Iquitos is a town isolated in the middle of the jungle in Peru. One resident of the small town, 'Fitzcarraldo ', as the natives call him, dreams of bringing together Enrico Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt for one great celebration of Grand Opera. To finance this fantastic dream, Fitzcarraldo decides to exploit a vast area of rubber trees growing beyond the impassable Ucayala Falls. To circumvent this barrier, he literally has his huge steamboat lifted over a mountain from one branch of the river to the other. With the aid of a tribe of Indians bewitched by the voice of the greatest singer of all time, Enrico Caruso, Fitzcarraldo fights fever, mosquitoes and suffocating heat to achieve the impossible.