[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/KlausKinski_Aguirre_5544.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:280:[[MisaimedFandom When the going gets tough, the tough get going. No matter what, never give up!]]]]

->''"I am the wrath of god. The earth I pass will see me and tremble."''

''Aguirre, the Wrath of God'' (''Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes'') is one of Creator/WernerHerzog’s first films. It deals with the voyage of Spanish conquerors to South America, in which a separate group is formed by Don Pedro de Urzúa, Don Lope de Aguirre (KlausKinski) and others. Of course, [[RiverOfInsanity being alone in the jungle starts driving the people mad]].

The film kickstarted Herzog’s career and was the first of several collaborations with Kinski. The filming was said to be a nightmare. For example, according to legend, Herzog directed Kinski at gunpoint when the actor refused to follow his commands. Herzog insists that the story is apocryphal, and that he [[SarcasmMode merely]] threatened to shoot both Kinski and himself should the actor choose to quit the film. RogerEbert regularly listed it on his top ten movies of all time.

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!!Tropes in this film:

* AdiposeRex: Fat, gluttonous and lazy Guzmán is cynically made leader of the expedition and Emperor of El Dorado.
* AnnoyingArrows: A variation - by the end, the men are simply too exhausted and delirious to feel pain when they're hit by arrows.
-->'''Ochello:''' That is no ship. That is no forest. [thunk] That is no arrow.
* ApocalypticLog: The journal of Gaspar de Carvajal, the supposed basis of the movie.[[note]]The real Carvajal ''did'' write [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaspar_de_Carvajal#The_Relaci.C3.B3n_and_Carvajal.27s_mark_on_history an account]] of his voyage on the Amazonas, but it's not an apocalyptic log in real life and the quotations are fictitious.[[/note]]
* AxCrazy: Aguirre.
* BadassBoast:
--> '''Lope de Aguirre:''' I am the great traitor. There must be no other. Anyone who even thinks of deserting this mission will be hacked into 198 pieces. Those pieces will be trampled until what is left can be used only to paint walls. Whoever takes one grain of corn or one drop of water more than his ration will be locked up for 155 years. If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees... then the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am [[TitleDrop the wrath of god]]. The earth I pass will see me and tremble. But whoever follows me and the river will win untold riches.
* BewareTheQuietOnes: Aguirre is surprisingly quiet and restrained - for a cruel, deluded madman anyhow. "Quiet menace" describes him well.
* BilingualBonus: Given that Werner Herzog is German, it might be interesting to note that the German name for squirrel monkeys is ''Totenkopfäffchen'' - "Death's Head monkeys".
* BlackComedy: Though reviewers rarely comment on it, the movie actually contains a streak of black comedy that is sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle.
* BlowGun: The natives keep sniping at the travelers on the raft with these.
* TheBlindLeadingTheBlind: Nobody has a clue where they are going, but they push on like crazy.
* BoldExplorer: The film takes this trope to the point of insanity, as Lope de Aguirre explores South America in search of a City of Gold, ignoring death and deprivation among his men along the way.
* BoobyTrap: A Spaniard walks into one early on.
* CampingACrapper: Guzmán is murdered on a visit to the toilet.
* CannibalTribe: "Meat is passing by!"
* CaptainsLog: The journal of Gaspar de Carvajal. As it turns out, Carvajal is a blatant case of an UnreliableNarrator, which however does not stop him from narrating. Which is actually [[BlackComedy kind of funny.]]
* CassandraTruth: Inez warns Ursúa of Aguirre's rebellious scheme, and Aguirre of what she calls "God's punishment". Both warnings are unheeded.
* ChewingTheScenery: You're half afraid he's going to ''eat'' that monkey.
* CityOfGold: El Dorado. [[spoiler:Averted.]]
* DeathGlare: If looks could kill, Aguirre's could.
* {{Determinator}}: Aguirre will never ever give up.
* DownerEnding
* TheDragon: Perucho, Aguirre's right-hand man, doer of dirty work.
* DwindlingParty
* EnforcedMethodActing: Herzog wanted Aguirre to be the epitome of TranquilFury, but Kinski wanted to produce a raving madman (more akin to his personality). To get his wish, Herzog would intentionally provoke Kinski into unleashing all his fury off-camera. By the time shooting began, Kinsky was exhausted, creating the performance that Herzog desired.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Aguirre loves his daughter. Maybe even too much...
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: They give a powerful effect to the ending.
* EvilAllAlong: While the evil intentions of Aguirre and Perucho get obvious very soon, it will come as a surprise to most first-time viewers that [[spoiler:Carvajal]] is playing for the evil team.
* FamousLastWords: After being hit by a spear, a soldier says calmly before falling into the river, "The long arrows are becoming a fashion." The English dub changes this to, "I thought it would hurt much more than this."
* FatBastard: Don Fernando de Guzmán.
* FingerlessGloves: Aguirre wears them.
* ForegoneConclusion: The OpeningScroll reveals that the expedition is lost, and its cause a fiction specifically invented to trick white colonists to their deaths. Depending on the subtitles, this may get lost for non-German viewers. Not realizing or forgetting that the ending is already clear is often crucial when this movie gets bad reactions.
* GenreDeconstruction: ''Aguirre'' can be watched as a genre deconstruction of the 'jungle adventure' movie genre. A group of (mostly) white explorers ventures into an unknown land in pursuit of a fabled city of gold -- but there is no lost city, no treasures to be won, no battles to be fought, no secrets to be discovered. The good guys perish together with the bad guys, and nobody learns anything from it.
* AGodAmI: More exactly, the Wrath of God.
* GoodIsDumb: The considerate and noble-minded Don Ursúa is indeed very easy prey for Aguirre and his cronies.
* HopeSpot: Guzmán spares Don Ursúa from immediate execution, so he'll later free himself and save the day, right? [[spoiler: Wrong. Ursúa spends the rest of the movie wounded, and when he seems to have finally recovered a bit, he is hanged on Aguirre's orders.]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Ursúa trusts Carvajal way too much.
* HowTheMightyHaveFallen: An Indian slave talks of how he was once a member of the upper caste in the Incan empire, and no-one dared look him in the eye. "Now it is I who has my face lowered to the ground."
* HungryJungle: The RiverOfInsanity, the lack of food, the hostile natives, and the otherwise total isolation drive the group insane.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Carvajal. Guzmán and Perucho to a lesser degree.
* IncestIsRelative: When Aguirre finally loses it, he states what he plans to do with his daughter, [[spoiler:whom he fails to remember is already dead.]]
--> '''Lope de Aguirre:''' I, the wrath of God, will marry my own daughter and with her I'll found the purest dynasty the earth has ever seen.
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: Then the natives appear.
* KangarooCourt: Set up to condemn Ursúa.
* KickTheDog: Yell at the horse, toss the monkey.
* LeftHanging: The ultimate fate of Armando and Inez, and also Aguirre himself.
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: Many scenes. A few of them, like an initial shot of a tumultuous river, don't have actors included.
* LosingYourHead: Aguirre beheads a man when he talks of turning back. [[MindScrew The head keeps talking]].
-->'''Aguirre:''' "That man is a head taller than me. That may change."
* MindScrew: The ship in the treetops. SharedMassHallucination? SanitySlippage? Then why do ''we'' see the ship? Are we getting mad, too? If it is real, how the hell did it get up there? And if Aguirre is right in saying that it is real, does that mean that Aguirre is [[OnlySaneMan sane, and the others have gone around the bend?]]
* MrExposition: Gonzalo Pizarro, and a fine job he does.
* NoAnimalsWereHarmed: Averted. Some animals get it pretty rough, what with getting pushed around and yelled at and being left in the hands of a giant madman. Although Herzog later set all the monkeys free, by pretending to be a veterinarian and telling the trappers the monkeys needed to get shots before they could be sold to collectors.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed
* OpeningScroll
* ParentalIncest: After his crew is all killed Aguirre declares that he'll found a new dynasty with his daughter.
* PirateParrot: Perucho's parrot. Perucho may not be a pirate, but he definitely is of equally low moral fibre.
* PuppetKing: Guzmán is set up as a puppet emperor by Aguirre. By giving the formal leadership to the only other person of nobility, Aguirre assures that Guzmán cannot ever turn back or get second thoughts on their rebellion. Given that Guzmán is pretty incompetent compared to Aguirre, it is clear that the real power will stay with Aguirre.
* PyrrhicVillainy: Aguirre and his henchmen triumph over the good guys, only to meet their own doom.
* RedHerringTwist: The men on the raft that is trapped in an eddy get killed by Indians overnight, but three of them have vanished. Armando explicitly wonders what happened to them. We never find out, and plotwise the whole incident serves only as a pretext for Aguirre to show disobedience to Ursúa. Similarly, it is never answered what the wounded Ursúa hides in his fist, if anything. It's brought up twice, but it seems to be totally insignificant in the end.
* RiverOfInsanity: The whole plot.
* RousingSpeech: Aguirre gives two of these of importance: First he persuades the men who accompany him to mutiny, and the second is ironic because [[spoiler:the people he tries to rouse are all dead]].
* ScaryBlackMan: Parodied when a black slave is forced to remove his clothes and run ahead of the soldiers in the belief that he will scare the natives.
* SceneryPorn
* {{Shout Out}}:
** Two cases of wacky BlackComedy that often strike viewers as bizarre are actually shout-outs to Literature/TheIcelandicSagas: The severed head counting 'ten' and the lethally wounded man commenting "the long arrows are becoming a fashion" are scenes taken nearly word-for-word from ''Njál's Saga'' and ''Literature/GrettirsSaga'' respectively. The latter instance is, however, not in the English dub.
** Aguirre's line "What is a throne but a plank red with velvet?" is an authentic quote from NapoleonBonaparte.
* SinisterMinister: Oily Carvajal, who manages to be a religious fanatic ''and'' a corrupt, greedy hypocrite at the same time.
* SlidingScaleOfCynicismVersusIdealism: A very cynical movie.
* ThrowItIn: A lot of scenes were improvised on the spot or were complete accidents. For example, the scene where the raft is destroyed was an accident captured on film.
* TranquilFury: When Aguirre makes his final monologue proclaiming eternal vengeance on any who would disobey him, to a raft of corpses and monkeys no less, he speaks with in a low, sedate voice. This was a case of EnforcedMethodActing.
* UnreliableNarrator: Carvajal.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The story is a conflation of the historical Pizarro-Orellana expedition of 1541-42 with the Ursúa-Aguirre expedition of 1560, seasoned with a taste of Joseph Conrad's ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness''.
* VillainProtagonist: Aguirre.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Herzog was travelling with a soccer team while writing the script, and one of them got drunk and vomited on the first several pages he'd done, rendering them illegible. To this day, he has no memory of what was on the lost pages.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** What happened to the horse?
** The ship in the treetops is never resolved. What is known by WordOfGod is that the ship originally was part of a subplot that was dropped in the course of filming (it was intended to be a real ship, not a hallucination). As to how it did get up there ... well ...

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