Wings of Desire

WINGS OF DESIRE marked Wenders’s “homecoming” and was his first German film after eight years in America. The main characters are guardian angels—benevolent, invisible beings in trench coats—who listen to the thoughts of mortals and attempt to comfort them. One of them, Damiel (Bruno Ganz), wishes to become human after he falls in love with the beautiful trapeze artist Marion (Solveig Dommartin). Peter Falk, played by himself, helps him during his transformation, by introducing him to life’s little pleasures.

The film is narrated from the perspective of the angels, who see the world in black and white. Only when Damiel becomes human does the world of color reveal itself to him. He leaves behind his old friend Cassiel (Otto Sander), who continues to be accompanied by Homer (Curt Bois), the “storyteller of humanity.”

The film has achieved cult status all around the world; in 1998, it was remade under the title CITY OF ANGELS, which features Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan in the lead roles.

Format

West Germany/France 1986/87
Length: 128 min, 3493 m
Format: 35mm black and white and colour; 1:1.66; Sound
Language: German, French, English

2K DCP (HD-Scan criterion 2010), 4K Restoration scheduled for 2016


Festivals & Awards

1987 • Cannes International Filmfestival: Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director)
1987 • Bavarian Filmprize (Best Director)
1988 • Gilde-Filmprize in Silver (Best National Film)
1988 • European Filmprize (Best Director; Best Supporting Actor: Curt Bois)
1988 • German Film Award in Gold (Best full-length Feature Film; Best Camerawork Henri Alekan)


Cast and crew

Production: Road Movies Filmproduktion GmbH (Berlin), Argos Films S.A. (Neuilly-sur-Seine) Director: Wim Wenders Producer: Wim Wenders, Anatole Dauman Screenplay: Wim Wenders, Peter Handke, Richard Reitinger Director of Photography: Henri Alekan Editor: Peter Przygodda Sound: Jean-Paul Mugel, Axel Arft Cast: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois, Peter Falk, Hans Martin Stier, Elmar Wilms, Sigurd Rachman, Beatrice Manowski, Lajos Kovács

Script: Gabriele Mattner Assistant Director: Claire Denis, Knut Winkler, Carola Hochgräf Music: Jürgen Knieper, Laurent Petitgand (Circus Music) In Cooparation with: Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) Personal Assistant to Wim Wenders: Ulla Zwicker Assistant Camera: Louis Cochet, Agnès Godard (Camera Operator), Achim Poulheim (Focus Puller), Peter Uhlig (Materials), Additional Shots: Peter Ch. Arnold, Martin Kukula, Frank Guido Blasberg, Peter Braatz Helicopter Shots: Klemens Becker, Klaus Krieger Special Effects: Fritz Lehmann, Wolfgang Schmidt Assistant Editor: Anne Schnee, Leni Savietto-Pütz Still Photographer: Ralf Strathmann Sound Assistant: Uwe Thalmann Re-recording: Lothar Mankewitz Re-recording Mixer: Hartmut Eichgrün Light: Bernd Hübner, Dieter Dentzer, Thomas Gosda, Claus Gerling Sets: Klaus Bieling, Dieter Bähr, Alexander Korn, Markus Pluta Sculptor: Joost van der Velden, Claude Lalanne Requisite: Peter Alteneder, Esther Walz, Henrik Gross Choreography: Lajos Kovács (Trapeze), Dieter Koschorrek (bird trainer) Wardrobe: Monika Jacobs, Brigitte Friedländer-Rodriguez, Irmtraud Simone Simon Make-up: Viktor Leitenbauer, Regina Huyer Set Design: Andreas Olshausen Title Technician: Studio Bartoschek Title Design: Uli Mayer Songs: Laurie Anderson, Laurent Petitgand, Crime & The City Solution, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Sprung aus den Wolken, Tuxedomoon, Minimal Compact, Die Haut Location Manager: Herbert Kerz, Barbara von Wrangell Line Producer: Ingrid Windisch Editorial Office: Joachim von Mengershausen Production Support: Pascale Dauman und Chris Sievernich Film Management: Inge Ruf Primary Distribution: Filmverlag der Autoren GmbH & Co KG (Frankfurt o.M.) World Distribution: Argos Films S.A. (Neuilly-sur-Seine) Shooting: 20.10.1986 – 20.12.1986; 09.02.1987 – 18.02.1987 in West Berlin + vttv Studioa Premiere (FR): 17.05.1987, Cannes International Filmfestival; (DE): 10.1987, Hof Filmfestival First Release (DE): 29.10.1987 World Sales: HanWay Films


Blu-ray & DVD

 

BLU RAY (DE)
Arthaus/Studiocanal
Language/Sound: German (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio)
Subtitles: German,English
Image Format: 1,66:1 1080 Full HD

DVD (DE)
Arthaus/Studiocanal
Language/Sound: German (5.1 Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: German
Image Format: 1,85:1

DVD – Special Edition (DE)
Arthaus/Studiocanal
Language/Sound: German (5.1 Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: German
Image Format: 1,85:1

DVD – Edition Deutscher Film (DE)
Arthaus/Studiocanal
Language/Sound: German (5.1 Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: German
Image Format: 1,85:1

BLU RAY (FR)
Arte Editions
Language/Sound: French (Mono 2.0), German (DTS HD Master Audio 5.1)
Subtitles: French
Image Format: 1,66:1 1080 Full HD

DVD (FR)
Arte Editions
Language/Sound: French (Mono 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: French
Image Format: 1,66:1

BLU RAY (GB)
Axiom Films
Language/Sound: German
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,66:1 1080 Full HD

DVD (GB)
Axiom Films
Language/Sound: German
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,78:1

BLU RAY (IT)
Ripley’s Home Video
Language/Sound: German, English, Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: Italian
Image Format: 1.66:1

DVD (IT)
Ripley’s Home Video
Language/Sound: German, Italian (Dolby Digital 3.0)
Subtitles: Italian
Image Format: 1.78:1

BLU RAY (US)
Criterion Collection
Language/Sound: German, English, French (DTS HD Master Audio 5.1)
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,66:1

DVD (US)
Criterion Collection
Language/Sound: German, English, French
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,66:1


Book to the film

Der Himmel über Berlin
Wim Wenders and Peter Handke
Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main 1987
172 pages, Softcover
ISBN: 9783518024065

Out of print


Press Sheet (PDF)

License Requests