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Alice in the Cities (1974)

Alice in den Städten (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 May 1974 (West Germany)
A German journalist is saddled with a nine-year-old girl after encountering her mother at a New York airport.

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Writers:

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rüdiger Vogler ...
Yella Rottländer ...
Alice
Lisa Kreuzer ...
Lisa - Alice's Mother (as Elisabeth Kreuzer)
Edda Köchl ...
Angela - Friend in New York
Ernest Boehm ...
Publisher
Sam Presti ...
Car Dealer
...
Airport Hostess
Didi Petrikat ...
Friend in Frankfurt
Hans Hirschmüller ...
Police Officer
Sibylle Baier ...
The Woman
Mirko
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Storyline

German journalist Philip Winter has a case of writer's block when trying to write an article about the United States. He decides to return to Germany, and while trying to book a flight, encounters a German woman and her nine year old daughter Alice doing the same. The three become friends (almost out of necessity) and while the mother asks Winter to mind Alice temporarily, it quickly becomes apparent that Alice will be his responsibility for longer than he expected. After returning to Europe, the innocent friendship between Winter and Alice grows as they travel together through various European cities on a quest for Alice's grandmother. Written by Karl Engel <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

17 May 1974 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Alice in the Cities  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character and actor also played a character also called Philip Winter in Wenders film to the end of the world in 1991 See more »

Goofs

Crew are reflected in the side of the car (at around 46 mins) (sound man, microphone and other crew) See more »

Quotes

Lisa - Alice's Mother: What are you writing?
Philip 'Phil' Winter: The inhuman thing about American TV is not so much that they hack everything up with commercials, though that's bad enough, but in the end all programmes become commercials. Commercials for the status quo. Every image radiates the same disgusting and nauseated message. A kind of boastful contempt. Not one image leaves you in peace, they all want something from you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Road Again
Written by Floyd Jones and Alan Wilson
Performed by Canned Heat
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the spaces between self-discovery
7 July 2011 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

I might have been Alice. Or was I too fearful, too cared for, too lost in myself? Was I born at the wrong time? When I watch this film, I'm reminded of a line from another of director Wim Wenders' films: "Life is in colour, but black & white is more realistic". I'm still not sure if I believe that, but there are memories that seem more a thing of light and shadow than of colour. And this is, after all, a black & white film. "Alice in the Cities" is as much about its other main character, Philip Winter, as Alice herself. Him, I have been. Lost out on the highways of New Brunswick and Maine, lonely hotel holidays all by myself with no one to comfort or to talk with. I wanted to smash that television just as he does in an early scene, but it was my only companion through the long night ahead.

"Alice in the Cities" is the first of three consecutive films by Wim Wenders about the open road, each starring Rüdiger Vogler as a similar, if not identical character. The second, "The Wrong Movement" (Falsche Bewegung) (1975), is an incredibly difficult slog of total human alienation. The third, and much better than the second film, "Kings of the Road" (Im Lauf der Zeit) (1976) is similar to this one, as Mr. Winter continues his journeys through the German countryside.

This is a film about childhood relationships - not those we have with our peers, but those of a greater age. This makes perfect sense to me, as I would without fail seek out the company of an adult over the fleeting fancies of ones closer to me. To me, anything past fully grown would blur together, all except for the very old. Philip isn't comfortable with children, just as I have become over time. It is a hallmark of those who feel that they have never outgrown their own childhood, who feel so lost inside the adult world that the past feels foreign to a present that will never fit. Their belief that living in the future is futile keeps them grounded in today, their only salvation from a life spent dreaming.

Reality is harsh in "Alice in the Cities". The release comes where life lives. The precious and precocious sensation of human interaction runs like a vein through the center of everything. This is a story suitable for anyone, not because it holds back, but because it is all in. In love with the very same world it fears, holding the hands of the same dream on whose feet it steps on. Like we all do in life. This film feels exactly like those first two or three years of your earliest memories. If you let it, you'll be taken further back than you'd have ever imagined.


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