The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty outdoes even Wenders' subsequent Alice in the Cities in its sense that everything shown is at once subjective and objective. German goalie Bloch (Brauss) walks out of a game in Vienna, hangs around, commits an arbitrary murder, and then takes a coach to the Austrian border to look up an old flame. It's the journey of a man who's getting too old for his job, living off his nerves, sustained by his taste for Americana, movies and rock (everything from Hitchcock to 'Wimaway'). Brauss' engagingly hangdog face anchors it all in recognisable human feelings, while avoiding the least hint of 'psychological' explanation. More than in his later movies, Wenders' style here has a remarkably charged quality: every frame haunts you for goddam weeks.
Cast and crew