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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.


Wim Wenders


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




Complete credited cast:
Rüdiger Vogler ... Philip Winter
Yella Rottländer ... Alice van Damm
Lisa Kreuzer ... Lisa van Damm (as Elisabeth Kreuzer)
Edda Köchl ... Angela - Friend in New York
Ernest Boehm ... Publisher
Sam Presti Sam Presti ... Car Dealer
Lois Moran ... Airport Hostess
Didi Petrikat Didi Petrikat ... Woman at Swimming Park
Hans Hirschmüller ... Police Officer
Sibylle Baier Sibylle Baier ... Woman on Ferry
Mirko Mirko ... Boy Singing Next to Jukebox
Learn more

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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




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Composer Irmin Schmidt did not see the film before recording the music. Instead he sat with Wim Wenders over the course of one day and wrote the score in collaboration with the director. See more »


At 59:17 when Alice is coming out of the toilet, the door handle in the close-up is reverse (l-r) compared with the next shot when she opens the door. See more »


Philip 'Phil' Winter: Talking to yourself... Actually, it's more like listening than talking.
See more »


Referenced in Wanderlust (2006) See more »


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

Delightful, fresh, natural, but could you make it today?
22 July 2008 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

I have just seen this wonderful film by Wim Wenders again after many years, and it has all the charm that I remembered. It is about the friendship between a grown man and a little girl aged eleven (whose mother has 'dumped' her on him). These days, no one would dare to make such a film because children and grown-ups no longer have friendships. This film may well have been inspired by the earlier 'Sundays and Cybele' (1962), a brilliant film on the same theme by the talented French director Serge Bourgoignon, who has mysteriously not made a film since 1969, despite winning the 1963 Oscar for Best Foreign Film with 'Cybele'. Imagine an Oscar being given today to a film about such a taboo subject! Children are now locked up in the house by their neurotic mothers and not allowed to play on their lawns, they are just as tightly under siege from the danger of adults as we all are in the process of being from the danger of 'terrorism'. In fact, the present consensus is that all adults are terrorists from the child's point of view. Best never to meet any! Professor Neil Postman, a brilliant social psychologist and cultural critic whom I knew slightly (he died in 2003) analysed what is going on as long ago as 1982 when he brought out his shocking book 'The Disappearance of Childhood'. In it, he pointed out that the concept of 'childhood' as we have traditionally known it until recent years was a creation of the Renaissance, and that prior to that, children were just little people who had not yet learned very much. If one reads Postman's book carefully, and considers what is really going on at the deepest psychological levels today, the powerful guilt feelings which adults now have are clearly the motive force behind the psychopathic mania now raging in the English-speaking world about paedophilia. Add to this the false memory syndrome where unscrupulous 'therapists' are convincing huge numbers of women and girls that they have been raped as children, usually by their fathers (when they haven't), and you have a real mixture! Of course, any logical outside observer of human society would point out that we now live in a society which perversely and insistently attempts to sexualise children. Fortunes are made by greedy corporations in marketing sexually suggestive clothes and even pole-dancing kits (!!) to little girls. The role models of these little girls are allowed by their idiot parents to be pop singers who are sex-addicts, cocaine-addicts, everything a little girl should NOT want to become. The media are the evil collaborators in this sexualisation of children because it sells ads, and also because many media folk are frankly extremely perverted. All of this means that films like this one by Wim Wenders are now of archaeological interest, bearing witness to a past civilisation, before little girls were encouraged to dress and behave in public like mini-prostitutes and jiggle up and down with their 'pole-dancing kits', or to think that the word 'sexy is the highest form of praise that exists for a child. Yes, childhood has largely disappeared, and it will probably never return. But then, with childhood went sensible parenthood as well, and the Collapse of Western Civilisation is nowhere more conclusively demonstrated than by the vanishing of those two institutions.

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West Germany


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 »


Box Office


DEM500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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