IMDb > Wings of Desire (1987)
Der Himmel über Berlin
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Wings of Desire (1987) More at IMDbPro »Der Himmel über Berlin (original title)

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Wings of Desire -- Wings of Desire is one of cinema's loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts--fears, hopes, dreams--of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her.
Wings of Desire -- Interview: Wim Wenders "The Angels Among Us"


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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
6 May 1988 (USA) See more »
There are angels on the streets of Berlin.
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 21 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
human life has value See more (204 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Bruno Ganz ... Damiel

Solveig Dommartin ... Marion

Otto Sander ... Cassiel
Curt Bois ... Homer

Peter Falk ... Peter Falk
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
Peter Werner ... Im Zirkus - Der Manager
Susanne Vierkötter ... Im Zirkus
Paul Busch ... Im Zirkus
Karin Busch ... Im Zirkus
Irene Moessinger ... Im Zirkus (as Irene Mössinger)
Franky ... Im Zirkus - last but not least
Teresa Harder ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Daniela Nasimcova ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Bernard Eisenschitz ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Didier Flamand ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Rolf Henke ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Scott Kirby ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Franck Glemin ... In der Bibliothek - Die Engel
Jerry Barrish ... Im Bunker - Der Regisseur
Jeanette Pollak ... Im Bunker - Die Kostümbildnerin
Christian Bartels ... Im Bunker - Der 'Hitlerjunge'
David Crome ... Im Bunker - Der Regieassistent
Käthe Fürstenwerth ... Im Bunker
Werner Schönrock ... Im Bunker
Bernd Ramien ... Im Bunker
Erika Rabau ... Im Bunker
Silvia Blagojeva Itscherenska ... Im Bunker
Sultan Meral ... Im Bunker
Olivier Picot ... Im Bunker
Jochen Gliscinsky ... Im Bunker
Erich Schupke ... Im Bunker
Margarete Hafner ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Oliver Herder ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Margitta Haberland ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Jürgen Heinrich ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Ralf Strathmann ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Walter Ratayszak ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Charlotte Oberberg ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Lubinka Kostic ... In den Altbauwohnungen
Gisela Westerboer ... Auf der Autobahn
Andreas Valentin ... Auf der Autobahn
Annelinde Gerstl ... Auf der Autobahn (as Anne Gerstl)
Wolf-Dirk Vogeley ... Auf der Autobahn
Ruth Rischke ... Auf der Autobahn
Familie Ayik ... Auf der Autobahn
Simon Bonney ... Crime and The City Solution
Mick Harvey ... Crime and The City Solution / Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Harry Howard ... Crime and The City Solution
Rowland S. Howard ... Crime and The City Solution (as Rowland Howard)
Kevin Godfrey ... Crime and The City Solution (as Epic Soundtracks)

Nick Cave ... Himself - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Thomas Wydler ... Himself - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Blixa Bargeld ... Himself - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Roland Wolf ... Himself - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Kid Congo Powers ... Himself - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (as Kid Congo)
Denis Rodriguez ... Mit den Kindern
Dieta von Aster ... Mit den Kindern
Gustav Geisler ... Mit den Kindern
Paul Geisler ... Mit den Kindern
Lorenz Geisler ... Mit den Kindern
Sladjana Kostic ... Mit den Kindern
Benedikt Schumann ... Mit den Kindern
Nicolas Roth ... Mit den Kindern
Marcus Stenzel ... Mit den Kindern
Benjamin Ferchow ... Mit den Kindern
Mario Meyer ... Mit den Kindern
Mark Leuschner ... Mit den Kindern
Tibor Dahlenburg ... Mit den Kindern
Lia Harder ... Mit den Kindern
Mascha Noak ... Mit den Kindern
Vera Butzek ... Mit den Kindern
Donald Behrendt ... Mit den Kindern
Patric Kreuzer
Simone Säger
Gerdi Hofmann
Ulrike Schirm
Hans Marquardt
Heimke Karl
Klaus Mausolf
Ozyer Hüsinye
Jean-Claude Lezin
Thierry Noir
Matthias Maaß
Henry Luczkow
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lina Otto ... Mädchen im Club (uncredited)
Johanna Penski ... Blumenverkäuferin (uncredited)

Directed by
Wim Wenders 
Writing credits
Wim Wenders 

Peter Handke (screenplay co-writer)

Richard Reitinger (screenplay contributor)

Produced by
Anatole Dauman .... producer
Pascale Dauman .... associate producer
Joachim von Mengershausen .... associate producer
Wim Wenders .... producer
Ingrid Windisch .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jürgen Knieper 
Cinematography by
Henri Alekan 
Film Editing by
Peter Przygodda 
Production Design by
Heidi Lüdi 
Set Decoration by
Esther Walz 
Costume Design by
Monika Jacobs 
Makeup Department
Regina Huyer .... makeup artist
Victor Leitenbauer .... makeup artist
Production Management
Herbert Kerz .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claire Denis .... first assistant director
Carola Hochgräf .... third assistant director
Knut Winkler .... second assistant director
Art Department
Peter Alteneder .... property master
Thierry Noir .... repainter: Berlin Wall
Sound Department
Axel Arft .... sound mixer
Hartmut Eichgrün .... sound re-recording mixer
Detlev Fichtner .... sound processing
Lothar Mankewitz .... sound processing
Jean-Paul Mugel .... sound mixer
Uwe Thalmann .... boom operator
Hans Seck .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Ch. Arnold .... additional camera operator
Klemens Becker .... helicopter camera
Klaus Bieling .... best boy
Frank Blasberg .... second unit
Peter Braatz .... second unit
Dieter Bähr .... grip
Louis Cochet .... assistant camera
Claus Gerling .... electrician
Agnès Godard .... assistant camera
Thomas Gosda .... electrician
Bernd Huebner .... gaffer (as Bernd Hübner)
Klaus Krieger .... helicopter camera
Martin Kukula .... additional camera operator
Achim Poulheim .... first assistant camera
Ralf Strathmann .... still photographer
Peter Uhlig .... second assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Brigitte Friedländer-Rodriguez .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Anne Schnee .... assistant editor
Dave Pultz .... color timer (uncredited)
Music Department
Emmanuel Chamboredon .... soundtrack album producer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Dieter Stempnierwsky .... transportation
Other crew
Catherine Coste .... production secretary
Franck Glemin .... production assistant
Scott Kirby .... production assistant
Marie-Christine Malbert .... publicist
Gabriele Mattner .... script supervisor (as Gabi Mattner)
Inge Ruf .... production accountant
Chris Sievernich .... production consultant
Tilmann Vierzig .... production wizard
Barbara von Wrangell .... unit location manager
Ulla Zwicker .... assistant to producer
Ulla Zwicker .... production coordinator
Mickey Cottrell .... publicist (uncredited)
Yasujirô Ozu .... dedicatee (as Yasujiro)
Andrei Tarkovsky .... dedicatee (as Andrzej)
François Truffaut .... dedicatee (as François)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Der Himmel über Berlin" - West Germany (original title)
"The Sky Above Berlin" - USA (literal English title)
"The Sky Over Berlin" - USA (literal English title)
See more »
128 min
Color (Eastmancolor) | Black and White (partly)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:M | Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (1999) | Chile:TE | Finland:S | Iceland:L | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | UK:PG | UK:15 (cinema rating) | UK:12 (DVD rating) (2007) | USA:PG-13 | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

Director Cameo: [Wim Wenders]a film-crew member in the scene where Otto Sander observes a movie set.See more »
Revealing mistakes: After Damiel becomes human, he buys a cup of coffee at a food stand. The proprietor pours coffee into a plastic cup, and Damiel immediately takes a large gulp - neither of which would be possible if the coffee were hot, as it would be if it were freshly poured.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 photographed.
See more »
Angel FragmentsSee more »


What does the Japanese woman say in the rock club?
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120 out of 137 people found the following review useful.
human life has value, 19 May 2004
Author: cindy_bcr from Maine

In the first scenes after the opening credits, we see an aerial view of Berlin, but this is a Berlin that doesn't exist anymore. It's a city divided, between East and West, that still bears the scars of the second World War, and can't rebuild where the Wall stands in the way. There is a vast vacant lot where the cultural center of pre-war Berlin stood, with the facade of an old station, and nearby stands a bomb-shelter and the tower of a bombed-out church.

It is from this church where an angel stands looking out over the city, and then we see the people going about their daily lives. All this is shot in black and white, and we realize that we are seeing the world through the angel's eyes, seeing the same colorless world and hearing the same thoughts of the people around. As the story goes on, we realize that this is not just one angel in Berlin, for he goes to a car showroom, and compares observations with another angel. Then we go to the library, which is filled with angels.

The first library scene is my favorite scene of the whole movie. It is here where we see many different people studying, and their thoughts reverberate around the space until they are just a murmur, which becomes music. Because there are so few distinct voices, it doesn't matter that they are in German, which I don't understand. However, there was one young man studying the creation story of Genesis in Hebrew, which ties in with a later point where the two lead angels are discussing how they witnessed creation. First they saw the glacier recede, then fish and animals appear. They laughed when they saw the first biped, someone who shared their image, but they stopped laughing when the people learned how to make war.

As idyllic as the angels' lives are, it is through the pain we humans endure that know we are fully alive. And this is what the angels miss, to see colors, to touch, to taste, to smell, the ability to love and affect others' lives. The children can see them, but the adults may at times only feel some vague presence. They lay hands on people's shoulders, to try to understand their feelings beyond mere words. This is illustrated by a scene on a rooftop, where a man is about to commit suicide; as he sits on the ledge, an angel lays a hand on him as if holding him back, and when he jumps, the angel shouts `no!' For these angels are observers, spending their time being a presence among the living, not just to primarily serve as ushers to the afterlife (where I was sorely disappointed after watching "City of Angels," the American re-make). They are not harbingers of doom, but benign symbols of a creator's concern for humans.

Don't be turned off by the fact that it's in black and white, because one thing that really makes an impact is that it's only through viewing as an angel is it in monochrome, because when humans see the world, it's in color. A poem continues throughout the movie and ties everything together, repeating "When the child was a child..." and we realize that humans are the children, the ones younger than angels, just learning and enjoying life. The music adds a lot to the movie, since this film is more visual than verbal, which means that subtitles don't get in the way. I can't say enough about this film–it's wonderful!

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Wings of Desire (1987)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I could onlly stand this for 20 minutes alucardjb
Der Himmel über Berlin and City of Angels, two different worlds tomdanx
Solveig Dommartin. bcurran05
is this the original version of CITY OF ANGELS? johnnycasino21
Peter Falk's role imeka
not cool enough gagafreddie
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