How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck (film)

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How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck
How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck 1976 film.jpg
Title card
Directed by Werner Herzog
Produced by Werner Herzog
Written by Werner Herzog
Starring Werner Herzog
Steve Liptay
Ralph Wade
Alan Ball
Abe Diffenbach
Narrated by Werner Herzog
Cinematography Thomas Mauch[1]
Edited by Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus[1]
Distributed by Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
Release date
February 14, 1977 (West Germany)
Running time
45 minutes
Country West Germany
Language English

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck (German: Beobachtungen zu einer neuen Sprache, literally "Observations of a New Language") is a 1976 documentary film by German director Werner Herzog, produced by Werner Herzog Filmproduktion.[2] It is a 44-minute film documenting the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship held in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Herzog has said that he believes auctioneering to be "the last poetry possible, the poetry of capitalism."[3] Herzog describes the auctioneering as an "extreme language ... frightening but quite beautiful at the same time."[4]

Herzog used two of the featured auctioneers as actors in his later film Stroszek.

Cinematographer Edward Lachman got his start working with Herzog on this film; he would work on La Soufrière (1977) shortly after.[5]


  1. ^ a b Cronin, Paul (2014). Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Faber and Faber. p. 524. ISBN 9780571259779. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Aitken, Ian (2013). The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film. New York: Routledge. p. 363. ISBN 9780415596428. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  3. ^ DVD audio commentary for Stroszek
  4. ^ Herzog, Werner; Cronin, Paul (2002). Herzog on Herzog. London; New York: Faber and Faber. p. 140. ISBN 9780571207084. 
  5. ^ LoBrutto, Vincent (1999). Principal photography : interviews with feature film cinematographers. Westport, Conn. : Praeger. p. 122. ISBN 9780275949549. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 

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