A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.
On location in Portugal, a film crew runs out of film while making their own version of Roger Corman's Day the World Ended (1955). The producer is nowhere to be found and director Friedrich... See full summary »
The Provence, somewhere in the 1950's. Paul Verdier, traveling salesman, leaves his home and his quarrelsome wife for his weekly round. On the train he meets a young woman, Marie, who looks... See full summary »
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
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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