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The American Friend The Criterion Collection
special_edition, Special Edition
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Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas) pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with The American Friend, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith s novel Ripley s Game. Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) oozes quirky menace as an amoral American art dealer who entangles a terminally ill German everyman, played by Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire), in a seedy criminal underworld as revenge for a personal slight but when the two become embroiled in an ever-deepening murder plot, they form an unlikely bond. Filmed on location in Hamburg and Paris, with some scenes shot in grimy, late-seventies New York City, Wenders s international breakout is a stripped-down crime story that mixes West German and American film flavors, and it features cameos by filmmakers Jean Eustache (The Mother and the Whore), Samuel Fuller (Shock Corridor), and Nicholas Ray (Bigger Than Life).
DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Wim Wenders, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- Audio commentary from 2002 featuring Wenders and actor Dennis Hopper
- New interview with Wenders
- New interview with actor Bruno Ganz
- Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Wenders
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by author Francine Prose
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 5.92 Ounces
- Item model number : Relay time: 110min
- Director : Wim Wenders
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Restored, Widescreen, Surround Sound
- Run time : 2 hours and 7 minutes
- Release date : January 12, 2016
- Actors : Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer
- Dubbed: : French, German
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Criterion Collection
- ASIN : B016R7C3LS
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #23,679 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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i did not want his now!
Top reviews from other countries
This is such a sad story, but also captivating - a king of german City of God where
the innocent are kind of tricked or seduced by society into becoming criminals...
at first for good reasons....then the lead character descends into self destruction.....
betrayed by rotten luck and a strange distant homo erotic seeming affair.....
But once more its the colour and sound and sheer beauty of the photography which
is just stunning and spell binding. I was entranced from beginning to end, and found myself
rewinding and pausing some amazing shots full of saturated back street, sunrise, sunset,
After falling in love with Wims work through the likes of Alice in Cities, Wings of Desire, Paris Texas,Kings of the Road,
Buena Vista Social Club.......The American Friend more than holds its own as a work of art.
Brilliant and memorable and seductive.
The film is a Franco/German/US production and captures the bleakness and general despondency of the 1970’s. It stars Dennis Hopper (as Tom Ripley) who after feeling slighted by Zimmerman (Ganz) starts rumours about Zimmerman’s rare blood disease being worse than it is in order to coerce him into committing ‘One or maybe two’ murders for Raoul Minot (Gerard Blain).
The film is a pacy thriller that makes the most of the locations and uses incredible suspense to make the viewer feel Jonathan’s dilemna and the reasons behind his motivations for getting involved. There are many gripping action sequences, no less than the 2 murders, the first a lengthy chase on the Paris Metro and the second on board a train. It has lots of human qualities and focuses on the relationships between the characters, especially Zimmerman and his wife and Zimmerman and Ripley.
While taking from the source novel, the film is positively Wenders’ and stands as his crowning glory. Offering beautifully shot landmarks, gripping ‘noir’ tension and even light relief with some humour. With brilliant performances from Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer and cameo’s from Wenders’ director friends Gerard Blain, Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller. The only real sticking point for me is the choice of Hopper as Ripley. While Hopper’s acting ability is not in question. He doesn’t fit as ‘Ripley’ from the novel and fans of the books maybe disappointed by the casting. Playing Ripley as a ‘Wild West’ cowboy complete with Stetson and Boots. While he is far removed from the Ripley character from the books, he does play the suspense very well and is finely captured as a tortured soul who rambles incessantly into a tape-recorder trying to capture the person whom he used to be. Hopper’s mischevious playing of the role captures this soul searching perfectly.
As a foreign language film of the 1970’s, with brilliant performances from the cast, a fresh and pacy script that pays homage to the ‘noir’ films of the past. With essential elements taken from the novel. A great score by Jurgen Knieper and fine use of quotes from Dylan songs and The Kinks. As well as ambitious cinematography. This is a must have for fans of tight thrillers, neo-noir, Highsmith fans and fans of Wenders. Fans of World Cinema or anyone who enjoys a good well paced movie should be thrilled.Those of you coming to it for the first time won’t be disappointed and it is a fine starting point for viewers wishing to see more of Wenders’ work
'American Friend' is a colossus of a film-Wim Wenders, the Director's wondrous shining achievement. Of course he went on to create in other movies more moments of film wise brilliance but 'American Friend' was certaily a very bright spot in his career.
Dennis Hopper is superb as Ripley- the silences in his performance are shattering moments that convey in the face of the man his every Ripley thought.
Bruno Ganz too excels. He is also a fine actor who went to greater heights, especially his compelling study of Hitler in his last days in 'Downfall'. Nicholas Ray, the Director of Hopper's first film 'Rebel without a Cause' is excellent too, cast as the mysterious painter/forger Derwatt.
A very eerie aspect of the film is the shadow of the Twin Towers used at the beginning and end of the film.
It's Dennis Hopper's film all the way, but, there is no slouching from the other members of the cast.
Final opinion is that the film is a towering achievement in the world of cinema and a lasting tribute to Patricia Highsmith, Bruno Ganz, Wim Wenders but above all, the lovely much missed man for all seasons-Dennis Hopper.