5.6/10
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American Autobahn (1984)

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Credited cast:
Jan Jalenak ...
Mary
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Michael von der Goltz ...
Otto Kruger
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Hey, fish eyes!
31 December 2016 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

No reviews for a film...not even an external one? I'm always up for challenges of this kind! American Autobahn is (as you might have guessed) a road movie about German immigrant Rudi (or is it Otto?) (Michael von der Goltz) and his attempts to 'make it' in America as a journalist. Instead he gets mixed up in Central American smuggling which takes him across country, traveling from the still decrepit New York City of the early '80s to San Francisco. When his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he meets cute with tomboy auto mechanic Mary (Jan Jalenak) and the two become entangled in a web of love and (mild) intrigue. Jim Jarmusch (before, after or during Stranger Than Paradise?) has a small but memorable role as a film director who specializes in sado-masochistic pornography, and the film also benefits from an excellent soundtrack encompassing everything from 1920s jazz to Miserlou, Hank Williams, and Kraftwerk. This low, low budget indie is ambitious but a bit disjointed: there's enough here to suggest writer-director Andre Degas was capable of quite a bit more. What happened?


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