Wrong Move

Glückstadt in northern Germany, Bonn, a palace along the Rhine, a housing project on the outskirts of Frankfurt and finally the Zugspitze—these are the stations of the journey that the young Wilhelm Meister (Rüdiger Vogler) hopes will save him from the gloomy irritability and despondency that plague him in his home town. In unfamiliar places, he thinks that he will be able to do what he has always had an uncontrollable drive to do—to write. He wants to become an author. With the journey, which his mother (Marianne Hoppe) gives him permission to make, he hopes to broaden his horizons and, above all, to find himself.

In Goethe’s novel “Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship”, which provided the source material for Peter Handke’s script, a journey of this kind was still a “genuine movement.” In the literature of the 19th century, particularly in the German bildungsroman, the topos of the journey is always linked to lastingly significant changes and experiences. Traveling is synonymous with the successful search for one’s own identity.

But the Wilhelm of WRONG MOVE must arrive at the painful recognition that—today—a journey alone no longer leads to the desired goal. His path leads him into an unbroken series of failures, through his own fault and that of all the people he meets on his way: the street singer Laertes (Hans Christian Blech) struggling with his Nazi past, the mute girl Mignon (Nastassja Kinski in her first role), the poet (Peter Kern), and the actress Therese (Hanna Schygulla).


West Germany 1975
Length: 103 min, 2823 m
Format: 35mm Colour; 1:1,66
Language: German

4K Restoration 2015, 4K DCP

Festivals & Awards

1975 • German Film Award in Gold (Best Director, Screenplay, Director of Photography, Editor, Music, Actors)

Cast and crew

Production: Solaris-Film- und Fernsehproduktion, Genée–Eichinger oHG (Munich); for Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) Director: Wim Wenders Producer: Peter Genée Screenplay: Peter Handke and Wim Wenders (based on Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship) Director of Photography: Robby Müller, Martin Schäfer Editor: Peter Przygodda, Barbara von Weitershausen Sound: Martin Müller, Klaus Peter Kaiser Cast: Rüdiger Vogler, Hanna Schygulla, Hans Christian Blech, Ivan Desny, Marianne Hoppe, Peter Kern, Nastassja Kinski, Lisa Kreuzer


Assistant Director: Michael Kley Music: Jürgen Knieper Assistant Editor: Klaus Peter Kaiser Re-Recording Mixer: Paul Schöler Wardrobe: Heidi Lüdi Stage: Max Porupka, Alfred Hiebner Editorial Office: Joachim von Mengershausen Line Producer: Peter Genée Aufnahmeleitung: Rolf M. Degener, Harry Kügler In Cooperation with: Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) Production Assistant: Christian Röck Primary Distribution: Filmverlag der Autoren GmbH & Co. Vertriebs KG (Munich) First Release (DE): 25.06.1976, ARD World Sales: HanWay Films

Blu-ray & DVD


DVD&BR – Restored version (USA)
The Road Trilogy Box, The Criterion Collection
Language/Sound: German (5.1 Dolby Surround)
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,66:1


BluRay – Restored version (DE)
Die Frühen Jahre Box, Arthaus/Studiocanal
Language/Sound: German (5.1 Dolby Digital)
Image Format: 1,66:1


DVD – Restored version (IT)
Ripley’s Home Video
Language/Sound: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0), Italian (Stereo)
Subtitles: Italian
Image Format: 1,66:1


Bac Films
Language/Sound: German (5.1 Dolby Digital), French
Subtitles: French
Image Format: 1,77:1


Axiom Films
Language/Sound: German
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,78:1


Press Sheet (PDF)

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