||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
|Directed by||Werner Herzog|
|Produced by||Willi Segler|
|Written by||Werner Herzog|
|Music by||Chet Atkins
|Editing by||Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus|
Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
|Distributed by||New Yorker Films (USA)
Palace Video (UK)
|Running time||116 minutes|
Stroszek is a 1977 film by German director Werner Herzog. It was written in four days specifically for Bruno S. and was shot in Berlin, two towns in Wisconsin, and in North Carolina. Most of the lead roles are played by non-actors.
Bruno Stroszek (Bruno S.) is a Berlin street performer. Released from prison and warned to stop drinking, he immediately goes to a familiar bar where he comforts Eva (Eva Mattes), a prostitute down on her luck, and lets her stay with him at the apartment his landlord kept for him. They are then harried and beaten by Eva's former pimps, who insult Bruno, pull his accordion apart and humiliate him by making him kneel on his grand piano with bells balanced on his back. Faced with the prospect of further harassment, Bruno and Eva decide to leave Germany and accompany Bruno's eccentric elderly neighbour Scheitz (Clemens Scheitz), who was planning to move to Wisconsin to live with his American nephew Clayton.
After sightseeing in New York City they buy a used car and arrive in a winter-bound, barren prairie near the fictional town of 'Railroad Flats'. There Bruno works as a mechanic with Clayton and his Native American helper, Eva as a waitress at a truck stop and Scheitz pursues his interest in animal magnetism. The pair buy a trailer which is sited on Clayton's land, but as bills mount, the bank threatens to repossess it. Eva falls back into prostitution to supplement her wages, but it is not enough to meet the payments. She tires of Bruno's drunken ramblings and deserts him by leaving with a couple of truck drivers bound for Vancouver.
A man from the bank (Scott McKain) visits Bruno, who is now drinking steadily, and has him sign off on the repossession. The home is auctioned, and he and Scheitz, who is convinced that the world is conspiring against him, set off to confront the "conspiracy." Finding the bank closed, they hold up a barber shop beneath it, make off with 32 dollars and then go shopping in a small store across the street. The police arrive and arrest Scheitz for armed robbery without noticing Bruno.
Holding a large frozen turkey from the store and the shotgun, Bruno returns to the garage where he works, loads the tow truck with beer, and drives along a highway into the mountains.
Upon entering a small town, the truck breaking down, Bruno pulls over to a restaurant, where he tells his story to a German-speaking businessman. He then starts the truck, leaves it circling in the parking lot with a fire taking hold in the engine compartment and goes into a tourist trap across the street, where he starts a ski-lift and rides it with his frozen turkey. After Bruno disappears from view a single shot rings out. The police arrive at the scene to find the truck is now fully ablaze. The film ends with a sequence showing a chicken dancing, a chicken playing a piano and a rabbit riding a toy fire truck, in coin operated attractions that Bruno activated on his way to the ski-lift.
Parts of the movie were shot in Nekoosa and in a truck stop in Madison, Wisconsin. The concluding scenes were shot in Cherokee, North Carolina. Other parts of the film were shot in Plainfield, Wisconsin. There, Herzog had planned to meet documentary filmmaker Errol Morris to dig up serial killer Ed Gein's mother's grave, but Morris never showed.
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In pop culture 
- It is known that one of the last things Ian Curtis of the band Joy Division did, just prior to committing suicide in 1980, was watching the film, as well as listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot.
- An audio clip of dialogue from Stroszek is used in the beginning of the Ratatat song "Drugs" on the 2010 album LP4 (as well as at the end of "Bilar").
- Mike Lisk, Associate Producer of The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling is a strong proponent of the film.
- Stroszek at the Internet Movie Database
- Stroszek at Rotten Tomatoes
- Canby, Vincent (July 13, 1977). "Movie Review - - STROSZEK". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-25.