The journalist Phillip Winter wants to write a story about America. But when he’s unable to deliver the text and has only managed to collect a series of Polaroids, he disappointedly prepares to travel back home to Germany. When his flight is delayed, he reluctantly agrees to take care of little Alice, because her mother, who he has met in New York the day before, still has pressing business to attend to in the city. In Amsterdam, the mother fails to show up as they had agreed. So Winter and Alice set out on their way to the Ruhr region to search for Alice’s grandmother. Over the course of their common odyssey their initial dislike for each other is transformed into heart-felt affection.
Alice in the Cities is technically Wenders’ fourth film, although he himself often refers to it as “his first own one”, as it was with Alice that he discovered road movies as a genre, at least for himself. It is also his first film to be shot partially in the USA, and the first with his alter ego Phillip Winter (Rüdiger Vogler). Alice has often been compared to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921). The film received the German Critics’ Prize in 1974. (Wim Wenders Stiftung. A Foundation)
Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) 1974, 113 min