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Wings of Desire (1987)

Der Himmel über Berlin (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 6 May 1988 (USA)
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.



, (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,936 ( 503)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 18 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans Martin Stier ...
In weiteren Rollen - Der Sterbende
Elmar Wilms ...
In weiteren Rollen - Ein trauriger Mann
Sigurd Rachman ...
In weiteren Rollen - Der Selbstmörder
Beatrice Manowski ...
In weiteren Rollen - Das Strichmädchen
Lajos Kovács ...
Im Zirkus - Marion's Trainer
Bruno Rosaz ...
Im Zirkus - Der Clown
Laurent Petitgand ...
Im Zirkus - Der Kapellmeister
Chick Ortega ...
Im Zirkus - Der Schlagzeuger (as Chico Rojo Ortega)
Otto Kuhnle ...
Im Zirkus - Die Jongleure
Christoph Merg ...
Im Zirkus - Der Jongleure


Visible only to those like them and to human children, Damiel and Cassiel are two angels, who have existed even before humankind. Along with several other angels, they currently wander around West Berlin, generally on their own, observing and preserving life, sometimes trying to provide comfort to the troubled, although those efforts are not always successful. Among those they are currently observing are: the cast and crew of a movie - a detective story set in WWII Nazi Germany - which include a sensitive and perceptive Peter Falk; an elderly man named Homer looking for eternal peace; and the troupe of a financially failing circus, which has closed early for the season because of those financial problems. One day, Damiel tells Cassiel that he wants to become human, to feel not only the sensory aspects of physical beings, but also emotional aspects. He embarks on this thought with the full realization that there is no turning back if he decides to do so. His thoughts are largely ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

suicide | library | angel | circus | berlin | See All (62) »


There are angels on the streets of Berlin.


Drama | Fantasy | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sky Above Berlin  »

Box Office


$3,806,540 (USA) (18 September 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor)| (partly)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the scene in the Berlin Library, Damiel leans over a young man who reads: "Ha'Aretz haita tohu-va-vohu". This is the second verse of the book of Genesis in Biblical Hebrew, and basically means "the land was in chaos". See more »


The position of the trapeze artists' arms change after Bruno stands in her trailer. See more »


[first lines]
[in German, using English subtitles]
Damiel: [voiceover] When the child was a child, it walked with its arms swinging. It wanted the stream to be a river, the river a torrent, and this puddle to be the sea. When the child was a child, it didn't know it was a child. Everything was full of life, and all life was one. When the child was a child, it had no opinion about anything, no habits. It often sat cross-legged, took off running, had a cowlick in its hair, and didn't make faces when ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to all the former angels, but especially to Yasujiro, François and Andrej. See more »


Referenced in Wings of Desire: The Angels Among Us (2003) See more »


Pas Attendre
by Sprung Aus Den Wolken
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Remarkable Achievement
10 November 1999 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A visually beautiful film, which boasts one of the most poetic and literary scripts ever- the dreamlike poetry of the dialogue fits seamlessly in with the overpowering visuals. The acting is of very high callibre too, with Peter Falk adding a very welcome dimension to the film and Bruno Ganz proving a master at acting via expression and nuance. The storyline is nice and simple and is given much additional poignancy and depth by the way Wenders directed, Henri Alekan photographed and the choice of music for certain scenes- the use of Nick Cave's "The Carney" is especially perfect for the scene in which it was used, as was the music during the main scene where we get to see Marion's Trapeze act- the music, visual mastery and the act itself combine to stunningly entrancing effect. That 100 people have given this film a 1/10 mark is almost beyond belief, as it is an absolute joy from start to finish. Rating:- ***** (out of *****)

108 of 130 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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