Until the End of the World (1991)

R   |    |  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

Until the End of the World (1991) Poster

In 1999, Claire's life is forever changed after she survives a car crash. She rescues Sam and starts traveling around the world with him. Writer Eugene follows them and writes their story, as a way of recording dreams is being invented.




  • Max von Sydow and Solveig Dommartin in Until the End of the World (1991)
  • Solveig Dommartin in Until the End of the World (1991)
  • William Hurt and Solveig Dommartin in Until the End of the World (1991)
  • Until the End of the World (1991)
  • William Hurt in Until the End of the World (1991)
  • Max von Sydow and Jeanne Moreau in Until the End of the World (1991)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

2 November 2004 | HeyAtticus
A Movie With A Clear View of the World
I agree with the comments made earlier concerning the denouement but that's only a disappointment if you look at the movie literally instead of figuratively. As in his other movies like Paris, Texas, the backdrops become another character in the film. Just like the title entails, Wenders was challenged to get the WHOLE world into his movie. He has succeeded. At the end of "The End of The World", we finally see it as we should all see the Earth.

The characters represent different ideologies of the different countries they're from and Wenders uses this to develop the plot.

These "countries" are trying to seize control of one man's vision and a source of power. However, they soon find out that not one of them can control the outcome of the movie.

The movie is Wender's commentary on global politics and socioeconomics. He portrays the world in a flurry of action from a European car chase to a U.S.A in recession, to a dichotomized Japan, and to an isolated Australia. It is an accurate depiction of the world we are living in now because that is how the movie was filmed - out in the streets of the real world circa the end of the 20th century which enhances the theme of the movie.

If you watch this movie you will believe you are living at "The End of the World". The movie is even better NOW then when it first came out. It's been 13 years since the first showing and I'm 28. Being a teenager, the sci-fi, action, fast-pace and the heroine's romance with William Hurt held my attention but to truly appreciate the WHOLE MOVIE you have to get past the juvenile/pop culture themes.

Being a woman, I identified with the heroine and the way she acts at the end of the movie and I think you will, too. The men will relate to the narrator because they tend to distance themselves from what's really going on in this movie and "cut to the chase". Overall, the movie is good for the whole family to watch except for one nude scene.

This "summary" took me awhile to write but as I went through the process of analyzing the movie from memory it became easier and easier as the film's key scenes flashed into my head. This only proves how powerful and clear Wenders' vision is as a director.

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Did You Know?


The 4 hours and 47 minutes Director's Cut was given a 4K restoration in 2014 by Arri Film & TV Services Berlin, with support from the French National Centre for Cinema (CNC).


Peter Gabriel: Is that a dagger or a Crucifix I see/ you hold so tightly in your hand/ and all the while the distance grows between you and me/ I do not understand/ in the Blood of Eden/ lie the woman and the man/ with the man in the woman/ the woman in the man/ ...


When many of the European characters leave the Mbantua settlement and take a group photo, believing the adventure to be over, the voice-over mentions that it is February, 2000. Yet shortly after we see Henry Farber trying a new series of experiments on recording dream imagery, and a computer display for the current experiment says January 21.

Alternate Versions

The film exists in four separate versions. The first is the significantly cut American 158-minute version released by Warner Bros. in theaters, and on VHS, LaserDisc, and some streaming platforms. Wenders has disparagingly referred this cut as the 'reader's digest version'. The second is a 179-minute cut that existed only on Japanese LaserDisc. The third is Wim Wenders' director's cut, which runs 300 minutes. This cut significantly expands scenes, motivates Claire's romantic involvement with Sam Farber and keeps it from seeming less frivolous and more the expression of a wounded heart, additional scenes in Japan, and in San Francisco with Allen Garfield as an evil car salesman (a take-off on his character in another Wenders film), and numerous other expansions/additions. This full-length version divided the film into three parts, all given episode names, and all with opening credits because it was originally intended for this version to be shown as three separate films, or as a mini-series. This 300-minute cut was only available on DVD in Germany, Italy and France. It was screened several times over the years in America and the UK: the National Film Theatre in London on Saturday 2nd July 1994, December 6, 1996 at the University of Washington, with director Wim Wenders attending, Jan. 14, 2001 at the American Cinematheque (with Wenders attending), February 24, 2001 at the Directors Guild of America Theater with Wenders announcing the film would be released on DVD.


The Adversary
Written by Adams, Bonney, Haas, Hacke, Harvey, Stern
Performed by Crime & The City Solution
Courtesy of Mute Records, Ltd.


Plot Summary


Action | Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


Release Date:

25 December 1991


English, French, Italian, Japanese, German

Country of Origin

Germany, France, Australia

Filming Locations


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,553 29 December 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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