The American Friend (1977) torrent download

The American Friend

1977

Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

7.4

Synopsis

Tom Ripley has a sweet deal with an art forger. The forger creates the paintings; Tom sells them. But another criminal business associate wants Tom to go in for an even riskier enterprise: murder. Tom suggests his associate ask a local picture framer instead. That man has a fatal disease, or so it's rumored. More, he has a wife and kid that surely he wouldn't want to leave penniless. Let this picture framer be a hit man, and no one will suspect. The terminally ill craftsman may agree to the misdeed, and several more, but he'll end up needing Tom Ripley in a pinch.

Director

Wim Wenders

Cast

Dennis Hopper
as Tom Ripley
Bruno Ganz
as Jonathan Zimmermann
Lisa Kreuzer
as Marianne Zimmermann
Gérard Blain
as Raoul Minot
Nicholas Ray
as Derwatt
Samuel Fuller
as The American
Peter Lilienthal
as Marcangelo

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 /10

A probing and fully realized character study

Jonathan Zimmerman (Bruno Ganz) is an easy going Swiss picture framer living in Germany who believes he is dying from a rare blood disease. When he makes the acquaintance of Tom Ripley (Dennis Hopper), an art dealer of dubious reputation, he is faced with a profound moral question. Should he commit a murder for Ripley's underworld associate, Raoul Minot (Gérard Blain) in order to guarantee the lifelong security of his wife Marianne (Liza Kruezer) and son Daniel (Andreas Dedecke)? Based on the novel Ripley's Game by Patricia Highsmith, Wim Wenders The American Friend is a probing character study of two very different men, one a solitary high stakes adventurer, the other a staid family man grown desperate by his circumstances. Perhaps as a result of an unacknowledged admiration for the other's lifestyle, the business relationship between the two men slowly develops into a reluctant friendship, powerfully illustrating the complexity of the human condition.

Shot in Paris, New York, and Hamburg, Germany, Cinematographer Robby Muller's moody waterfront shots and interior yellow-green color images enhance the mood of paranoia and keep the tension flowing. Cameo appearances by directors Nicholas Ray as a painter who faked his own death and Sam Fuller as an American mobster pay homage to these icons of American cinema. The plot centers around Ripley's revenge for an offhand remark Zimmerman made at an art auction, first spreading the rumor that is health is failing rapidly, then driving him to undertake an act that he would normally consider morally reprehensible. In trying to convince Zimmerman to commit the crime, Raoul offers to provide the services of a Paris hematologist but the lab results are faked and Zimmerman more than ever is convinced that he is going to die. Reluctantly, he commits the murder in a brilliant set piece aboard the Paris Metro, then slowly sinks into a maelstrom of deceit and deception that adds additional twists and turns to an already intricate plot.

Though questions remain unanswered, the strength of the film is not in the plot but in its multi-leveled characterizations and powerful performances. Ganz is fully believable as the decent man tortured by a moral dilemma and Hopper, rebounding from a period of substance abuse, turns in a performance of diabolical intensity as the underworld-connected profiteer. The American Friend avoids the temptation to be simply another film noir thriller or a good versus evil escapade, showing fully realized human beings who have thoughts and feelings we can understand even when we strongly disapprove of their actions. I just have one question. Didn't any one ever tell Zimmerman about life insurance?

Reviewed by Infofreak N/A

Wenders' wonder. Don't overlook this one!

Wim Wenders' movies are really a matter of taste. His detractors find his movies to be painfully slow, drawn out, pretentious affairs. Even I can admit to finding the prospect of sitting through some of his movies (particularly 'Until the End of the World' and 'Faraway, So Close!') almost unbearable. But when Wenders is on form he is hard to beat for mysterious, multi-layered, genuinely haunting movies.

Some people regard 'The American Friend' as a total bore, but I found it to be anything but, and almost equal to his masterpieces 'Paris, Texas' and 'Wings Of Desire'. Sure it is slow, and bound to frustrate those with MTV-type attention spans, but bear with it, and you will be rewarded.

Bruno Ganz is first rate as the picture-framer turned reluctant hitman, and Dennis Hopper, who is often ridiculed for his over the top self parodic "crazy guy" roles, is quietly impressive as the enigmatic, almost poetic Ripley. Compare his performance (and this movie as a whole) with Matt Damon's obvious turn in the more recent 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'. It speaks volumes for how much less subtle and intelligent most contemporary movies have become.

Reviewed by whitecargo N/A

long defrost time

The AMERICAN FRIEND

The fine German director Wim Wenders is responsible for this film. (If you dont know Wenders, you should). The setting of the film is handled well: the seaminess of the port of Hamburg Germany, comes across as one of the great film noir-type cities. It looks like an environment that is constantly wet and misty.

The movie ostensibly stars Dennis Hopper, but although he is given top billing in the movie he plays nearly a minor, background figure throughout. Clearly the most interesting performance, it is frustratingly parceled out to us in a way that makes you crave a really long scene with just him in it. But instead, his characterization happens in brief, truncated insights.

Hopper is well-cast once again in one of those teetering-on-the-edge roles he excels in. He is a loose cannon in this film--you clearly see his character is unbalanced --and you just dont know what he is going to do at any given moment and that lends the film its tense aspect. But the film doesnt really focus on him. Thats the main problem with this film.

Bruno Ganz (a fine Swiss actor) is the figure that the camera spends the most time on. He and Hopper and several other figures are all part of the world of art forgery and art smuggling. But Ganz's character--a painting restoration expert--is suffering secretly from a terminal blood disease. (His performance is soooo subdued it can make you antsy and annoyed, especially when you know Hopper is around somewhere).

Anyway, when the other shady characters in the movie learn of Ganz's condition they play upon his weakness to manipulate him into taking risks with the gangsters they deal with. His goal is simply to provide more money for his family after he is gone. (There is a nice moral dilemma in this film: if you knew you were dying, would your moral code alter?)

My emotional response to the plot: basically it evoked a sense of dread; a queasiness at the entanglements the main character is drawn into and the things he has to do--which are clearly against his better judgement. He is pushed to the limits of his moral and physical endurance. Its a tightly-focused story.

That being said, one immediately notices that the film's storyline is delivered in tiny, tattered snippets. These 'fragments' are in themselves intriguing. They are well photographed; they are sometimes laden with tension and atmosphere; and they often have taut, fused moments of acting.

There is also a poetic sweetness that occurs when two seemingly unrelated elements finally merge and make sense. Therefore, you know that the director isnt just fluffing it; because tiny motifs that are broken off in the beginning of the film reappear later and complete their meaning. Its great.

But overall, these slowly-delivered fragments can make one restless at times. There is too much that is unexplained; too much that we have to infer or dismiss because it simply isnt made clear. None of the characters, nor their subtle relationships to each other, are 'handed to us' outright. They are revealed in the same tiny flashes that forms the constructive style used throughout the whole movie.

Bottom line: a lot of the dialogue is frustratingly cryptic. I think you *could* figure out the weight behind each exchange if you went back carefully over the movie, but after a point--when the action takes over--youre left feeling that it just doesnt matter. Its as if Wenders shot long, fully drawn-out and rich scenes of dialogue but then went back and sliced it all up into little bits and pieces.

Its a movie that gives one mixed reactions. Kind of hard to characterize what the sum total of this film really is. Its basically a thriller, but done in such a low, deliberately dead-pan manner; that youre left with no sense of tension. Or climax. The Hopper character's weird relationship to the main protagonist, is what really leaves an aftertaste in your mouth. Perhaps that was the intent all along.

There is a sense of calm and satisfaction at the close of the movie, but more because the chaos is over and things have settled into a peaceful arrangement. Still, I enjoyed the movie and recommend it as worth seeing.

One reason that any film fan should really watch this film is the wonderful cameos by two of America's classic Hollywood directors from the 1950s: Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller. This is really a treat! Fuller plays a gangster and Ray plays a forger. Its the main reason I wanted to see this movie, and I am glad I did.

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