The American Friend (German: Der amerikanische Freund) is a 1977 film by Wim Wenders, loosely adapted from the novel Ripley's Game by Patricia Highsmith. The film is of the neo-noir genre, and features Dennis Hopper as career criminal Tom Ripley and Bruno Ganz as Jonathan Zimmermann, a terminally ill picture framer whom Ripley coerces into becoming an assassin.
Though primarily based on Ripley's Game, the film also uses elements, uncredited, of Ripley Under Ground, which was later adapted to film in 2005.
The source novel Ripley's Game (1974) was cinematically adapted a second time as Ripley's Game (2002).
Wenders was a fan of Patricia Highsmith and had wanted to adapt one of her novels to film. He initially wanted to film either The Tremor of Forgery or The Cry of the Owl but found that not only were the rights to these novels unavailable, the rights to all of Highsmith's novels had already been sold. Highsmith learned of his desire to film one of her novels and they met, where she...