IMDb > American Movie (1999)
American Movie
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American Movie (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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American Movie -- A hapless amateur filmmaker struggles to produce his latest horror film, "Coven."

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   12,434 votes »
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Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for American Movie on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 April 2000 (Australia) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Intriguing Story of Someone Who Refuses to Let Go of a Pipe Dream See more (139 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Mark Borchardt ... Filmmaker
Tom Schimmels ... Actor in 'Coven'
Monica Borchardt ... Mark's Mom
Alex Borchardt ... Mark's Brother
Chris Borchardt ... Mark's Brother
Ken Keen ... Friend / Associate Producer
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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Miriam Frost ... Actor in 'Coven'

Billy Crystal ... Academy Awards EmCee (uncredited)

Louis Sather ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Chris Smith 
 
Produced by
Jim McKay .... co-producer
Sarah Price .... producer
Chris Smith .... producer
Michael Stipe .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Mike Schank 
 
Cinematography by
Chris Smith 
 
Film Editing by
Jun Diaz 
Barry Poltermann 
 
Production Management
Paul Mezey .... post-production supervisor
 
Sound Department
Todd Leach .... sound
Didier Leplae .... sound
Alex Markowski .... sound re-recording mixer
Sarah Price .... sound
Doug Ruschaupt .... sound
Jason Tucker .... sound
Neil Whitacre .... sound
Peter Zinda .... sound designer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sarah Price .... additional photographer
 
Editorial Department
Ray Chi .... associate editor (as Raymond Chi)
Mark Ginsberg .... color timer
Scott Reeder .... associate editor
Scott Wintheiser .... associate editor
 
Music Department
Julie Panebianco .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Todd Bishop .... titles: 16 mm
Dick Blau .... creative consultant
Patrick Buckley .... production assistant
Dane Didier .... production assistant
Dan Ollman .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Bob Fagan .... special thanks
Wrye Martin .... special thanks
Tony Morrone .... special thanks
Dean Silvers .... special thanks
Kathryn Tucker .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"American Movie: The Making of Northwestern" - USA (complete title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for language and some drug content
Runtime:
107 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Canada:14A | Spain:13 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #36811)

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:
Uncle Bill:It's alright, it's okay, there's something to live for... Jesus told me so!See more »
Movie Connections:
References Apocalypse Now (1979)See more »
Soundtrack:
Fight Fire With FireSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
The Intriguing Story of Someone Who Refuses to Let Go of a Pipe Dream, 6 January 2001
Author: DarkCity (megad2@aol.com) from Cleveland

When we are young, we all pick out an ideal occupation for ourselves: artist, actor, writer, rocket scientist, etc.. While most of us grow out of our pipe dreams, the main character of American Movie, Mark, has yet to let go of his(and at a thirty-something age too): to become a wealthy acclaimed director. Despite the fact that Murphy's Law won't leave Mark alone and something always seems to go wrong, Mark is able to persevere during each deterring incident with an even greater drive to reach his goals. His desire to be a director so controls his character that he sees any person or thing in his life as something to exploit to reach the goal. While I noticed other IMDB commenters are lambasting Mark's selfishness, I think it's an almost justified sort-of selfishness because for Mark, not becoming a famous director is equivalent to death. He talks incessantly about leaving some kind of mark on the world, and he sees filmmaking as a way to do this.

Unfortunately any viewer of this movie picks up early on the fact that Mark has a near-zero chance of ever achieving his dream. Is he aware of this? No, not in the slightest, and none of his family or friends want to let him in on the secret(in fact even some of them believe in him). Strangely enough though, the disappointing future the viewer feels is sure to occur for Mark doesn't impede the ability to find humor in the film. This is a very very funny documentary. Most of the laughs come from when Mark is filming scenes for "Coven". There's a scene where an actor has to have his head break a cupboard, and it's just not working. Another scene has Mark's very old uncle Bill saying a few lines to the camera; needless to say, after 20 takes of a lot of headscratching and line-stumbling Bill finally decides he's had enough. A lot of humor sadly comes from Mark himself. His screenwriting, which he seems to think is worthy of a Pulitzer, is laughingly bad: "It's alright, it's ok, there is something to live for; Jesus told me so."

"American Movie" is, contrary to what people might think, a documentary that anyone can enjoy(even though my sister, who watched some scenes, seemed to think it was downright bizarre). The fact that Chris Smith can successfully bring to the screen a film that inspires both sadness from Mark's depressing lifestyle to hilarity with scenes with Bill(who unfortunately passed away before the film was released) says quite a lot about him. I wonder how the dreamer Mark regards this documentary. Does he realize that it casts him in a bad light? Or that it sets up to show him as a fool in many scenes of the film? Or does he see it as something that will be shown prior to his own A&E Biography segment? It's an intriguing subject of wonder, and I hope the latter comes true for him some day.

I highly recommend this movie: 9/10.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for American Movie (1999)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Uncle Bill is f'ing awesome FrankLefanu
Find Out Where The Guys in 'American Movie' Are Now problyamistakej
Source of a million one-liners junglefighter25
Has Mark Seen American Horror Story? JediRob
Mike maxi-foo
insert shot of film books A-Guna14
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