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Chariots of the Gods (German: Erinnerungen an die Zukunft) is a 1970 West German documentary film directed by Harald Reinl. It is based on Erich von Däniken's book Chariots of the Gods?, a book that theorizes extraterrestrials impacted early human life. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[2][3] It was the 9th highest grossing film of 1970.[1]

Chariots of the Gods
Film Poster for Chariots of the Gods.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarald Reinl
Produced byManfred Barthel
Günther Eulau
Written byHarald Reinl
Wilhelm Roggersdorf
Erich von Däniken
Narrated byHeinz-Detlev Bock
Klaus Kindler
Christian Marschall
Music byPeter Thomas
CinematographyErnst Wild
Edited byHermann Haller
Distributed byTerra Film
Release date
  • 26 April 1970 (1970-04-26)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryWest Germany
Box office$25.9 million[1]


The film begins by introducing the Cargo Cults established by South Pacific Natives after coming in contact with American planes in World War II. It claims that is likely that all religions began in a similar fashion. The viewer is then presented with various ancient texts, architecture, and artwork. Some of these include the Bible, the Pyramids, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Nazca Lines.


Upon its release in the US, Chariots of Gods grossed 25,948,300 dollars, making it the 9th highest grossing film of 1970. [1] Film critic Phil Hall said, "They don't make films like this anymore, and we should be glad for that." The film was criticized for a lack of scientific evidence. Roger Ebert called it, "Science Fiction."[4]

Other versionsEdit

The film was edited and dubbed into English in a 1973 American TV documentary, In Search of Ancient Astronauts, narrated by Rod Serling.[5] This version was also shown in many schools in the 1970s, distributed through 16 mm film prints.[5][citation needed]

The film was released in the UK in 1971, in a version cut to 55 minutes and as a support[clarification needed] to the film The Railway Children.


  1. ^ a b c "Erinnerungen an die Zukunft (1970)".
  2. ^ "The 43rd Academy Awards (1971) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  3. ^ "NY Times: Chariots of the Gods". NY Times. Archived from the original on 15 March 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Interview with Robert Ardrey | Interviews | Roger Ebert".
  5. ^ a b In Search of Ancient Astronauts at Internet Movie Database

External linksEdit