7.4/10
14,176
68 user 63 critic

The American Friend (1977)

Der amerikanische Freund (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 28 September 1977 (France)
Trailer
3:22 | Trailer
Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

Patricia Highsmith (novel), Wim Wenders
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Hopper ... Tom Ripley
Bruno Ganz ... Jonathan Zimmermann
Lisa Kreuzer ... Marianne Zimmermann
Gérard Blain ... Raoul Minot
Nicholas Ray ... 'Derwatt'
Samuel Fuller ... Der Amerikaner
Peter Lilienthal ... Marcangelo
Daniel Schmid ... Igraham
Sandy Whitelaw Sandy Whitelaw ... Arzt in Paris
Jean Eustache ... Freundlicher Mann
Lou Castel ... Rodolphe
Andreas Dedecke Andreas Dedecke ... Daniel
David Blue David Blue ... Allan Winter
Stefan Lennert Stefan Lennert ... Auktionator
Rudolf Schündler ... Gantner
Edit

Storyline

Tom Ripley has a sweet deal with an art forger. The forger creates the paintings; Tom sells them. But another criminal business associate wants Tom to go in for an even riskier enterprise: murder. Tom suggests his associate ask a local picture framer instead. That man has a fatal disease, or so it's rumored. More, he has a wife and kid that surely he wouldn't want to leave penniless. Let this picture framer be a hit man, and no one will suspect. The terminally ill craftsman may agree to the misdeed, and several more, but he'll end up needing Tom Ripley in a pinch. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...transforms Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game into a gripping European noir.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Wim Wenders originally wanted to adapt his favorite Patricia Highsmith novel, "The Cry of the Owl," but the film rights had already been sold. He then attempted to obtain the rights to his next favorite Highsmith novel, "The Tremor of Forgery," but the rights to this novel had also already been sold. Upon learning that Wenders wanted to adapt one of her novels, Highsmith offered him an unpublished manuscript of "Ripley's Game." See more »

Goofs

About 1 hour & 8 minutes into the film the sound boom wanders into the shot. It's the scene where the character Minot is paying off Zimmerman under the bridge/pier. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Derwatt: Who is it?
Tom Ripley: It's Ripley.
Derwatt: The door is open.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The acting credits are divided into: the four leads, the rest of the cast, and the six directors who make guest appearances ("Als Gäste die Regisseure"). See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Dennis Hopper Performances (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Much on My Mind
Written by Ray Davies
Performed by The Kinks
See more »

User Reviews

Wenders' wonder. Don't overlook this one!
20 September 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Wim Wenders' movies are really a matter of taste. His detractors find his movies to be painfully slow, drawn out, pretentious affairs. Even I can admit to finding the prospect of sitting through some of his movies (particularly 'Until the End of the World' and 'Faraway, So Close!') almost unbearable. But when Wenders is on form he is hard to beat for mysterious, multi-layered, genuinely haunting movies.

Some people regard 'The American Friend' as a total bore, but I found it to be anything but, and almost equal to his masterpieces 'Paris, Texas' and 'Wings Of Desire'. Sure it is slow, and bound to frustrate those with MTV-type attention spans, but bear with it, and you will be rewarded.

Bruno Ganz is first rate as the picture-framer turned reluctant hitman, and Dennis Hopper, who is often ridiculed for his over the top self parodic "crazy guy" roles, is quietly impressive as the enigmatic, almost poetic Ripley. Compare his performance (and this movie as a whole) with Matt Damon's obvious turn in the more recent 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'. It speaks volumes for how much less subtle and intelligent most contemporary movies have become.


57 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 68 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

West Germany | France

Language:

German | English | French

Release Date:

28 September 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The American Friend See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

DEM3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,978
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed