Alice in den Städten (1974)
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- Alice in the Cities
- 113 min.
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In Alice in the Cities, Wim Wenders gives an unlikely pair of companions in Philip, a journalist who's just driven though the United States and failed to find a story, and Alice, a young girl abandoned to his care by a woman he just met at the airport. Together, they meander through New York, Amsterdam and the whole of Germany, until Alice can be put into the hands of a proper guardian. Hauntingly scored, this is a quiet film about human contact and urban alienation, Philip's Polaroids empty of people until a crucial moment, when Alice becomes something other than a burden to him. The young actress is very strong, eliciting his annoyance and sympathy both, an effect she also has on the audience. Movies about men saddled with daughter stand-ins are usually very purposeful - it's an action movie trope - but this road movie is purposefully pointless. The characters don't really know what they're looking for, and so fail to find it, except in a roundabout way. A few minutes in, I was afraid I might get bored. By the end, I had totally fallen under its poignant spell.
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #46 in IMDb's 1970s Top 50
This movie ranks #48 in Kinemathekverbund's The 100 Most Important German Films
This movie ranks #242 in iCheckMovies's Most Favorited
This movie ranks #338 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #348 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #505 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #579 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #650 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #956 in The Criterion Collection