Film Info: amerikanische Freund, Der

American Friend, The (amerikanische Freund, Der)

American Friend, The
Scene from "The American Friend" (photo © Reverse Angle Library GmbH)

At an auction, the art dealer Ripley meets Jonathan, a picture framer who is suffering from a rare blood disease, and targets him as a potential mob assassin. Jonathan will not be suspected because he has no motive. When Jonathan is led to believe that his illness is terminal, he agrees to the murder plot so that he can leave his wife and family financial security upon his death. Through the lonely streets of New York, Paris and Hamburg, the two men form an unlikely bond, as Ripley begins to regret his past and the once scrupulous Jonathan faces the exhilaration of cold-blooded murder.


Wim Wenders was born in Düsseldorf in 1945. After discovering his love for cinema in Paris, he attended film school in Munich from 1967-1970. Also active as a photographer and writer, he has made more than 50 films since 1971 all over the world. A selection of his acclaimed films includes: THE GOALKEEPER'S FEAR OF THE PENALTY (1971), ALICE IN THE CITIES (1973), IN THE COURSE OF TIME (1976), THE AMERICAN FRIEND (1977), HAMMETT (1982), THE STATE OF THINGS (1982), PARIS, TEXAS (1984), WINGS OF DESIRE (1987), UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD (1991), FARAWAY, SO CLOSE! (1993), LISBON STORY (1994), THE END OF VIOLENCE (1997), BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (1998), THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL (2000), THE SOUL OF A MAN (2003), LAND OF PLENTY (2004), DON'T COME KNOCKING (2005), PALERMO SHOOTING (2008), PINA (2011), CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE (2013), THE SALT OF THE EARTH (2014), and EVERY THING WILL BE FINE (2015).
Genre Literature, Thriller, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1977
Director Wim Wenders
Screenplay Wim Wenders
Cinematography Robby Müller
Peter Przygodda
Juergen Knieper
Heidi Luedi, Toni Luedi
Cast David Blue, Stefan Lennert, Rudolf Schuendler, Nicholas Ray, Samuel Fuller, Peter Lilienthal, Daniel Schmid, Sandy Whitelaw, Jean Eustache, Andreas Dedecke, Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer, Gérard Blain, Lou Castel
Producer Wim Wenders
Production Companies Road Movies Filmproduktion/Berlin, Wim Wenders Production/Munich & Berlin, Les Films du Losange/Paris, WDR
Length 126 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions German
Original Version
 German/English/French
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Mar del Plata 2010, Thessaloniki 2016, Zurich 2018
Awards German Film Critics' Award 1977, 3 German Film Award 1978
German Distributor TOBIS Film

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