American Movie


Comedy / Documentary

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright90%
IMDb Rating7.81018114


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Billy Crystal Photo
Billy Crystal as Academy Awards EmCee
Mark Borchardt Photo
Mark Borchardt as Filmmaker
966.11 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jared X9 / 10

A great film

Okay, so I'm a sucker for a good documentary, particularly where it tells a modern-day Don Quixote story. A caveat: I met Mark Borchardt in the winter of 1995/96 while he was still working on Coven. But I'll save that story for later. American Movie, which commenced production not long after, accurately portrays the person that I knew, although in greater depth than I expected or believed existed. This is simultaneously a very funny and very sad film, and is brilliantly executed. Mark comes across as his own worse enemy: his childlike ambition and optimism -- which I admire -- is undermined by his apparent artistic ineptitude as well as his bizarre fiscal expectations. But he's also a charismatic guy. His loyal Sancho Panza sidekick is equally likeable: loyal, if frazzled, to the core. Like Don Quixote, American Movie presents an often-ignored inefficient aspect of freedom -- that people will be drawn toward professions to which they are not particularly well-suited, irrespective of repeated failure. It is a great film.

Reviewed by tnrcooper9 / 10

Fascinating, hilarious, sad, inspiring documentary about the American dream

This movie, about supremely untalented American film-maker Mark Borchardt and his attempts to make a short film in order to make a small amount of money which will launch him into fame and fortune as a film-maker, is riveting. As they say, fact is stranger than fiction. That is certainly borne out by this picture. Borchardt uses his friends, family, and assorted local actors to try and complete this picture.

Borchardt is a character who could drive a novel or inspire cult members. One sometimes wonders why so many of the folks who people his film work for as long as they do, with him. But in truth, it's not hard to tell. Borchardt, however misguided, has vision. He doesn't have much talent and he has a drinking problem, but he has a vision. He has determination and perseverance that others can only dream of. He has charisma. It makes him a compelling leader, but unfortunately he is devoid of many great ideas. His lack of focus and alcoholism extend the length of the production almost indefinitely. He does complete "Coven" and even gets a premiere in his hometown theater, but it takes him a long time.

He never makes the movie "Northwestern" which he dreams of making. Perhaps he didn't have the vision to bring that movie to fruition, but he did want to make epic films and leave the everyday grind of life in the US. He had his dream. Unfortunately, he didn't have the vision to bring his dreams to life but he had an awful lot of determination. If people take potshots at Borchardt for his supposedly being "white trash" then I hope they are living lives of total sophistication and order because if they aren't, they're total hypocrites. Yes, Borchardt might exhibit characteristics of being "white-trash", but the purity of his belief in getting out from under the life he had, is absolutely inspiring.

Reviewed by caspian19788 / 10

Mark Borchardt: Independent Wanna Be

After seeing American Movie, you either hate Mark Borchardt or you understand him. If you are a struggling film maker trying to be the next George Romero, John Cassavetes or Alfred Hitchcock, you will understand Mark's determination and where he gets his talentless motivation. The audience that makes up American Movie is just that. Struggling film makers or die hard fans of Troma. Either way, they are all members of the club of hard knocks and non-union independent feature film. The moral of Mark's story is something short of following your dream. It's more and less than that. Whether you relate with Mark in more ways that one, Mark is living a lot of people's reality. Because of that, American Movie is important and should be watched by every film student in America.

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