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Alice in the Cities (1974)

Alice in den Städten (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 May 1974 (West Germany)
A German journalist is saddled with a nine-year-old girl after encountering her mother at a New York airport.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

Wim Wenders, Veith von Fürstenberg (contributing writer)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rüdiger Vogler ... Philip 'Phil' Winter
Yella Rottländer ... Alice
Lisa Kreuzer ... Lisa - Alice's Mother (as Elisabeth Kreuzer)
Edda Köchl Edda Köchl ... Angela - Friend in New York
Ernest Boehm Ernest Boehm ... Publisher
Sam Presti Sam Presti ... Car Dealer
Lois Moran ... Airport Hostess
Didi Petrikat Didi Petrikat ... Friend in Frankfurt
Hans Hirschmüller ... Police Officer
Sibylle Baier Sibylle Baier ... The Woman
Mirko Mirko
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Storyline

German journalist Philip Winter has a case of writer's block when trying to write an article about the United States. He decides to return to Germany, and while trying to book a flight, encounters a German woman and her nine year old daughter Alice doing the same. The three become friends (almost out of necessity) and while the mother asks Winter to mind Alice temporarily, it quickly becomes apparent that Alice will be his responsibility for longer than he expected. After returning to Europe, the innocent friendship between Winter and Alice grows as they travel together through various European cities on a quest for Alice's grandmother. Written by Karl Engel <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | English | Dutch

Release Date:

17 May 1974 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Alice in the Cities See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,388
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The section of Chuck Berry playing in the concert was actually shot by documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker at Toronto in 1969. Wenders himself had shot the footage of Chuck Berry playing live in Frankfurt in the 70s, but could not afford the hefty copyright cost to use it in the film. Pennebaker provided Wenders the clip of '69 with much reasonable fee, but Wenders and his team had to transferred it into B&W to match the rest of the film. Pennebaker was not credited at the end of the film, and interestingly, his own 1969 Toronto concert film of Chuck Berry did not include the song (Memphis, Tennessee) which was used in Wender's film. See more »

Goofs

Crew are reflected in the side of the car (at around 46 mins) (sound man, microphone and other crew) See more »

Quotes

Philip 'Phil' Winter: Taking pictures is a way of proving things. Waiting for the image to develop, I was often filled with a strange unease. I could hardly wait to compare the picture with reality. But comparing them wouldn't reassure me either. As the still images were always overtaken by reality...
Angela - Friend in New York: You can't stay here.
Philip 'Phil' Winter: I photographed even more obsessively.
Angela - Friend in New York: You're really beside yourself!
Philip 'Phil' Winter: That's why I only took Polaroids...
Angela - Friend in New York: I don't want you to stay here, understand?
Philip 'Phil' Winter: What? Are you serious?
Angela - Friend in New York: Yes, my friend. I can't ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Smoke on the Water
Written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice Performed by Deep Purple
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a charming film, Paper Moon fans might enjoy
12 August 2004 | by daydreamblvr1210See all my reviews

This is easily one of Wenders' most accessible films of the 70s (along with the American Friend, 1976). Alice in den Stätden was originally released in the states after Paper Moon (Ryan, Tatum O'Neal) premiered and bears a slight resemblance to the story. In the case of Alice, this little girl gets stuck with a reluctant photojournalist and together they cross Germany in search of her grandmother's house. It differs from Wenders' other road movies in that it's plot line actually has some element of suspense to keep the momentum forward.

It's very entertaining for the charm of the characters, especially Yella Rottländer as Alice. She shines here as a very self-possessed, precocious youngster who disrupts the life of the familiar, detached, angst-ridden protagonist, Philip (Rudiger Volger).

There are small details captured in this film that are noteworthy to fans as well as casual viewers. The old organ at Shea Stadium (long since removed) is briefly shown in one early scene . The monorail in Wüppertal is featured in another sequence (one of the first monorails built). There is a lot of urban decay documented in their travels, particularly in the Ruhr district scenes but all of that can't detract from the humor of the 2 lead characters' playful interactions. The shot of Philip and Alice mimicking each other doing calisthenics offsets all the dreariness and alienation in one scene. The optimistic ending is a very satisfying one. This is a beautiful gem of a film if you can find it.


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