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The American Soldier (1970)
"Der amerikanische Soldat" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  30 May 1975 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,047 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 22 critic

Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects ... See full summary »

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Cast overview:
Karl Scheydt ...
Elga Sorbas ...
Rosa von Praunheim
Jan George ...
Hark Bohm ...
Marius Aicher ...
Katrin Schaake ...
Magdalena Fuller
Ingrid Caven ...
Eva Ingeborg Scholz ...
Rickys Mutter
Kurt Raab ...
Rickys Bruder
Irm Hermann ...
Gustl Datz ...


Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects his old neighborhood with his childhood accomplice Franz Walsch, and pays a short visit to his mother and doting brother. When Ricky asks the hotel clerk for a girl, one of the cops sends his girlfriend Rosa. However, she falls for the killer. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

30 May 1975 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The American Soldier  »

Box Office


DEM 280,000 (estimated)

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Ricky: W as in war, A as in Alamo, L as in Lenin, S as in science fiction, C as in crime, and H as in Hell.
See more »


References Murder by Contract (1958) See more »


With My Tears
Performed by Ingrid Caven.
See more »

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User Reviews

The 2 Sides Of Fastbinder
23 January 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I find it mind boggling how I can be so very impressed with some of Fastbinders films like "Chinese Roulette", "Warum Lauft Herr R. Amok" and the film "I only want you to love me" and see them not only as extremely polished well crafted and well conceived, but almost flawless. Like most directors, even those as mighty as Martin Scorcese, some types of movies he is extremely GOOD at making, and others, he fails miserably. In essence, Fastbinder is extremely GOOD at making mundane more or less boring films, and one thing I've learned from this movie, and his film "gotter Der pest", is that when it comes to crime dramas, he fails in almost every way when there is too much action, and simply cannot construct a movie with a coherent plot line.

I don't agree with the term "Art House" as being a true genre, but basically when you call a movie "art house" what you essentially mean to say is that events in the film make little or no rational sense which runs on similar lines to "surrealist cinema". These genres are SUPPOSED to have incoherent plots and illogical situations, which in a film utilising a standard approach, would make the film complete trash. The problem is where do you draw the line between recognizing a movie as being creative, and far out, or recognizing it as a poorly crafted movie with lousy plot development, plot holes, sub par acting, and flawed in general.

Indeed there are WAYS to pull off a good surrealist or "art house" type movie without going too far, and managing to achieve strong meaning, however films like these do not do that. It seems as though the director throws in insane off the wall moments as childish distractions to a movie being overall led by dull acting and no real point: moments such as the couple being shot while laughing hysterically. When the main character leaps up and kisses the maid who then falls into a deadpan trance. When the maid sits on the end of the bed and recants a meaningless story as the couple are making love. The moment where the main character almost french kisses his mother. The moment where he shoots blanks at a woman on the ground, and worst of all, the suicide, where a woman kills herself with one stab wound to the STOMACH, whereby she drops dead seconds later, which is more or less impossible. All of these things are pointless, having no other aim than cheap shock value, and all of them compiled into one film is simply too much to handle. The problem is that the result is, you simply cannot take anything in the film very seriously, and therefore cannot really find any meaning or poignancy to the film whatsoever, which is culminated in the ending where the man is rolling on the floor all about his dead brothers body who had just been shot. The only thing that passed through my mind was "oh.. another silly little thing to end the film on"

The general approach, riddled with these ridiculous moments aside, the plot is simply not very cohesive or well crafted. The entire film consists of the main character murdering people seemingly at random and for no reason while the police idly attempt to catch him. The film begins with the main character returning to the town, and the police suddenly become aware of him, apparently he is just that infamous which was given no background at all. Also the way he gets his tips from a random porn seller, the first person who's help he seeks is very contrived. All of this culminates with the ending, which is totally ludicrous; the most ill conceived amateurish "sting" operation ever, very badly directed and with an unrealistic finish. The worst aspect about this, is that there has been no attention to the efforts of the police who are trying to catch him. They just suddenly show up at a train station, conveniently waiting for him out of nowhere.

Fastbinder doing crime drama simply does not work, and I find it hard to believe how any scene in this half overdone half underdone film can resonate at all. The only thing to say about this film really is; there's nothing going on here.

4 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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