Based on a true story from the late 15th century, the young shepherd Hans Bohm (Michael Konig) rallies thirty thousand medieval peasants around him, who believe he is the new messiah after he claims to have seen the Virgin Mary in Niklashausen. Fassbinder plays with allegory and anachronism in his first made-for-television feature, drawing parallels between the peasants and the German New Left's stifled attempts to create a proletarian revolution. The film counts among the director's more obscure works, and remained unseen between its first television broadcast in 1970 and its rediscovery in 2002. 'The American Soldier' sees Fassbinder continue to pursue the cinephilic homage to classic Hollywood crime films of his feature debut, 'Love is Colder than Death'. Ricky (Karl Scheydt) is a small-time German-American gangster who has served in Vietnam. When he returns to Munich where he grew up, he spends time reacquainting himself with his childhood friend, Franz Walsch (Fassbinder), and his mother and brother. Approached by the police to perform a series of undercover assassinations, he soon learns some harsh lessons about the law.