7.9/10
15,214
144 user 64 critic

American Movie (1999)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Coven (2000)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

An alcohol/drug abuser re-examines his life until he nearly dies from an overdose. Then a friend convinces him to join a self-help group which turns out to be demonic.

Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: Mark Borchardt, Tom Schimmels, Miriam Frost
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Mark Borchardt turns his camera on the UFO Daze gathering in Dundee, Wisconsin, where he finds an abundance of fascinating characters, a mystic landscape, and the paradox between empirical ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: Mark Borchardt, U.F.O. Bob, Sheldon
Home Movie (2001)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Documentary look at five unusual homes and the people who built (or adapted) them.

Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Ed Peden, Ben Skora, Diana Peden
American Job (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

American Job is a narrative film about Randy Scott, a youth caught in the dismal confusion of living and working in the world of minimum wage. American Job follows main character Randy ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Randy Russell, Matt Collier, Ed English
The Pool I (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boy in abject poverty works in a hotel and becomes obsessed with a swimming pool in the opulent hills of Panjim, Goa, India. His life gets turned upside-down when he attempts to meet the mysterious family who lives at the house.

Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Nana Patekar, Venkatesh Chavan, Jhangir Badshah
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

Directors: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando
Director: Mark Borchardt
Stars: Mark Borchardt, Darren Elliot Fulsher, Andrew Swant
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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: And you get your name on the credits as a producer, man.
Mark's Uncle: [Deadpan] Yay.
See more »

Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Life, but not as we know it...
17 April 2006 | by rooneyterenceSee all my reviews

For me, the best & most memorable movies are often those which on first viewing I know nothing about. American Movie is a perfect example of just such a gem. Watching TV late one evening, I spotted the one & only good review among the dross - thankfully I settled in for a real treat. American Movie is a documentary following the unforgettable Mark Borchardt (pronounced "orchard", I believe), a highly articulate & charismatic Wisconson lad, as he struggles to write, direct and produce "MidWestern", a gritty, low-budget Horror movie on which he has been working for years. In Mark we discover a young man filled with contrast. His appearance is of the classic trailer-trash stereotype - skinny, bum-fluff mustache, '80s heavy metal styling, mullet hairdo, etc. To camera however, Mark reveals startling wit & insight as he philosophizes upon life, love, movies & the American way. As the movie unfolds, it sadly becomes clear that Mark's lack of discipline & heavy drinking are relentlessly sabotaging his creative efforts. American Movie is a charming watch, filled with hilarious moments & vivid characters. Chief among these is Mark's lovable buddy Mike Schank, a soft-spoken reformed stoner who, having conquered an addiction to scratch cards, is now dependent on soda pop. I absolutely loved American Movie. It generates real empathy between the viewer & principal characters, and provides hilarity without feeling exploitative. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 144 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed