Each week we’re recommending a movie from the film lover’s favorite home video company, Criterion. The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film. This week, The American Friend.
Wim Wenders pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with The American Friend, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game.
Dennis Hopper oozes quirky menace as an amoral American art dealer who entangles a terminally ill German everyman, played by Bruno Ganz, in a seedy criminal underworld as revenge for a personal slight—but when the two become embroiled in an ever-deepening murder plot, they form an unlikely bond. Filmed on location in Hamburg and Paris, with some scenes shot in grimy, late-seventies New York City, Wenders’s international breakout is a stripped-down crime story that mixes West German and American film flavors, and it features cameos by filmmakers Jean Eustache, Samuel Fuller, and Nicholas Ray.
- Restored 4K digital transfer, commissioned by the Wim Wenders Stiftung | A Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2002 featuring Wenders and actor Dennis Hopper
- New interview with Wenders
- New interview with actor Bruno Ganz
- Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Wenders
- New English subtitle translation
English, French, German