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Wings of Desire (1987)

Der Himmel über Berlin (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 6 May 1988 (USA)
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

Wim Wenders (screenplay by), Peter Handke (screenplay by)
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Popularity
1,867 ( 2,582)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 18 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruno Ganz ... Damiel
Solveig Dommartin ... Marion
Otto Sander ... Cassiel
Curt Bois ... Homer
Peter Falk ... Peter Falk
Hans Martin Stier Hans Martin Stier ... In weiteren Rollen - Der Sterbende
Elmar Wilms Elmar Wilms ... In weiteren Rollen - Ein trauriger Mann
Sigurd Rachman Sigurd Rachman ... In weiteren Rollen - Der Selbstmörder
Beatrice Manowski Beatrice Manowski ... In weiteren Rollen - Das Strichmädchen
Lajos Kovács Lajos Kovács ... Im Zirkus - Marion's Trainer
Bruno Rosaz Bruno Rosaz ... Im Zirkus - Der Clown
Laurent Petitgand Laurent Petitgand ... Im Zirkus - Der Kapellmeister
Chick Ortega Chick Ortega ... Im Zirkus - Der Schlagzeuger (as Chico Rojo Ortega)
Otto Kuhnle Otto Kuhnle ... Im Zirkus - Die Jongleure
Christoph Merg Christoph Merg ... Im Zirkus - Der Jongleure
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Storyline

Visible only to those like them and to human children, Damiel and Cassiel are two angels, who have existed even before humankind. Along with several other angels, they currently wander around West Berlin, generally on their own, observing and preserving life, sometimes trying to provide comfort to the troubled, although those efforts are not always successful. Among those they are currently observing are: the cast and crew of a movie - a detective story set in WWII Nazi Germany - which include a sensitive and perceptive Peter Falk; an elderly man named Homer looking for eternal peace; and the troupe of a financially failing circus, which has closed early for the season because of those financial problems. One day, Damiel tells Cassiel that he wants to become human, to feel not only the sensory aspects of physical beings, but also emotional aspects. He embarks on this thought with the full realization that there is no turning back if he decides to do so. His thoughts are largely ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are angels on the streets of Berlin.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | France

Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sky Above Berlin See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,301, 1 May 1988

Gross USA:

$3,333,969

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,404,057
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)| Black and White (partly)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Otto Sander is shown riding a bus looking morose, with his head in his hands, was shot that way because the actor had developed a large bald spot on the day of shooting and makeup couldn't hide it. See more »

Goofs

After Damiel becomes human, he buys a cup of coffee at a food stand. The proprietor pours coffee into a plastic cup, and Damiel immediately takes a large gulp - neither of which would be possible if the coffee were hot, as it would be if it were freshly poured. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in German, using English subtitles]
Damiel: [voiceover] When the child was a child, it walked with its arms swinging. It wanted the stream to be a river, the river a torrent, and this puddle to be the sea. When the child was a child, it didn't know it was a child. Everything was full of life, and all life was one. When the child was a child, it had no opinion about anything, no habits. It often sat cross-legged, took off running, had a cowlick in its hair, and didn't make faces when ...
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Crazy Credits

Dedicated to all the former angels, but especially to Yasujiro, François and Andrej. See more »

Connections

Edited into Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

From Her to Eternity
Written by Nick Cave (uncredited), Anita Lane (uncredited), Blixa Bargeld (uncredited), Hugo Race (uncredited), Barry Adamson (uncredited) and Mick Harvey (uncredited)
Performed by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful, poetic, stimulating
2 July 2004 | by haddockySee all my reviews

A calm and wonderful fantasy with such a simple vision that makes you want to believe in angels. Perhaps they are there... whenever my mood changes, seemingly unprompted, I always wonder.

Hijacked and debased by people who don't know any better (even U2, I'm afraid, and the American remake must be avoided at all costs - ideally it should be wiped from the record and the memories of all who saw it) this film has become iconic and has infected the imaginations of countless filmmakers. Look carefully and you will see its influence in the most unexpected places.

I always thought that one masterpiece is all that anyone can aspire to in life. Wim Wenders has made several but for me this one stands out above all others. My favourite film.


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