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THE AMERICAN FRIEND

Germany, 1976 (MIFF 1978, Other)

Director: Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders' new film is a crime thriller, based on a novel 'Ripley's Game' by Patricia Highsmith, who wrote the book on which Strangers on a Train was based. Once again an innocent man is asked to kill someone he doesn't know. The man who is picked out to murder a stranger is Jonathan Zimmermann a frame-maker who lives with his wife and son in Hamburg.

A shady American, Ripley, who travels between New York and Hamburg with paintings forged in America for sale in Germany, comes to realize that Zimmermann may have leukemia. He offers Zimmermann a check-up at the American hospital in Paris and promises him a large amount of money to leave to his family.

Zimmermann goes to Paris and is told that he hasn't long to live. He takes on the deal and clumsily kills his victim in the Paris Metro. Ripley proposes another assignment: an important man, accompanied by body-guards, must be killed on the Munich-Hamburg train.

Zimmermann agrees to the second murder, but things go wrong and Ripley has to help his friend dispose of the bodyguards. Meanwhile Zimmerman's wife has become suspicious, and the intended victim plans his own revenge ...

Several film directors play important parts in the film: Dennis Hopper as Ripley, Nicholas Ray a New York art forger, Samuel Fuller the criminal on the train, and Daniel Schmid as the Metro victim.

See also...

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THE GOALKEEPER'S FEAR OF THE PENALTY KICK

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