Blu-ray, DVD Release: The American Friend

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Jan 12, 2015
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Wim Wenders (Pina) pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir drama with 1977’s The American Frienda loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game.

Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper in The American Friend

Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper in The American Friend

Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) oozes quirky menace as an amoral American art dealer who entangles a terminally ill German everyman, played by Bruno Ganz (Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas), 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 (The Mother and the Whore), Samuel Fuller (The Naked Kiss), and Nicholas Ray (Bigger Than  Life).

Presented in English, French, and German with English subtitles, Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions contain the following:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, 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
    • Trailer
    • New English subtitle translation
    • An essay by author Francine Prose


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.