Werner Herzog’s adaptation of Georg Büchner’s unfinished play about a tormented soldier, driven slowly mad during the course of the film, was famously filmed a few days after the completion of Nosferatu the Vampyre. An exhausted cast and crew assembled in Prague for the shoot, which was filmed in 18 days and edited in four. To mitigate their fatigue Herzog tried to capture scenes in as few takes as possible, resulting in the film’s urgent, theatrical atmosphere.
Herzog originally planned the title role for the enigmatic Bruno S., star of The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, but changed his mind at the last moment and turned to regular collaborator Klaus Kinski. Herzog made it up to Bruno by writing the film Stroszek especially for him.