American Friend, The

Directed by Wim Wenders
  • West Germany / France
  • 125 minutes
  • 1977

The sensitive story of a dying man who becomes an unwilling hitman, while also getting involved with one Tom Ripley. Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz star in Wim Wenders’ 1977 classic film noir. The American Friend tells of the dying Jonathan Zimmermann (Ganz) who is persuaded to take a job as a hitman lined up by the mysterious American Ripley (Hopper) in return for some money to leave to his widow.

Ripley here is an amusing, almost benevolent figure, but the audience never forgets his insidious, malign influence - and so another layer is added to his interaction with the naïve Zimmermann. It’s this relationship that makes this film so special, as the supremely talented Ganz and Hopper work each other up to new and often crazy heights.

Powerful hard-edged violence is thrown into effective relief by Wenders’ artful meanderings while Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz are electrifying.

Sam Jordison, Channel 4 Film

• Chosen by Dennis Hickie, former Ireland international rugby player.


This film is part of the My Favourite Film season. You can see this and the five other films in the season for just €40. Go to the booking page for details of the other films or to purchase this season package.

Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz,Gerard Blain, Lisa Kreuzer