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


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




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

17 May 1974 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Alice in the Cities  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


DEM 500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Composer Irmin Schmidt did not see the film before recording the music. Instead he sat with Wim Wenders over the course of one day and wrote the score in collaboration with the director. See more »


At 59:17 when Alice is coming out of the toilet, the door handle in the close-up is reverse (l-r) compared with the next shot when she opens the door. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Wanderlust (2006) See more »


Memphis Tennesse
Written and performed by Chuck Berry
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User Reviews

a charming film, Paper Moon fans might enjoy
12 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is easily one of Wenders' most accessible films of the 70s (along with the American Friend, 1976). Alice in den Stätden was originally released in the states after Paper Moon (Ryan, Tatum O'Neal) premiered and bears a slight resemblance to the story. In the case of Alice, this little girl gets stuck with a reluctant photojournalist and together they cross Germany in search of her grandmother's house. It differs from Wenders' other road movies in that it's plot line actually has some element of suspense to keep the momentum forward.

It's very entertaining for the charm of the characters, especially Yella Rottländer as Alice. She shines here as a very self-possessed, precocious youngster who disrupts the life of the familiar, detached, angst-ridden protagonist, Philip (Rudiger Volger).

There are small details captured in this film that are noteworthy to fans as well as casual viewers. The old organ at Shea Stadium (long since removed) is briefly shown in one early scene . The monorail in Wüppertal is featured in another sequence (one of the first monorails built). There is a lot of urban decay documented in their travels, particularly in the Ruhr district scenes but all of that can't detract from the humor of the 2 lead characters' playful interactions. The shot of Philip and Alice mimicking each other doing calisthenics offsets all the dreariness and alienation in one scene. The optimistic ending is a very satisfying one. This is a beautiful gem of a film if you can find it.

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