10 Essential Werner Herzog Movies, From Divine Wrath to Gonzo Docs

A quick what-you-need-to-see primer on the legendary German filmmaker's work, from crazed conquistadors to 3-D cave tours

'Even Dwarfs Started Small' (1970)

In which a group of little people break out of the institutional facility they live in, and proceed to take over their island habitat – yes, it is as weird as it sounds. It's also a brilliant introduction to Herzog's singular artistic sensibility, his ability to take allegories into some acid-trip territory and his facility for producing unforgettable imagery (once you've seen his cast stage a simian mock-crucifixation, you will never forget it), as well as a great preview of the shape of things to come. After several on-set injuries, the director promised to jump into a cacti patch (!) if the production proceeded sans accidents. The cast stayed unharmed until it wrapped – and Herzog kept his word.