Born in Dusseldorf just after the end of World War II, German film director Wim Wenders grew up with an insatiable appetite for American movies. Not all that interested in big-budget products, he, instead, developed a fascination with B-movies, notably melodramas and Westerns. After studying Medicine and Philosophy in his native country, Wenders took up art in Paris (a mecca for viewing American films), and then returned to his homeland to attend Munich’s Academy of Film and Television. Like many of his French movie-fan brethren, Wenders began his career writing film criticism before directing a few short subjects of his own, and, in 1970, he and several other young filmmakers formed a production-distribution firm, Filmverlag Der Autoren. Summer in the City (1970) was Wenders’ first feature film, but it was his 1973 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter that first brought him attention outside of Germany. The film included many accomplishments, most notably coaxing… read more
Wenders as the hired gun; Coppola as the "author." As it is, it's a decent enough tribute to Hollywood detective movies of the 1940s, well acted and beautifully designed, but it fits more comfortably alongside Coppola's own Zoetrope fantasies, The Outsiders and The Cotton Club, than the kind of poetic melancholy that one might expect from a director whose last two features were Kings of the Road and The American Friend.
Pretty underrated and great for a film that Wenders r.didn't have complete control. While Chinatown was a blend of actors looking like 40s noir icons and post-method style acting, this film is the best recreation of that era's style of acting mixed with modern filmmaking. Frederic Forrest was excellant in a rare lead role. If he'd been born 40 yrs earlier he'd have been a movie star. Wenders' should be proud.