellini
Orquesta Sinfonica del Repertorio, Lima
Conducted by Maestro Manuel Cuadros Barr
Chorus Camerata Vocale "Orfeo"
Soli: Dona Elvira: Isabel Jiminez de Cisneros
Arturo: Liberio Simonella
Giorgio: Jesus Goiri
Walton: Christiam Mantilla
Music: Popul Vuh
Original recordings Enrico Caruso (1902/06) by RCA Victor
Richard Strauss from "Tod und Verklaerung"
See more »

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Great Great Film
10 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a quest plot line; the golden chalice is to be found in the interior of the Amazon, a performance by Caruso and his opera company in the early 1900's. Klaus Kinski, of the disheveled blond hair, plays the obsessive opera lover. The town's folks believe him to me loco and well they should since his Trans-Andes railroad bankrupted the dreamer. His ice making operation makes no sense. His dream of Peruvian opera is a laughingstock, but he has an ace up his sleeve, his devoted lover, Claudia Cardinale, the local madam of distinction forks over the front money so Klaus can buy a boat to get to the rubber trees in a remote steamy jungle inhabited by headhunters. Oh, there's another problem. Rapids block access to the rubber trees, so Klaus must take another river parallel to the rapids, and then at a narrow point of land, must drag a steamship over a mountain. Unbelievable, the film crew took three years in the jungle to duplicate the feat, a engineering marvel, or a stunning duplication. My hat is off to Werner Herzog. This is what great adventure and acting is all about.

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US blu ray release January 2015 notvertigo
What's the advantage of getting the boat into the other river system? Stryke01
Am I the only one... shoobe01-1
Subtitles messed up in R4 release Gorgasm
Fitzcarraldo NOT in the Top 250? Absurd! niktemadur
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