Wim WendersWest Germany / France126 minutes1977ColourGerman English
Adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game, Wim Wenders' neo-noir thriller stars Dennis Hopper as Tom Ripley, an "American cowboy in Hamburg" who deals in forged paintings. After being slighted by picture framer Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz) at an auction, Ripley spitefully suggests to a French mobster that he hire Zimmermann to perform a hit on a rival, as the mild-mannered artisan has no connection to the underworld. Facing impending death from leukemia, Zimmermann takes on the job in order to leave some money behind for his wife and young son, and soon finds himself sucked into a whirlpool of murder, betrayal, and deceit. One of Wenders' best-loved films, The American Friend is another of the director's studies of male friendship, a scintillating suspense thriller, and a cinephilic homage to the films and filmmakers Wenders loves (Wenders casts Hollywood legends Nicholas Ray and Sam Fuller in small roles, along with such European auteurs as Jean Eustache, Daniel Schmid, and Gérard Blain).