The American Friend (1977) 2 x DVD and Blu-Ray Criterion Collection
Wim Wenders' mines Dennis Hopper's real-life experience as a painter and collector in this existential take on the American gangster film based on a Patricia Highsmith novel featuring the notoriously sociopathic Tom Ripley. Hopper stars as the eponymous American, currently a middleman selling the work of American painter Derwatt (Nicholas Ray), who has feigned his own death to increase the value of his paintings. While auctioning this work in Berlin, he meets art restorer Jonathan Zimmerman (Bruno Ganz), who he learns is suffering from an incurable blood disease. When a shady friend (Gerard Blain) requires Ripley to find a "clean" non-professional to do a contract hit in order to pay off a debt, even he is reluctant. But he quickly realizes that the physically vulnerable Jonathan would be perfect for the job, and tries to get him to accept by employing various subterfuges to persuade him that his condition is even worse than it is. For his part, Blain guarantees the restorer that his family will be financially secure for life, and a deal is struck. As usual, nothing works out quite as expected...

Director: Wim Wenders
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer
Country: West Germany, France
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Drama


Audio Commentary - this audio commentary, which was recorded in 2002, features director Wim Wenders and the late Dennis Hopper. There is plenty of excellent information about the film's production history -- how the rights to Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game were secured, how the different locations where key sequences from the film were shot were chosen, how the sound recording was done, etc.) -- the casting of Dennis Hopper (John Cassavetes was also considered for the role of Tom Ripley), the original title of the film which was Framed, the film's visual style and atmosphere, some of Robby Muller's more unusual framing choices, the relationships between the main characters, etc.

Wim Wenders - in this brand new video interview, director Wim Wenders recalls how he began exploring Patricia Highsmith's work and how consequently the idea for The American Friend emerged, and discusses Tom Ripley's persona and the casting process, his interactions with Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper during the shooting of the film, the tension between the two actors, Sam Fuller's contribution to the film, his working relationship with cinematographer Robby Muller as well as his interesting decision to lit large parts of the film with fluorescent lights, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in New York City in September 2015. In English, not subtitled. (38 min, 1080p).

Bruno Ganz - in this brand new video interview, actor Bruno Ganz explains how director Wim Wenders helped him transition from theater to cinema (prior to The American Friend, he had had only one prominent appearance in Eric Rohmer's film The Marquise of O), and discusses Wim Wenders' fascination with America, the character he plays (Jonathan Zimmermann) and some of the dilemmas he faces in the film, his interaction with Dennis Hopper immediately after his arrival from Manila where he had worked with Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now, Sam Fuller's charisma, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in Zurich in September 2015. In German, with optional English subtitles. (28 min, 1080p).

Deleted Scenes - presented here is a collection of deleted scenes with an optional commentary by director Wim Wenders. In English, not subtitled. (35 min, 1080p).

Trailer - original trailer for The American Friend. In German and English, with optional English subtitles for the German lines (4 min, 1080p).

DVD9 + DVD5 | NTSC 16:9 | 02:07:31 | 7.82 Gb + 4.30 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Deutsch
Subtitles: English

Download Der amerikanische Freund / The American Friend (1977) 2 x DVD Criterion Collection:



BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:07:42 | 44.7 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Deutsch
Subtitles: English

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