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The American Friend (1977)
"Der amerikanische Freund" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,846 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 38 critic

Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lisa Kreuzer ...
Gérard Blain ...
Raoul Minot
Nicholas Ray ...
Samuel Fuller ...
Der Amerikaner
Peter Lilienthal ...
Marcangelo
...
Igraham
Sandy Whitelaw ...
Arzt in Paris
Jean Eustache ...
Freundlicher Mann
...
Rodolphe
Andreas Dedecke ...
David Blue ...
Allan Winter
Stefan Lennert ...
Auktionator
Rudolf Schündler ...
Gantner
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Storyline

Tom Ripley has a sweet deal with an art forger. The forger creates the paintings; Tom sells them. But another criminal business associate wants Tom to go in for an even riskier enterprise: murder. Tom suggests his associate ask a local picture framer instead. That man has a fatal disease, or so it's rumored. More, he has a wife and kid that surely he wouldn't want to leave penniless. Let this picture framer be a hit man, and no one will suspect. The terminally ill craftsman may agree to the misdeed, and several more, but he'll end up needing Tom Ripley in a pinch. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 June 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The American Friend  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wim Wenders has said that unlike most films, in which most of the sound is re-recorded in a studio, 99.5% of the sound in the film was recorded on location. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Derwatt: Who is it?
Tom Ripley: It's Ripley.
Derwatt: The door is open.
See more »

Connections

References The Third Man (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl
The Kinks
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User Reviews

Wenders' wonder. Don't overlook this one!
20 September 2001 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Wim Wenders' movies are really a matter of taste. His detractors find his movies to be painfully slow, drawn out, pretentious affairs. Even I can admit to finding the prospect of sitting through some of his movies (particularly 'Until the End of the World' and 'Faraway, So Close!') almost unbearable. But when Wenders is on form he is hard to beat for mysterious, multi-layered, genuinely haunting movies.

Some people regard 'The American Friend' as a total bore, but I found it to be anything but, and almost equal to his masterpieces 'Paris, Texas' and 'Wings Of Desire'. Sure it is slow, and bound to frustrate those with MTV-type attention spans, but bear with it, and you will be rewarded.

Bruno Ganz is first rate as the picture-framer turned reluctant hitman, and Dennis Hopper, who is often ridiculed for his over the top self parodic "crazy guy" roles, is quietly impressive as the enigmatic, almost poetic Ripley. Compare his performance (and this movie as a whole) with Matt Damon's obvious turn in the more recent 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'. It speaks volumes for how much less subtle and intelligent most contemporary movies have become.


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