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American Movie (1999)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 12,185 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 138 user | 67 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.

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Title: American Movie (1999)

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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Filmmaker
Tom Schimmels ...
Actor in 'Coven'
Monica Borchardt ...
Mark's Mom
Alex Borchardt ...
Chris Borchardt ...
Ken Keen ...
Mike Schank ...
Friend / Musician
Matt Weisman ...
Casting director
Bill Borchardt ...
Mark's Uncle / Executive Producer (as Uncle Bill)
Cliff Borchardt ...
Mark's Dad
Tom Beach ...
Production manager
Joan Petrie ...
Mark's Girlfriend / Associate Producer
Robert Richard Jorge ...
Actor
Dean Allen ...
Props / Special effects
Tommy Dallace ...
The Movie Star
Edit

Storyline

On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish "Covan," a short horror film. His own personal demons (alcohol, gambling, a dysfunctional family) plague him, but he desperately wants to overcome self-doubt and avoid failure. In moments of reflection, Mark sees his story as quintessentially American, and its the nature and nuance of his dream that this film explores. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 2000 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

American Movie: The Making of Northwestern  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$20,260 (USA) (5 November 1999)

Gross:

$1,160,426 (USA) (21 April 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie theater featured in the end of the film is the Times Cinema in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side. It specializes in obscure and independent films and is Milwaukee's sole surviving independent movie theater. See more »

Quotes

Joan: He wants to be somewhere where he's not. But then, don't most people want to be somewhere where they're not?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in American Short Film (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Fight Fire With Fire
Written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton
Performed by Mike Schank
used by permission of Creeping Death Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Mark Borchardt: Independent Wanna Be
12 December 2003 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

After seeing American Movie, you either hate Mark Borchardt or you understand him. If you are a struggling film maker trying to be the next George Romero, John Cassavetes or Alfred Hitchcock, you will understand Mark's determination and where he gets his talentless motivation. The audience that makes up American Movie is just that. Struggling film makers or die hard fans of Troma. Either way, they are all members of the club of hard knocks and non-union independent feature film. The moral of Mark's story is something short of following your dream. It's more and less than that. Whether you relate with Mark in more ways that one, Mark is living a lot of people's reality. Because of that, American Movie is important and should be watched by every film student in America.


18 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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