Cobra Verde

Released 1988


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Movie Summary

Werner Herzog
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Cobra Verde is the 1987 adventure drama adapted from the novel by Bruce Chatwin, and brought to vivid life by celebrated documentarian and quirky filmmaker Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Rescue Dawn, Bad Lieutenant). In the Nineteenth Century, in Bahia, the bandit Francisco Manoel da Silva aka Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski, Creature, Venom) is feared and respected by the locals. He is hired by the lord Octavio Coutinho (Jos' Lewgoy) to work as henchman in one of his plantations of sugar cane, supervising the slaves and the production of sugar. When the three daughters of Octavio are pregnant of Cobra Verde, he is sent to Almeria, in the West of Africa, to negotiate slaves with the crazy African King Abomey, in times when this trade was prohibited by Great Britain. The loneliness associated to the fact of being the only white man in Almeria drives Cobra Verde to insanity.


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New Republic Stanley Kauffmann

    It is too weak to say that Herzog disregards conventions of narrative structure and editing: he is there to punish us for attending his film and to make us enjoy it. Other director...

  • 75

    TV Guide Maitland McDonagh

    Linear storytelling was never Herzog's strong suit even under the best of conditions. His strength lies in capturing lucid lunacy on film, and Manoel da Silva's descent into the ja...

  • 50

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Connoisseurs of craziness need wait no longer. Cobra Verde opens today in all its feral, baffling glory. Along with "Aguirre" and "Fitzcarraldo," Cobra Verde completes a trilogy of...

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