Rainer Werner Fassbinder

The American Soldier

The American Soldier

The German-born American GI Ricky (Karl Scheydt) returns to Munich from Vietnam and is promptly hired as a contract killer. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s experimental noir is a subversive, self-reflexive gangster movie full of unexpected asides and stylistic flourishes, and features an audaciously bonkers final shot and memorable turns from many of the director’s rotating gallery of players.

Film Info

  • Germany
  • 1970
  • 80 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • German

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder

Early Fassbinder

DVD Box Set

5 Discs


The American Soldier
Karl Scheydt
Elga Sorbas
Jan George
Hark Bohm
Marius Aicher
Margarethe von Trotta
Ulli Lommel
Katrin Schaake
Magdalena Fuller
Ingrid Caven
Eva Ingeborg Scholz
Ricky’s mother
Kurt Raab
Ricky’s brother
Irm Hermann
Gustl Datz
Chief of police
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Franz Walsch
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Dietrich Lohmann
Thea Eymèsz
Art direction
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Art direction
Kurt Raab
Music by
Peer Raben
Song “So Much Tenderness” by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Song “So Much Tenderness” by
Peer Raben


Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder
Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder

From the beginning, it was clear that Rainer Werner Fassbinder was destined to shake up German cinema.

By Michael Koresky


Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer, Actor, Director

Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder made an astonishing forty-four movies—theatrical features, television movies and miniseries, and shorts among them—in a career that spanned a mere sixteen years, ending with his death at thirty-seven in 1982. He is perhaps remembered best for his intense and exquisitely shabby social melodramas (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)—heavily influenced by Hollywood films, especially the female-driven tearjerkers of Douglas Sirk, and featuring misfit characters that often reflected his own fluid sexuality and self-destructive tendencies. But his body of work runs the gamut from epic period pieces (Berlin Alexanderplatz, the BRD Trilogy) to dystopic science fiction (World on a Wire) as well. One particular fascination of Fassbinder’s was the way the ghosts of the past, specifically those of World War II, haunted contemporary German life—an interest that wedded him to many of the other artists of the New German Cinema movement, which began in the late 1960s.