Alice in the Cities

Technically, ALICE IN THE CITIES is Wenders’s fourth film, but he himself often refers to it as “his first,” because it was during this film that he discovered the genre of the road movie. (It would later become the first part of his Road Movie Trilogy, together with WRONG MOVE and KINGS OF THE ROAD.) It was also his first film to be shot partly in the US and the first to feature his alter ego, Phillip Winter (Rüdiger Vogler). ALICE is often compared with Charlie Chaplin’s THE KID. In 1974 it won the German Critics Prize.

The German journalist Phillip Winter wants to write a story about America, but is unable to accomplish anything but a series of Polaroids before disappointedly beginning his journey back home. At the same time, he reluctantly agrees to take little Alice (Yella Rottländer) with him, because her mother (Lisa Kreuzer)—whom he meets in New York on the day before his departure—has urgent business to take care of there.

In Amsterdam, the mother then fails to appear as they had agreed, and so Winter and Alice set out to try to find Alice’s grandmother in the Ruhr region. During their search together, their initial mutual dislike gradually transforms into a heart-felt affection.


West Germany 1973/1974
Length: 112 min, 3060 m
Format: 16mm blow up to 35mm black and white; 1:1,37; Stereo
Original Language: German

4K Scan and 2K Restoration 2014, 2K DCP, 1:1,66

Festivals & Awards

1975 • German Film Critics Award (Feature Film)

Cast and crew

Production: Produktion 1 in Filmverlag der Autoren (Munich) Director: Wim Wenders Producer: Wim Wenders, Peter Genée, Veith v. Fürstenberg Screenplay: Wim Wenders, Veith v. Fürstenberg Director of Photography: Robby Müller Editor: Peter Przygodda, Barbara v. Weitershausen Sound: Martin Müller Cast: Rüdiger Vogler, Yella Rottländer, Lisa Kreuzer, Edda Köchl, Ernest Boehm, Sam Presti, Louis Moran, Didi Petrikat

Assistant Director: Mickey Kley Assitant Camera: Martin Schäfer Re-recording Mixer: Paul Schöler Music: Can, Chuck Berry, Gustav Mahler, Canned Heat, Deep Purple, Count Five, The Stories In Association with: Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) Location Manager: Chris A. Holenia Editorial Office: Joachim von Mengershausen Technician: Honorat Stangl First Release (DE): 03.03.1974, ARD World Sales: HanWay Films

Blu-ray & DVD


DVD&BluRay (USA) – Restored version
The Road Trilogy Box, The Criterion Collection
Language/Sound: German
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,66:1


BluRay (DE) – Restored version
Die Frühen Jahre Box, Arthaus/Studiocanal
Language/Sound: German, English, Dutch (Mono Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: German
Image Format: 1,66:1


DVD (IT) – Restored version
Ripley’s Film
Language/Sound: German (Mono Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: Italian
Image Format: 1,66:1


Arte Editions
Language/Sound: German, English, Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles: French
Image Format: 1,33:1 (4:3 Full Picture)


Axiom Films
Language/Sound: German, English, Dutch (Stereo 2.0)
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,33:1


Press Sheet (PDF)

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