Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend)
Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend) (1977)

Hamburg denizen Jonathan (Lowell Ganz) is under the impression that he is dying from a blood disease. Jonathan's "American friend," displaced cowboy Ripley (Dennis Hopper), decides to use his illness to his advantage. Ripley… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 29, 1977
DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The American Friend is a slow burning existential thriller that does justice to the Patricia Highsmith source novel.

Gary Arnold
Washington Post

An absorbing but rarefied, introspective variation on traditional thrilleer motifs, it's probably not the synthetis between the personal and traditional that Wenders needs but it's a fascinating compulsively watchable experiment.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

Although it is a thriller by genre, Wenders is clearly interested in things beyond the mechanics of Ripley's manipulations and Zimmermann's desperation

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Tom Milne
Time Out

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

Sean Axmaker

The cool, cunning sociopath of Highsmith's novel becomes a restless international hustler, selling art forgeries and brokering deals (some of which may actually be legal) while travelling back and forth through Germany, France, and the United States.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Crafty and beguiling and unexpectedly smart about people.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Most Highsmith adaptations have turned out to be satisfying movies -- the earliest example being Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and the most recent being Carol -- and this one's no exception.

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Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

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

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Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
familiar stranger
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… More
Tim Sigur
Like a lot of Wenders' stuff, I love the way this movie looks, but am still trying to figure out what the fuck was going on in some scenes.
Stella Dallas
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… More
Sarah Gaish
I watched this film as it was part of the German expressionim era and starring Dennis Hopper. Plus, a young Bruno Ganz as the German picture framer. What I… More
Stephen M
A brilliant art house <i>noir</i> by Wim Wenders, adapted from Patricia Highsmith's <I>Ripley's Game</I>. Bruno Ganz plays… More
Most audiences were first made familiar with the character of Tom Ripley from the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, but the character really originated in a… More