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Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend)

Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend) (1977)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,538

My Rating

Movie Info

Wim Wenders' mines Dennis Hopper's real-life experience as a painter and collector in this existential take on the American gangster film based on a Patricia Highsmith novel featuring the notoriously sociopathic Tom Ripley. Hopper stars as the eponymous American, currently a middleman selling the work of American painter Derwatt (Nicholas Ray), who has feigned his own death to increase the value of his paintings. While auctioning this work in Berlin, he meets art restorer Jonathan Zimmerman

Jan 7, 2003

New Yorker Films

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (2) | DVD (6)

Superb adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game, with Hopper as her amiably cynical hero.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's something cheerfully perverse about filming a thriller and then tossing out the parts that would help it make sense, but Wim Wenders has a certain success with the method.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gripping 1977 American thriller from Wim Wenders that turns back on itself with deadly European irony.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By refusing to explain Ripley, this gets closer to Highsmith's character than any other film version.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A gripping Hitchockian thriller based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

...a slow-moving yet occasionally thrilling adaptation...

December 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Moody and intriguing, this is one of Wenders' most accessible films, effective as a Hitchockian thriller (Strangers on a Train), existential character study, and allegory about the corruptible yet irrevrsible impact of American pop culture on Germany.

November 5, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Enquanto Hopper cria um Tom Ripley inacreditavelmente ridículo, Ganz rouba o filme, que conta com uma direção irregular de Wenders.

March 22, 2004
Cinema em Cena

A lovingly crafted exploration of friendship and desperation.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

One of those movies that offers a nice viewing experience, but it definitely plays better when you're watching than when you sit down for analysis.

March 21, 2003

A slow burn that slowly peters out

March 1, 2003 Full Review Source:

The mood and visuals of the film carry you away from nagging questions about the plot.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend)

Wim Wenders take on Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley is an interesting one. It's not a thorough adaptation but more of a personal reworking. Dennis Hopper seems to have been cast due to his interest in and active work as an art dealer. Nicholas Ray, a hero of Wenders, is cast as the master painter. Both are real life friends and inspirations of Wenders, as is Bruno Ganz whose character gets more screen time than Ripley and who may or may not be dying. Wenders cast seven film directors in total in the film, all of which played villeins. I do wonder whether this was him making comment on the film making process rather than just another adaptation. Deceit, fraud and persuasion are the famous characteristics of Tom Ripley but the same could be said of the film director, especially one like Wenders and Ray. I love the grainy style of the film, it's a late 70s classic with one of my favorite ever endings - something Wenders is great at.
March 6, 2014

Super Reviewer

Nice performances, but too slow for me. And unlike others, I didn't find much to savor here. A thriller/mystery this predictable coupled with such a sluggish pacing is not my cup of entertainment.
February 19, 2014

Super Reviewer

beautifully shot and atmospheric thriller based on ripley's game with a great performance by bruno ganz. i admit i found it hard to imagine hopper as ripley but he was quite good too. and
it seems to be making a statement about u.s vs. europe. don't trust the americans? hmm...
February 26, 2009
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A brilliant art house noir by Wim Wenders, adapted from Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game. Bruno Ganz plays Jonathan Zimmermann, a picture framer with an incurable blood disease, whose precariousness of health is manipulated by Dennis Hopper's Tom Ripley, a sociopathic art dealer seeking to recruit a contract killer for a gangland associate. Eager to provide his wife and son with some financial security before his 'imminent' demise, Zimmermann is sucked into the criminal underworld.

Wenders' presentation is dazzling enough to prevent us from scrutinising the rather implausible plot too closely. There are a couple of artsy digressions - unfortunate, because Robby Müller's stunning photography ensures that the film would have been just as aesthetically pleasing without them - but, happily, Wenders doesn't let them get in the way of the story. I could have done without some of Hopper's trademark nutty behaviour - he's Dennis Hopper, right! I'll buy the fact that he's crazy sight unseen - but it's fun to see him playing opposite Nicholas Ray, the director who gave him an early break with Rebel Without a Cause. Curiously, the protagonist here is called Zimmerman(n) and the film closes with Ripley mumbling the lyrics to Bob Dylan's I Pity the Poor Immigrant. Coincidence?
January 28, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der amerikanische Freund (DE)
  • The American Friend (Der amerikanische Freund) (UK)
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