Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.
Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man.
El amigo americano, L'ami américain
Tom Ripley takes his Purple Noon self to Germany, and befriends a talented art picture framer. However, all is not what it appears. The art picture framer fella, Mr Zimmermann, has a dire medical condition, and doesn't have long to live. He needs to go all Heisenberg, and make some fast cash to leave for his wife and child. So, what happens when a sinister underworld baddie makes Mr Zimmermann an offer he can't refuse? Well, there's no such thing as easy money, right? The American Friend is another tale in the life of Tom Ripley. This time he's played by Dennis Hopper, under the directorial supervision of Wim Wenders, and damn, this film looks fuckin' beautiful.
Dennis Hopper looks…
believe it or not but bruno ganz and dennis hopper are gay in this movie, and no, I will not elaborate on that.
The "art" of killing. Stupendous suspense and merging of cinematic styles, and that's the thing that takes me to my main point of the film.
The most interesting debate surrounding this film is the influence of "American" values to the rest of the world through both real fictionalized media. What first caught my attention, not before, but halfway through the running time, is that the original German title, which English translation remained loyal, makes reference to the foreign, "American" influence, even if the real moral protagonist is Bruno Ganz, and not Dennis Hopper. Even under screentime criteria, this holds to be true. Nevertheless, the main name to be credited is that of Hopper's. It's not that most of the film…
Adapted from the novel Ripley's Game by Patricia Highsmith, The American Friend has gone on to become appreciated as one of Wim Wenders’ most highly regarded films, and it's a beautiful study of male friendship from the German filmmaker.
Starring Dennis Hopper as professional art forger Tom Ripley, it's an excitingly creative and skilfully executed suspense thriller with some tremendous off-balanced editing captivatingly delivered by Peter Przygodda.
It observes events set in motion by Ripley after he recommends an innocent picture framer, Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz), he knows who may be able to be convinced to commit a contract killing after believing he previously disrespected him at an art auction.
Hopper and Ganz have some marvellous back-and-forth together as antagonists, and there's an apparent enthusiasm for the filmmakers and movies who Wenders shares favourable inclination towards such as the set pieces in a Paris Metro station echoing the practices of Hitchcock.
The American (boy)friend
Wenders' play on Patricia Highsmith reminded me a lot of Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player in its defiance of genre convention: The emphasis on atmosphere over conventional plotting and payoffs, Zimmerman's comic ineptitude as a hitman, the unexpected texture in the relationship between Zimmerman and Ripley, the loaded soundtrack, the cameos by Nicholas Ray, Sam Fuller and Jean Eustache, etc. Gets a little too loosey-goosey in the final half hour or so, but one of those movies you want to live in.
Paranoia. An exquisite little gem of a thriller- a carnival of madness and consequences of hubris on the part of the main characters at each an every turn. The film radiates a feeling of disgust- the yellow green subway interiors, the grimy brown streets- it just feels dirty. And that speaks to how gritty of a film it is.
The music, the odd sureallity to it, the dizzying camera work- it really is quite effective. Wenders, Highsmith, Hopper, Ganz. All geniuses in their own right. This film is a work of genius.
There's hypnotic effect. At some point in the film, more near the end, there's this scene where Ganz' character exits a tunnel and runs out into the streets, crossing along out side of shop windows. Fairground music starts playing, and the camera follows Ganz closely before pulling out into a bird's eye shot. That's when I realised this a great movie.
Maybe not must-watch though.
Tonight my dreams will surely have The American Friend's score in the background. With nail biting action sequences, cinematography capturing neon lights and the city of Hamburg beautifully, and Dennis Hopper inexplicably breaking your heart as Tom Ripley-- Wim Wenders truly delivered in this neo-noir. And if none of that sells it to you, the Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller cameos should!
Dennis Hopper in a cowboy hat is best Dennis Hopper.
I love the way Wim Wenders handles violence in this film. It's so clumsy and strange looking that it becomes at once absurdly comical and also horrifying. It highlights how meaningless and weird the act of hurting another person is.
Also there's a scene where Dennis Hopper lays on a pool table taking selfies with a Polaroid and crying that feels eerily prescient.
First of all, whether you be a long time reader of my reviews or brand new - I just wanted to say thank you. Even if you only read this far - just thank you. I really appreciate your support.
Maybe it's a limited sample size - but every single Wim Wenders film I've seen is fucking brilliant! He captures such a beautiful simplicity in his work - but does it with so much care and nuance. The simplicity adds up to a complex interweaving essence of whatever style film he's making. The American Friend is a white knuckled thriller - but with nothing overly dramatic about it!
Bruno Ganz is Jonathan Zimmerman, a family man, a picture framer, a…
Part of March Around the World 2016. Today: Germany!
Looking at Wim Wenders' career up to this point, it's strange that he wanted to make The American Friend. A lot of his previous work, such as Alice in the Cities or Kings of the Road, had been loose and improvisational. Of his adaptations, one was adapted by the source author (The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty Kick, by Peter Handke), one was so loose an adaptation it almost qualified as an original screenplay (False Movement, based on Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship) and one was a failure he quickly disowned (The Scarlet Letter). Adapting a novel on his own was a significant step out of his comfort zone.
What persuaded him…
Just unimpeachably brilliant. I’m still not sure about the final few moments, the nature of the relationship between Jonathan and Tom and what made the former drive away from the latter at the end. But I don’t care.
The use of color is obviously fundamental to the film. But it speaks to the themes, which are literally fundamental, down to the cliche Tom records himself saying at the beginning: “the only thing to fear, is fear itself”. Wenders uses primary colors throughout to underpin the elementary nature of the film’s themes about fear of the unknown, one of humanity’s most basic end fundamental concerns. The simplicity in that idea is what makes the simplicity within this mysterious movie so impactful.…
Beautiful and mesmerizing film. Smooth cuts, moody lighting, interesting characters & premise with an incredible eerie and psychological music score.....one of the best, if not the best 'moody' neo noir thrillers i have seen.
Note: might require 2 watches as plot is a little confusing, but it is worth the effort. Second watch is reward just for the cinematography itself.
This was a film I was super eager to watch after I found it on Letterboxd. Now I've finally seen it, I'm impressed but at the same time disappointed. The film undeniably has some gorgeous lighting and camerawork and most of the performances in the movie were pretty solid.
I can tell that Wim Wenders is as great as I've heard from just this movie, but it really wasn't as good as I'd hoped.
The film is thematically quite messy, and I really wasn't a fan of the second half.
I enjoyed seeing a man with health problems driven to become a hired gun, promised money to leave as his legacy. The second half strayed from that, turned into a little bit of James Bond and a little bit of two friends just chilling.
Das coisas mais imersivas que já assisti.
Tom Ripley is one of modern literature's most compelling antiheroes, a likeable but completely amoral con man. Played here by Dennis Hopper with an effortless charm, though not the central character here, Ripley is nonetheless the driving force of the plot, the catalyst for the misadventures that are visited on the unfortunate Jonathan.
As played by the excellent Bruno Ganz, Jonathan is an easy figure to connect and empathise with – affable, easy-going and a little too trusting.
Strongly character-driven though it may be, Wenders never forgets that he is making a thriller, n always keeps the stacks high, couple of intense fight sequences in the train are awe-inspiring. The on-screen chemistry between Ganz and Hopper ignites unexpected moments…
Phenomental Wim Wenders masterpiece full of his trademark pop-culture-infused melancholy, instantly memorable characters and gorgeous Robby Muller cinematography. Dennis Hopper is incredible as zonked international vagabond Tom Ripley (i'd love to know what Patricia Highsmith thought of this loopy incarnation of her murderous anti-hero) complete with stetson and Marlboros, whose crazed space cowboy energy contrasts nicely with that of Bruno Ganz's laid-back, terminally-ill, Kinks-loving frame-maker. Wenders always manages to subvert and have fun with American genre tropes without blunting the impact of his gently meandering narratives; the slapstick assassination scene in the train restroom manages to be both extremely tense and very funny. Robby Muller is the greatest cinematographer of his era, his compositions of urban landscapes have a unique…
Might be one of the best looking movies ever?
A great moody thriller.
First time watching a Wim Wenders film and although I couldn't follow the plot 100% of the time I did enjoy the film, especially the scenes on the train.
robby muller is the goat cinematographer i think
I couldn’t quite follow the plot 100% of the time and after the movie ended had to read a wiki synopsis to put everything into place. Having said that, I really enjoyed this. Dennis Hopper was supposed to be this cool mystery dude but was mostly just creepy, which is awesome. The version I saw was beautifully restored and had that rough 70s thriller look that I’ve grown to really appreciate. I wish we could see Bruno Ganz working some more in his workshop, frame those pictures!
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Something I noticed, which runs throughout the film - we're treated to symbols of creation, of renewal, of construction - Jonathan's hotel in Paris has construction work going on outside his window, he builds frames to hold pictures, later on his shop is covered in scaffolding, and of course, the ambulance which haunts much of the final act of this picture. Hell, there are four directors in this cast too. Ripley attempts to rebuild himself through his recordings, but seems to find himself in those final moments, where the ambulance is destroyed, and Jonathan dies - rebirth, renewal, creation, all inevitably lead to utter destruction.
Good movie! Hopper's fun, Ganz is incredible.
this has such beautiful shots and score, and builds into something magnificent and quite ridiculous.
left me watching on with a massive grin on my face
Mark Gubarenko 1,001 films
List made from the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. This list just from the 2019 edition,…