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American Movie (1999)

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0:31 | Trailer
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.

Director:

Chris Smith
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Borchardt ... Filmmaker
Tom Schimmels Tom Schimmels ... Actor in 'Coven'
Monica Borchardt Monica Borchardt ... Mark's Mom
Alex Borchardt Alex Borchardt ... Mark's Brother
Chris Borchardt Chris Borchardt ... Mark's Brother
Ken Keen Ken Keen ... Friend / Associate Producer
Mike Schank Mike Schank ... Friend / Musician
Matt Weisman Matt Weisman ... Casting director
Bill Borchardt Bill Borchardt ... Mark's Uncle / Executive Producer (as Uncle Bill)
Cliff Borchardt Cliff Borchardt ... Mark's Dad
Tom Beach Tom Beach ... Production manager
Joan Petrie Joan Petrie ... Mark's Girlfriend / Associate Producer
Robert Richard Jorge Robert Richard Jorge ... Actor
Dean Allen Dean Allen ... Props / Special effects
Tommy Dallace Tommy Dallace ... The Movie Star
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Storyline

On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish "Coven," a short horror film. His own personal demons (alcohol, gambling, a dysfunctional family) plague him, but he desperately wants to overcome self-doubt and avoid failure. In moments of reflection, Mark sees his story as quintessentially American, and its the nature and nuance of his dream that this film explores. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 2000 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

American Movie: The Making of Northwestern See more »

Filming Locations:

Germantown, Wisconsin, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,260, 7 November 1999

Gross USA:

$1,165,795

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,165,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the "elevator sequence" that is briefly shown as part of the movie "Coven", the actors that are portraying the doctors are wearing their driver's licenses on their lab coats instead of hospital staff identification badges. See more »

Quotes

Friend/Musician: [pointing to a makeshift crucifix] This is definitely a sign of voodoo.
Mark Borchardt: Why is it a sign of voodoo?
Friend/Musician: It's an unnatural cross, Mark!
Mark Borchardt: What, you think when Jesus was hanging there, he thought it was natural?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Angry Video Game Nerd: Cheetahmen (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Remains of Children's Brains
Written & performed by by Mike Schank
used by permission of 33rd St. Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life, but not as we know it...
17 April 2006 | by rooneyterenceSee all my reviews

For me, the best & most memorable movies are often those which on first viewing I know nothing about. American Movie is a perfect example of just such a gem. Watching TV late one evening, I spotted the one & only good review among the dross - thankfully I settled in for a real treat. American Movie is a documentary following the unforgettable Mark Borchardt (pronounced "orchard", I believe), a highly articulate & charismatic Wisconson lad, as he struggles to write, direct and produce "MidWestern", a gritty, low-budget Horror movie on which he has been working for years. In Mark we discover a young man filled with contrast. His appearance is of the classic trailer-trash stereotype - skinny, bum-fluff mustache, '80s heavy metal styling, mullet hairdo, etc. To camera however, Mark reveals startling wit & insight as he philosophizes upon life, love, movies & the American way. As the movie unfolds, it sadly becomes clear that Mark's lack of discipline & heavy drinking are relentlessly sabotaging his creative efforts. American Movie is a charming watch, filled with hilarious moments & vivid characters. Chief among these is Mark's lovable buddy Mike Schank, a soft-spoken reformed stoner who, having conquered an addiction to scratch cards, is now dependent on soda pop. I absolutely loved American Movie. It generates real empathy between the viewer & principal characters, and provides hilarity without feeling exploitative. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.


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