793 The American Friend

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13558
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

793 The American Friend

#1 Post by swo17 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:58 pm

The American Friend

Image Image

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.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

• 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
• PLUS: An essay by author Francine Prose

olmo
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:10 pm

Re: 793 The American Friend

#2 Post by olmo » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:40 pm

A rotten-toothed Ray in the throes of the death-rattle in tandem with mid 70's Hopper (strangely subdued, but brilliant) is reason enough to invest in this masterpiece....

....Yet Ganz, genius that he is, steals the picture.

I LOVE this film.

User avatar
TMDaines
Posts: 3681
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: 793 The American Friend

#3 Post by TMDaines » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:51 am

My favourite Wenders so far too. Nice to see Criterion finally get around to some of his films.

User avatar
DeprongMori
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:59 am
Location: San Francisco

Re: 793 The American Friend

#4 Post by DeprongMori » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:49 pm

I'm wondering if they will be adding additional supplements to this one. Not sure why it would be a two-disc DVD release otherwise, unless the two interviews are enormous. As listed, it doesn't seem to be enough to warrant a second disc as all the rest (audio commentary, deleted scenes with commentary, trailer) is on the current Anchor Bay single disc DVD. Though, granted, not with the feature in a 4K scan.

Thrilled about this release. Can't wait. It will also incent me to finally pick up the other "Ripley" adaptation in the Collection -- "Purple Noon".

User avatar
tenia
Posts: 3548
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: 793 The American Friend

#5 Post by tenia » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:45 am

The film is 124 min long, and that's common practice for Criterion to put the extras on a separate DVD for movies that long.

User avatar
FrauBlucher
Posts: 3002
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village

Re: 793 The American Friend

#6 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:58 pm


User avatar
manicsounds
Posts: 3888
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: 793 The American Friend

#7 Post by manicsounds » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:45 pm


kristophers
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:50 am

Re: 793 The American Friend

#8 Post by kristophers » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:45 pm

This is an amazing release, it looks great and the new interviews are more than welcome. I can't remember the last time a disc hasn't left my player for days. I'm so glad to sell off my DVD.

User avatar
Frumaster
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: 793 The American Friend

#9 Post by Frumaster » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:09 pm

kristophers wrote:This is an amazing release, it looks great and the new interviews are more than welcome. I can't remember the last time a disc hasn't left my player for days. I'm so glad to sell off my DVD.
The last time that happened to me was with Jaques Tati's Playtime. My copy of is arriving tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Costa
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:10 pm

Re: 793 The American Friend

#10 Post by Costa » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:41 am

Once more, a European release has a slightly better encode than the Criterion:
http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=9817&d2=9818&c=3952" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Of course the Criterion here doesn't reach the My Private idaho lows, but still there is an evident difference.

User avatar
Drucker
Posts: 4096
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: 793 The American Friend

#11 Post by Drucker » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:14 am

Of course, this is the kind of discrepancy one only notices on Caps-a-Holic. Furthermore, a bunch of recent Studio Canal titles have been disasters (Man Who Fell to Earth).

User avatar
TMDaines
Posts: 3681
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: 793 The American Friend

#12 Post by TMDaines » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:26 am

I looked at those caps and could barely see a difference.

Good to get a reminder though that importing the Criterion wouldn't be the most sensible option given the cost. I'll likely get the German disc.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8688
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: 793 The American Friend

#13 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:45 am

I only watched about 20 minutes of this, but I wonder if Hopper's character was inspiration for Wes Anderson visually for Owen Wilson as Eli Cash in The Royal Tenenbaums, specifically at the beginning when he's wearing the hat.

User avatar
Gregory
Posts: 5293
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: 793 The American Friend

#14 Post by Gregory » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:25 am

I don't see the resemblance and think that Eli Cash was meant to stick out as sort of a contrived "Western" persona dressing to impress as a literary celebrity, even though he grew up in NYC - a variation of the "dude" stereotype in westerns, who wears fancy clothing from specialty stores. Cash is wearing an outright costume.

User avatar
bugsy_pal
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 1:28 am

Re: 793 The American Friend

#15 Post by bugsy_pal » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:17 am

The German bluray caps seem to show more natural and prevalent grain. But the Criterion has been well handled, and doesn't seem to have introduced any nasty artefacts. It looks beautiful in motion.

I watched this for the first time on the weekend, and was totally enthralled. Bruno Ganz was extraordinary. I was less enamoured of Hopper's Ripley, but he grew on me. After sampling a few bits of the commentary track, I can't wait to watch it again with commentary.

This has got me pumped to watch Kings of the Road again, having not seen it for close to 30 years.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10344
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 793 The American Friend

#16 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:11 pm

bugsy_pal wrote:This has got me pumped to watch Kings of the Road again, having not seen it for close to 30 years.
I rewatched it recently and I always forget just how beautiful a film it is. Spectacular black and white footage and some of the most poetic and evocative day-for-night shooting I've ever seen.

Post Reply