Dennis Hopper in The American Friend (1977) © Bavaria Film
Dennis Hopper in The American Friend (1977) © Bavaria Film
The American Friend (1977) © Bavaria Film

ACMI & the Victorian Seniors Festival present

The American Friend

Wim Wenders | West Germany, France | 1977 | M

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.

Wim Wenders casts the legendary Dennis Hopper in the role of Tom Ripley in his super-stylish adaption of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game.

By refusing to explain Ripley, this gets closer to Highsmith's character than any other film version.

Kim Newman (Empire Magazine)

At an art auction in Hamburg, picture framer Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz) quietly bests Tom Ripley (Dennis Hopper). Zimmermann's eye for detail is keener than Ripley's, and he clocks the artworks Ripley is selling as forgeries. Learning that Zimmermann is discreetly battling a blood disease, Ripley sets out an effortless revenge plan by spreading a rumour that his condition is terminal. As the convincing rumour circles back to Zimmermann, he's spurned into an amoral descent.

Curator's Note

Wim Wenders' modest yet suspenseful European noir smartly and surprisingly relegates the character of Tom Ripley to the film's periphery, allowing the audience to focus on the compelling journey of anti-hero Jonathan Zimmerman. In effect, Wenders keeps Ripley characteristically distant before bringing him uncomfortably close.

At the time of the film's release, Patricia Highsmith was not a fan of The American Friend, but over time she came to admire the film for its stylistic adventurousness. Today the film is praised as an early indicator of Wenders' talent and a key marker of the New German Cinema movement.

– Reece Goodwin; Curator (Film & TV)

Format: DCP
Language: German, English and French with English subtitles
Source: The Festival Agency
Courtesy: The Festival Agency
Duration: 128 mins


See below for additional related events


128 mins



Contains moderate violence


Free admission. Tickets are limited to two per booking.

Get tickets


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

Not an ACMI Member yet?

Experience ACMI in the very best way. Get a range of discounts and invitations to exclusive previews.


Seniors Film Festival (2–8 Oct 2023)

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

ACMI building at night - photograph by Shannon McGrath

Plan your visit

Visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning
ACMI Shop items - red and blue colour scheme


Melbourne's favourite shop dedicated to all things moving image. Every purchase supports your museum of screen culture.

Shop online

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like