The frame maker and art restorer Jonathan Zimmermann suffers from a dangerous blood disease. The unscrupulous American art dealer Tom Ripley learns of this and on a whim tells the criminal Minot about Jonathan. He in turn offers the terminally ill man the opportunity to carry out a hit for him, for which he is to be paid generously, enabling him to leave something behind to his wife and son. What Jonathan doesn’t know is that Minot has manipulated the results of his blood tests. Ripley soon regrets having delivered up Jonathan. A friendship develops between the two very different men, which ultimately leads to Ripley intervening when Zimmermann proves to be incapable of committing an additional murder.
Not only are the leads in his film played by directors Dennis Hopper and Gérard Blain, Wenders also cast many fellow directors in supporting roles, such as Hollywood legends Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray, as well as his European colleagues Peter Lilienthal, Daniel Schmid and Jean Eustache. The American Friend won the German Critics’ Prize in 1977, along with several German Film Awards. (Wim Wenders Stiftung. A Foundation)
Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) / France 1977, 127 min