Alice in den Städten (Alice in the Cities) (1974)
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as Police officer
as Phillip Winter
as Man by Jukebox
as Lisa Alice's mother
as The Girl
as The Agent
as Girl at Ticket Count...
as The Car Salesman
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Critic Reviews for Alice in den Städten (Alice in the Cities)
With this film, Wenders crystallized his style of existential sentimentality.
There are points when the director allows his voice to ring a little loudly from behind the camera, but the richness and depth of both the photography and the characterisation manage to brush any signs of preachiness and sentimentality from view.
Only just barely.
Audience Reviews for Alice in den Städten (Alice in the Cities)
The innocent curiosity of a child against the cynicism and disinterest of an adult. All about rambling, clashing and finally bonding. Beautiful film.
there are many films in this genre going back at least as far as chaplin's 'the kid.' i'll still say without hesitation that this is my favorite. great chemistry between the two lead characters, fascinating references, the director's choice of b&w and wonderful filming locations are all just part of it. there are some truly lovely scenes here and wenders manages never to stray too far into sentimentality, a common pitfall of films on this theme, including chaplin's. here's a handful of odd and magical moments: tho phillip seems bored with america, on his return to germany we see him at a chuck berry concert drinking coca-cola. great use is made of the wuppertal schwebebahn, an early floating monorail. a small boy on a bike races their car through one of the towns in the ruhr district. the touching final scene, shot first from inside, then outside a train. note: the film has been difficult to find in the u.s., which is a pity. it's currently streaming at hulu plus. see it while u can.
Phil Winter (Rüdiger Vogler), a German journalist with a bad case of writer's block, decides to fly home from New York to finish an article he is writing about America. His hopes of meeting his unsympathetic editor's deadline are frustrated when a compatriot making the same journey stays behind to resolve a troubled relationship, leaving her nine year old daughter, Alice (Yella Rottländer), in his care. One of the things I like about this movie is the fascinating contrast between the director's rabid enthusiasm for Americana and his central character's ambivalence towards it: childlike wonder versus jaded cynicism. In addition to telling a sweet story with an admirable lack of sentimentality, Wenders appears to be commenting on the pervasiveness of American popular culture, whether it be Canned Heat on a jukebox in Wuppertal, Chuck Berry on a European tour or John Ford's obituary in a German newspaper. Though the film is not quite free of the stodgy dialogue that would go on to spoil his next feature, The Wrong Move, some truly magical moments more than compensate, for example Phil and Alice's ride on the extraordinary Schwebebahn monorail - whose cinematic potential was surely Wenders' main reason for sending the pair to Wuppertal - or the part where Phil attempts to impress Alice by 'blowing out' the lights of the Empire State Building.
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