7.9/10
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

The movie theater featured in the end of the film is the Times Cinema in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side. It specializes in obscure and independent films and is Milwaukee's sole surviving independent movie theater. See more »

Quotes

Mark Borchardt: Now when you go in the grave, and you're just laying there in the casket - the last hurrah, the final goodbye - what are you gonna think about, Bill? Huh?
Mark's Uncle: You tell me.
See more »

Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The Remains of Children's Brains
Written & performed by by Mike Schank
used by permission of 33rd St. Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Just watched it again.
29 April 2004 | by RCamp48845See all my reviews

I just watched this again the other night. It's probably the ninth or tenth time I've seen it, and I think it gets better every time. Contrary to what some people are saying, I don't think the makers of this film are laughing at and ridiculing Mark. Sure, some of the humor in the film is of the car-crash can't look away variety, but I feel underneath that they really admire the guy and his dogged tenacity. Another thing is I think Mark does show some skill as a director. Remember he has zero money shooting this stuff, and Coven was conceived as a money-making venture so he could make Northwestern. I think some of the samples they were showing from Northwestern actually looked very good. Now I don't think Mark writes the best dialogue in the world, but looking just at his photographic eye I'd say if the guy had any kind of schooling he might be shooting movies for someone right now. And finally, I think some of the people making negative comments about this movie need to look in the mirror and think about themselves a bit. OK, you don't like the movie, that's fine. But I've seen enough smug, superior, comments on here to make me want to puke. I love how as long as you're a poor, lower middle-class white in America people love to throw around terms like "white trash", "redneck", and other such pleasantries. I believe some scribe from Orange County at the beginning of the reviews even called them "inferior". I'm sure most of the people making the comments consider themselves liberals too; as if they have any concept of what that word means.


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