The American Friend

The American Friend

DVD - 2016
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A young picture framer thinks that he has terminal disease and is set up to become a hired assassin in West Germany because of the lure of quick money.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : The Criterion Collection, [2016]
Edition: Director approved two-DVD special edition
ISBN: 9781681430980
Branch Call Number: MOVIE AME
Language Note: In English, French and German, with optional English subtitles; optional SDH captioning
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (126 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,5.1 surround,Dolby digital,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda


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Dec 07, 2017

Less pretentious than "Wings of Desire" but just as meandering, Wim Wenders’ stab at “noir lite” is a road movie without a map, a buddy flick without any friends, and a gangster film with no good guys in sight. Nicely lit and tinted (apparently Wenders and cinematographer Robby Müller were inspired by American painter Edward Hopper) "The American Friend" is definitely appealing to the eye and aside from Dennis Hopper’s mechanical performance everyone else puts on a good show including a host of fellow directors playing bad guys (Samuel Fuller?!). But if there is any point to the film it is obscured by arty detours, abrupt edits (which city are we in now?), and pacing that slows to a crawl except for two memorable scenes: one in a Paris metro station where Zimmerman stalks his first victim and the other on a speeding train. What motivates Zimmerman is made clear—he wants the money. But Wenders’ attempts to expound on the psychological fallout from his actions make for some frustratingly murky cinema full of U-turns and dead ends.

Nov 20, 2017

So incoherent that, as the film progresses, it becomes comic instead of dramatic. What happens when film-makers begin shooting without a solid screenplay.

ArapahoeAlison Aug 13, 2017

Super great Wim Wender's movie based on a Patricia Highsmith book. Interesting plot with beautiful cinematography.

May 26, 2017

Moody and intriguing, this is one of Wenders' most accessible films, effective as a Hitchockian thriller (Strangers on a Train), existential character study, and allegory about the corruptible yet irreversible impact of American pop culture on Germany.

Aug 15, 2016

The American Friend is loosely based upon Patricia Highsmith’s psychological suspense/murder novel Ripley’s game. This is the same (Tom) Ripley played by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley and played by Alain Delon in Purple Noon, and played by John Malkovich in Ripley’s Game. Highsmith is also the author of Strangers on the Train, which was spotted by Hitchcock and made into one of his top five films (my opinion). Wenders adds a touch of surrealism with the seemingly half-crazed acting of Dennis Hopper (who even outdoes his crazed acting of this film in Apocalyse Now and in Blue Velvet).

Dec 07, 2012

Visually rich characters and locations. This copy has commentary with Wim and Dennis in 2002. Some interesting facts about the making of the film are sprinkled into the commentary (Dennis is pretty subdued, it's mostly Wim). The score is fantastic, some of the best original music for a film in this era. Well worth the wait.

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