Road Movie trilogy

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Road Movie trilogy
The Road Trilogy, The Criterion Collection.jpg
Directed by Wim Wenders
Screenplay by
Starring Rüdiger Vogler
Cinematography Robby Müller
Edited by Peter Przygodda
Distributed by Axiom Films (UK and Ireland)
Release date
Country West Germany
Language German

The Road Movie trilogy is a series of three road movies directed by German film director Wim Wenders in the mid-1970s. They include Alice in the Cities (1974), The Wrong Move (1975), and Kings of the Road (1976).[1][2] All three films were shot by cinematographer Robby Müller and mostly take place in West Germany. The centerpiece of the trilogy, The Wrong Move, was shot in colour whereas Alice in the Cities was in black and white 16 mm, and Kings of the Road was in black and white 35 mm film.


Director Wim Wenders didn't conceive of the three films as a trilogy, and they were first labelled as one by U.S. critic Richard Roud.[3] However, U.S. filmmaker Michael Almereyda writes that "they are unified by shared themes, an exacting formal rigor, and the presence of Rüdiger Vogler." Almereyda remarks that Wenders' earliest feature films, Summer in the City and The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty, also involved "aimless journeys," but the Road Movie trilogy was distinct as "travel not only propels the story but also absorbs and reshapes it." The films were also made on small budgets but with great mobility.[3]


The three low-budget films established Wenders' and Müller's road movie style, a style that they later resurrected in bigger budget color films including Paris Texas[4] and Until the End of the World.[2] The trilogy also introduced (in Alice in the Cities) the fictitious wandering character Philip Winter[5] who returns in three later Wenders films, Lisbon Story, Until the End of the World, and Faraway, So Close!. The style of aimless wandering in the Road Movie trilogy influenced other directors including American director Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise)[6] who worked with Wenders on The State of Things. The Road Movie trilogy established Wenders' prominence in international cinema[7] and has attained minor cult film status among Wenders and Müller fans.

A number of issues, such as rights issues concerning the soundtracks of the films, have made the three Road Movie films hard to find on video in the United States. However, in 2016 The Criterion Collection released the films on DVD and Blu-ray as Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy.[7]


  1. ^ Brody, Richard (3 September 2015). "Where Wim Wenders Went Wrong". The New Yorker. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Wim Wenders retrospective: five to watch, and one to miss". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Almereyda, Michael. "Wim Wenders: 'Between Me and the World'". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Anders, Allison. "Alice in the Cities: A Girl’s Story". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  5. ^ D'Angelo, Mike (28 May 2016). "Criterion offers a loose trilogy from Wim Wenders, king of the road movie". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Hoberman, J. (3 June 2016). "Roads to Nowhere and Anywhere, with Kelly Reichardt and Wim Wenders". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Sobczynski, Peter (1 June 2016). "ON THE ROAD AGAIN: WIM WENDERS: THE ROAD TRILOGY COMES TO CRITERION BLU-RAY". Retrieved 9 June 2016.