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The American Friend (1977)

Der amerikanische Freund (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 28 September 1977 (France)
Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.

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(novel),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Raoul Minot
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Der Amerikaner
Peter Lilienthal ...
Marcangelo
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Igraham
Sandy Whitelaw ...
Arzt in Paris
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Freundlicher Mann
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Rodolphe
Andreas Dedecke ...
Daniel
David Blue ...
Allan Winter
Stefan Lennert ...
Auktionator
...
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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

28 September 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The American Friend  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Paris Metro station where the murder takes place - La Defence - was a new station at the time. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References The General (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Much on My Mind
Written by Ray Davies
Performed by The Kinks
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User Reviews

 
Another "classic" that should be debunked
25 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

I consider myself to be a Wim Wenders fan - sort of. I liked Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas. But The American Friend, despite some great location and architectural camera-work, is really a failed experiment. The problem is that Wenders seems unsure about whose point of view he is really taking. Dennis Hopper's Ripley is certainly more intriguing to him than Ganz's poor sad sack - and he tries to tell it from Ripley's point of view. But Wenders never really gets a handle on what makes the character tick - he's just Hopper doing crazy stuff. Ganz's character is really the soul of the movie - faced with uncertainties and painful decisions, and being at an existential loss to know how to live out his life. His story is the compelling one - and his character is the empathetic one. But we keep bouncing back to Ripley for unconvincing "character arcs" and increasingly more preposterous scenarios.

There are some exciting and suspenseful moments in the middle of the film, but the prolonged and (unintentionally?) comic climax left me disappointed and disengaged. I don't mind films that are ambiguous. In fact, I relish them. This film is seeks to be ambiguous and open ended, is actually crippled by inconsistencies, contradictions, and just plain undeveloped and vague scenarios.

Hopper is hyper-kinetic and is more amusing than threatening. Ganz is the counterpoint, with his quiet, soulful performance.


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