The American Friend

(Der amerikanische Freund)
West Germany/France 1977. Dir: Wim Wenders. 126 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! ► Wim Wenders’s audacious adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley’s Game is, in our humble opinion, one of the great films of the 1970s — and perhaps the perfect meeting of contemporary German angst and anxious American noir. Paying homage to the cinema of American mavericks Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller (both of whom appear in the film), and also full of references to Hitchcock (whose Strangers on a Train was a Highsmith adaptation), this moody thriller stars Dennis Hopper as Tom Ripley, an expat American and shady art dealer with a serious case of existential despair. Befriending Jonathan Zimmerman (Bruno Ganz), a Hamburg picture framer and family man with an incurable blood disorder, Ripley schemes to convince him to carry out a contract killing. Wenders’s film, a sadly beautiful incantation of movie magic, is superbly filmed by Robbie Müller in a style inspired by American painter Edward Hopper.


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REVIEWS

"Hypnotic ... So much atmosphere we're almost swimming in it."

Roger Ebert | full review