The American Soldier (Der amerikanische Soldat)
The American Soldier (Der amerikanische Soldat) (1976)

American Soldier (originally Der Amerikanische Soldat) was the third of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "gangster trilogy." The film stars Karl Scheid as a German/American Vietnam veteran who takes a job as a hired assassin on… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 29, 1976
DVD Release Date: November 19, 2002
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Critic Score: 77% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tony Rayns
Time Out

This film marks a decisive step towards 'real' Fassbinder: the absurdity of its world of second-hand experience invests every cliché with a meaning it never had before.

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Ted Whitehead
The Spectator

Fassbinder loses both comedy and tension in his pursuit of grotesquerie, and there is a desperate sense of strain throughout.

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Keith Uhlich
House Next Door

As Billy Wilder turned a crumbling Berlin into a slapstick, satirical playground in One, Two, Three, so Fassbinder offers up The American Soldier's Munich as a monochrome city of sadness.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

The film has a languorous, dreamlike pace, a feeling of slow motion.

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Noel Murray
The Dissolve

Fassbinder toys with the imagery of noir and pulp, peppering The American Soldier with long scenes of men in hats driving through darkened city streets, and throwing in references to Batman comics and science-fiction.

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TV Guide

It is not as strong or as developed as his later masterpieces, but it is well worth seeing.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

This is Fassbinder before he froze up as a Douglas Sirk impersonator: a real punk movie, full of wonderfully half-baked ideas.

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Fernando F. Croce

The phantoms of Old Germany are everywhere

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a strange film noir, but its unyielding manic mood, unpredictability and boldness cover up some of its incomprehensible moments.

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Flixster Audience Score: 56% Flixster User Reviews
Marcus Woolcott
You can see how Fassbinder is evolving as a film maker, but his gangster films aren't as strong as his xenophobic work.