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
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 Upon learning that Wenders wanted to adapt one of her novels, Highsmith offered him an unpublished manuscript of "Ripley's Game."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 »
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 »
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.
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