The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner

The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (German: Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner) is a 1974 documentary film by German filmmaker Werner Herzog. It is about Walter Steiner, a celebrated ski jumper of his era who worked as a carpenter for his full-time occupation. Showcased is Steiner's quest for a world record in ski flying, as well as the dangers involved in the sport. Herzog has called it "one of my most important films."[1]

The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner.png
Film poster
Directed byWerner Herzog
Produced byWerner Herzog
Written byWerner Herzog
Narrated byWerner Herzog
Music byPopol Vuh
CinematographyJörg Schmidt-Reitwein
Edited byBeate Mainka-Jellinghaus
Distributed byWerner Herzog Filmproduktion
Release date
Running time
45 minutes
CountryWest Germany
  • German
  • English
BudgetDEM 72.000 (estimated)


The film includes footage shot in the German towns of Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as well as Planica in Yugoslavia (now Slovenia). The film was made as part of a series for a German television station, which restricted in some ways the content. Herzog's original cut was 60 minutes long, but it was edited down to 45 minutes to fit in a one-hour television spot. The station also required Herzog himself to appear on camera, which he had not typically done in his previous documentaries.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Herzog, Werner (2001). Herzog on Herzog. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-20708-4.
  2. ^ Brogan, Jacob (2018-02-19). "Werner Herzog's Genius 1974 Ski-Jumping Film Is a Sports Movie and Nature Documentary in One". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2019-01-02.

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