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In the grandest of Werner Herzog’s fictions – inspired in part by actual events - a white-suited Klaus Kinski plays an Irish adventurer in early 20th-century Peru who dreams of building an opera house in a remote Amazon port. He intends to finance it by claiming a vast area of rubber trees that can only be approached by dragging a 300-tonne steamboat from one river to another over a mountain. Shot under horrendous conditions, it's a supremely quixotic vision of unstoppable entrepreneurial ambition, inseparable in its effect from Herzog’s own obsession in realising it. “The imagery is spectacular: lush, stark and delicate. A sky at dusk blends the colours of Munch and Rousseau: Fitzcarraldo’s boat skims noiselessly over water as soft and mysterious as silk. Fitzcarraldo is unusual for a Herzog film in providing a gallery of delightful supporting performances: Claudia Cardinale, as Fitz’s mistress Molly, radiates sensuality like a healthy year-round suntan.” — Richard Corliss, Time
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