Lisbon Story

The story starts with a postcard and a cryptic message: “Dear Phil. I cannot continue m.o.s.! S.O.S.! Come to Lisbon with all your stuff a.s.a.p.! Big hug, Fritz.”

Who is who? And what do all those abbreviations mean? The S.O.S., of course, is obvious, and a.s.a.p. only strengthens the urgency: come as soon as possible. But m.o.s.? Only someone who has worked on a film set before might know that the expression dates back to the early years of sound films and according to legend Erich von Stroheim, who wanted to continue shooting without sound, coined the term “mit out sound”.

It soon becomes clear: The postcard comes from the director Friedrich Munroe (Patrick Bauchau) who asks his friend Philip Winter (Rüdiger Vogler) to come to his aid. Friedrich single-handedly shoots a film in Lisbon and Winter is a sound engineer. He’s stuck: he wanted to shoot a film as if the whole history of film had not taken place. One man alone in the streets, with a crank handle camera, just like Buster Keaton in “The Cameraman”. Now he hopes that Winter’s microphone can pull his pictures “out of the darkness” and just save his entire undertaking.

The film is a hommage to the city of Lisbon and a bow to the history of film for which 100th birthday it was made. The soundtrack made the group Madradeus world-famous.


Germany 1994/1995
Length: 103 min, 2850 m
Format: 35mm color; 1:1,66; Dolby Stereo SR
Original Language: English, Portugese

Cast and crew

Production: Road Movies Filmproduktion GmbH (Berlin), Madragoa Filmes (Lisbon) Director: Wim Wenders Producer: Ulrich Felsberg, Paolo Branco, Wim Wenders Screenplay: Wim Wenders, Donata Wenders Director of Photography: Lisa Rinzler Editor: Peter Przygodda, Anne Schnee Sound: Vasco Pimentel Cast: Rüdiger Vogler, Patrick Bauchau, Teresa Salgueiro, Madredeus

Assistant Camera: João Guerra, Andreas Giesecke Visual Effects: Frank Schlegel, Morten McAdams Script: Yaël Bitton Lighting Director: Mario Castanheira, João “Musga” Carlos Aguiar Stage Technician: Paulo Miranda Set Design: Zé Branco, Ferando Assuncão Special Effects: Jaime Brito Assistant Editor: Oliver Weiss Sound Editor: André Bendocchi Alves, Evelyn Schmidt, Claudia Fröhlich Sound Assistant: Pedro Melo Assistant Director: José-Maria Vaz da Silva Re-recording Mixer: Hartmut Eichgrün Music: Jürgen Knieper Music Execution: Madredeus Guests: Manoel de Oliveira In Cooperation with: Lisboa 94 (Lisbon), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) Production Manager: João Canijo Location Manager: João Montalverne Production Assistant: Marco Martins Production Coordinator: Catherine Coste Primary Distribution: Pandora Film GmbH (Frankfurt a.M.) First Release (DE): 18.05.1995

Blu-ray & DVD

Language: OV in German, English, Portuguese (5.1 Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: German
Format: 1.78:1

Lions Gate
Language: OV in German, English, Portuguese (Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC)
Subtitles: English
Format: 1.78:1

Atalanta Filmes
Language: OV in German, English, Portuguese
Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese
Format: 1.78:1

Axiom Films
Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles: French
Format: 1.78:1

BAC Films
Language: Deutsch (Dolby Digital 2.0), Deutsch (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portugiesisch (Dolby Digital 2.0), Portugiesisch (Dolby Digital 5.1), Französisch
Subtitles: Französisch
Format: 1.77:1

Book to the film

Lisbon Story
Wim Wenders
Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main 1994
Companion book to the film

Out of print

Press Sheet (PDF)

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