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The American Friend (1977)

Der amerikanische Freund (original title)
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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
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6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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 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
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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

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 3,000,000 (estimated)
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruno Ganz worked in a frame shop for weeks to prepare for his role as a frame shop worker. 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

References The General (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Much on My Mind
Written by Ray Davies
Performed by The Kinks
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User Reviews

Wenders' masterpiece, but also Highsmith's
12 January 2003 | by rjohnsonrSee all my reviews

Wim Wenders' tribute to American film noir, with cameos for two great American directors, Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray, and boasting the most imaginative cinematography ever and the most beautifully ominous music, is finally available in widescreen enhanced DVD. What is it about about Patricia Highsmith which inspires so many directors? From Alfred Hitchcock (Strangers on a Train) to Anthony Minghella (The Talented Mr. Ripley), via Jean-Pierre Melville (Cry of the Owl) and Rene Clement (Plein soleil aka Purple Noon), her novels have translated to the screen with astonishing effect. Purple Noon and The Talented Mr. Ripley adapt the same book in such different yet equally gripping ways that curiosity forced me to seek out the novel, and then the other four Tom Ripley novels. Ripley's Game, the source for The American Friend, is arguably the best of the five, and perhaps of all her novels. Jonathan (Bruno Ganz), not Ripley himself (Dennis Hopper) is the real protagonist. The Hamburg-to-Munich train sequence is probably the centerpiece, but the Paris subway scene is just as incredible (ending in La Defense before the Grande Arche was built). Dialogue flows easily between German, English, and French. Just one example of sensitive detail - when Jonathan (Ganz)is reading his hopeless medical report in a steel/glass/concrete modernist Paris apartment, the camera zeroes in on the miniature Statue of Liberty replica on a concrete island under a bridge across the Seine. A symbolic representation of the title?


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