7.9/10
14,163
143 user 72 critic

American Movie (1999)

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

Director:

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Coven (2000)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An alcohol/drug abuser re-examines his life until he nearly dies from an overdose. Then a friend convinces him to join a self-help group which turns out to be demonic.

Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: Mark Borchardt, Tom Schimmels, Miriam Frost
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Mark Borchardt turns his camera on the UFO Daze gathering in Dundee, Wisconsin, where he finds an abundance of fascinating characters, a mystic landscape, and the paradox between empirical ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: Mark Borchardt, U.F.O. Bob, Sheldon
Documentary | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A probe into the urban myth of the snuff film; one of the most controversial, elusive and vile kind of raw footage ever recorded on video.

Director: Paul von Stoetzel
Stars: Larry C. Brubaker, Todd Cobery, Linda Flanders
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

Do You Like My Basement? tracks how one man's creative frustration bore a need to make the perfect horror film. Stanley Farmer was rejected universally by the film world. His frustration ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Sewhcomar
Stars: Lian Allweiss, Maggie Balistreri, Lowell Byers
Documentary | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

For the third time, HBO cameras go inside Trenton State Maximum Security Prison--and inside the mind of one of the most prolific killers in U.S. history--in this gripping documentary. Mafia... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Ginsberg
Stars: Park Dietz, Richard Kuklinski
Secvente (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In this interesting drama, three sequences which could have formed separate stories are linked together, like cars on a train, to give a larger perspective on the nature of reality and film... See full summary »

Director: Alexandru Tatos
Stars: Geo Barton, Ion Vâlcu, Emilia Dobrin
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young filmmaker decides to make a movie of his life.

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: L.M. Kit Carson, Eileen Dietz, Louise Levine
Crumb (1994)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
Empire (1964)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A single shot of the Empire State Building from early evening until nearly 3 am the next day.

Director: Andy Warhol
Stars: Jonas Mekas
Action | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

In this action comedy, Jack Goldwater, an IRS agent on loan to the Federal Air Marshal Service, is relieved of field duty after insulting a powerful U.S. Senator, and finds himself exiled ... See full summary »

Director: J. Neil Schulman
Stars: Nichelle Nichols, Ethan Keogh, Susan Smythe
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: David McWane, Sean Rogan, Steve Foote
Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: Mark Borchardt, Darren Elliot Fulsher, Andrew Swant
Edit

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

Mark Borchardt: There's no excuses, Paul. No one has ever, ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says: "Well, if we had these set of circumstances, we would've shot this scene... so please forgive us and use your imagination." I've been to the movies hundreds of times. That's never occurred.
See more »

Connections

References Coven (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Dee
Written by Randy Rhoads (as Randy Rhodes)
Performed by Mike Schank
used by permission of Essex Music/The Richmond Organization
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Just watched it again.
29 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just watched this again the other night. It's probably the ninth or tenth time I've seen it, and I think it gets better every time. Contrary to what some people are saying, I don't think the makers of this film are laughing at and ridiculing Mark. Sure, some of the humor in the film is of the car-crash can't look away variety, but I feel underneath that they really admire the guy and his dogged tenacity. Another thing is I think Mark does show some skill as a director. Remember he has zero money shooting this stuff, and Coven was conceived as a money-making venture so he could make Northwestern. I think some of the samples they were showing from Northwestern actually looked very good. Now I don't think Mark writes the best dialogue in the world, but looking just at his photographic eye I'd say if the guy had any kind of schooling he might be shooting movies for someone right now. And finally, I think some of the people making negative comments about this movie need to look in the mirror and think about themselves a bit. OK, you don't like the movie, that's fine. But I've seen enough smug, superior, comments on here to make me want to puke. I love how as long as you're a poor, lower middle-class white in America people love to throw around terms like "white trash", "redneck", and other such pleasantries. I believe some scribe from Orange County at the beginning of the reviews even called them "inferior". I'm sure most of the people making the comments consider themselves liberals too; as if they have any concept of what that word means.


66 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?