7.9/10
15,215
144 user 64 critic

American Movie (1999)

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Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.

Director:

Chris Smith
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Borchardt ... Filmmaker
Tom Schimmels Tom Schimmels ... Actor in 'Coven'
Monica Borchardt Monica Borchardt ... Mark's Mom
Alex Borchardt Alex Borchardt ... Mark's Brother
Chris Borchardt Chris Borchardt ... Mark's Brother
Ken Keen Ken Keen ... Friend / Associate Producer
Mike Schank Mike Schank ... Friend / Musician
Matt Weisman Matt Weisman ... Casting director
Bill Borchardt Bill Borchardt ... Mark's Uncle / Executive Producer (as Uncle Bill)
Cliff Borchardt Cliff Borchardt ... Mark's Dad
Tom Beach Tom Beach ... Production manager
Joan Petrie Joan Petrie ... Mark's Girlfriend / Associate Producer
Robert Richard Jorge Robert Richard Jorge ... Actor
Dean Allen Dean Allen ... Props / Special effects
Tommy Dallace Tommy Dallace ... The Movie Star
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Storyline

On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish "Coven," a short horror film. His own personal demons (alcohol, gambling, a dysfunctional family) plague him, but he desperately wants to overcome self-doubt and avoid failure. In moments of reflection, Mark sees his story as quintessentially American, and its the nature and nuance of his dream that this film explores. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 2000 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

American Movie: The Making of Northwestern See more »

Filming Locations:

Germantown, Wisconsin, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,260, 7 November 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,160,426, 23 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the "elevator sequence" that is briefly shown as part of the movie "Coven", the actors that are portraying the doctors are wearing their driver's licenses on their lab coats instead of hospital staff identification badges. See more »

Quotes

Mark Borchardt: Would you buy this movie for $14.95?
Friend/Musician: Yeah, hell yeah, man.
Mark Borchardt: If I can find 3,000 people like you across this country, man, I'm in business.
Friend/Musician: Of course, man, I mean... Shit, that's what "Rush" tickets were.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 100 höjdare: Världens skönaste land - Del 7 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Bojangles
Written by Jerry Jeff Walker
Performed by Sammy Davis Jr.
used by permission of Warner/Chappell Music and Altovise G. Davis
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User Reviews

Well Made Documentary; Heartbreaking
6 August 2003 | by shark-43See all my reviews

This is a very well made documentary. I read some of the other comments and I get a feeling that a few of these viewers don't watch too many documentaries (and all the reality TV crap doesn't count). Yes, this movie is painful at times because of the ineptness of the horro film director struggling to get his pals and relatives to help him make his demonic movie. But it shows someone (however debatable his talent)following a dream, a passion, a desire to do something. To break out of his hellish life of debts, and child out of wedlock and dreary 9-5 job. The camera captures wonderful moments of human behavior and just like project Greenlight, it shows what happens when people get in over their heads with trying to just film a simple scene (or a scene where someone's head has to go through a cabinet, or an old man has to clearly say ONE line and can't, etc.) BUT, a much better documentary about the same world is the much earlier 1975 documentary Demon Lover Diary - where someone tagged along as these Michigan guys tried to make their horror film. Hard to track down but highly recommended.


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