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

 |  Drama  |  30 May 1975 (Denmark)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,083 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

Cast overview:
Karl Scheydt ...
Ricky
Elga Sorbas ...
Rosa von Praunheim
Jan George ...
Jan
Hark Bohm ...
Doc
Marius Aicher ...
Polizist
...
Zimmermädchen
...
Zigeuner
Katrin Schaake ...
Magdalena Fuller
Ingrid Caven ...
Sängerin
Eva Ingeborg Scholz ...
Rickys Mutter
Kurt Raab ...
Rickys Bruder
Irm Hermann ...
Hure
Gustl Datz ...
Polizeipräsident
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

30 May 1975 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The American Soldier  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 280,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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 »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Fassbinder in Hollywood (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

With My Tears
Performed by Ingrid Caven.
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User Reviews

 
Fassbinder's world
24 December 2002 | by (Mass) – See all my reviews



This is an early Fassbinder film, and from what I've seen, one of the best of his first 11 (which make up his first stage as a filmmaker). It's Fassbinder in gangster mode, and has been called an homage to film noir or even a parody of film noir. This isn't the case though. The movie is just film noir done by Fassbinder. There are little homages here and there, the beginning and end could be seen as being inspired by Breathless (taken to ridiculous extremes), and there are lots of filmmakers names used as characters, but Fassbinder isn't winking at the camera so much as just being himself, which back then, could be quite bizarre. In fact, this might be one of Fassbinder's most bizarre movies.

The camera stands still, characters occasionally deliver seemingly unrelated monologues, unusual plot lines are treated nonchalantly (Ricky's brother is in love with him?), people about to be killed don't seem to be worried, and the singlehandedly greatest song ever plays over and over again, crooning "so much tenderness is in my head, so much loneliness in my bed." To have this song play over scenes of a stone-cold amoral hitman (the title character) casually driving his car are perversely hilarious. Even better is when it plays in the end, in one of the greatest endings I've ever seen (you'll have to check it out).

The recent release of this film on DVD should help bring it some attention, as its now available for a pretty reasonable price from Wellspring. If you're looking for one of Fassbinder's more mature, professional, socially poignant melodramas, maybe this isn't the movie for you. If you're interested in an extremely unique unclassifiable early Fassbinder, by all means, check this out. Despite the occasional nods to past filmmakers, it's surprising how unique Fassbinder was from the start.

(for those who are Jim Jarmusch fans, it's apparent films like these must have inspired the detached humor in some of his more recent films).


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