Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
Kaspar Hauser had reportedly spent his entire life alone in a dungeon until an unknown man left him in Nuremburg’s town square in 1828. The young foundling, who could barely read or write, drew the attention of the public and was exhibited as a carnival sideshow attraction. Teacher Georg Friedrich Daumer then took him in with plans to educate him. The story picks up two years later, when the artistic young man is subjected to questioning by academics, clergy, and noblemen to assess his progress. An English lord expresses an interest in adopting Kaspar. But the wilful “child of nature” does not live up to their expectations. In the final analysis, he remains alien and, in the end, falls victim to violence … “It seems to me that my coming into this world was a terribly hard fall,” is how Kaspar describes the encounter with the Biedermeier-esque bourgeoisie that graced him with a respectable education. More entranced by the legends than the facts of the Kaspar Hauser case, Werner Herzog uses carefully staged camera tableaux to portray the “wild child” as a maladjusted contrarian determined to vex the immutable bourgeois order.
by Werner Herzog
with Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira, Hans Musäus, Willy Semmelrogge, Michael Kroecher, Henry van Lyck, Enno Patalas, Volker Elis Pilgrim, Volker Prechtel, Herbert Achternbusch, Clemens Scheitz, Alfred Edel
Federal Republic of Germany 1974 German 109’ Colour DCP: Studiocanal, Berlin Rating R12

For the 2023 Retrospective, internationally renowned directors, actors, and screenwriters were asked to select their personal coming-of-age favourites.
Mohammad Rasoulof on his selection


  • Bruno S.
  • Walter Ladengast
  • Brigitte Mira
  • Hans Musäus
  • Willy Semmelrogge
  • Michael Kroecher
  • Henry van Lyck
  • Enno Patalas
  • Volker Elis Pilgrim
  • Volker Prechtel
  • Herbert Achternbusch
  • Clemens Scheitz
  • Alfred Edel


Director Werner Herzog
Screenplay Werner Herzog
Cinematography Klaus Wyborny, Werner Herzog, Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein
Editing Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus
Music Popol Vuh
Sound Haymo Henry Heyder
Production Design Henning von Gierke
Costumes Gisela Storch, Ann Poppel
Make-Up Susanne Schröder
Production Manager Walter Saxer
Producer Werner Herzog
Commissioning Editor Willi Segler

Produced by

Werner Herzog Filmproduktion


Additional information

DCP: Studiocanal, Berlin