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Don't Come Knocking (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Music  |  25 August 2005 (Germany)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,347 users   Metascore: 55/100
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Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs and young women. If he were to... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
1st AD
2nd AD (as Jeff Parise)
1st Girl
2nd Girl
Howard Spence
Producer 2
Old Ranch Hand
Robin Twogood ...
Mike Butters ...


Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs and young women. If he were to die now, nobody would shed a tear over him, that's the sad truth. Until one day Howard learns that he might have a child somewhere out there. The very idea seems like a ray of hope that his life wasn't all in vain. So he sets out to find that young man or woman. He discovers an entire life that he has missed ... Written by Reverse Angle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

| |  »


| |


Release Date:

25 August 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Estrela Solitária  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,630 (USA) (17 March 2006)


$438,732 (USA) (28 July 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of five cinema movie collaborations [to date, June 2015] of actors Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange. The films include Frances (1982), Country (1984), Far North (1988), Crimes of the Heart (1986) and Don't Come Knocking (2005). See more »


As the camera pans away from the trash pile the next morning, a head of a crew member is visible in the lower left corner See more »


Howard Spence: Mind if I turn the radio on?
Sutter: Yes, I do, as a matter of fact. I don't like outside influence.
Howard Spence: Outside?
Sutter: That's right. The world at large. It's a nasty place. Why allow it in? Livestalk reports, Navajo chanting, beheadings, bestiality. Nothing's changed. Black Death, the Inquisition, the Crusades, conquest of Mexico. What's changed?
Howard Spence: I was thinking...
Sutter: What?
Howard Spence: I don't know.
Sutter: Nothing's changed.
Howard Spence: Guess not.
See more »


References Pinocchio (1940) See more »


Power of Love
Written by T Bone Burnett (as Henry Burnett)
Performed by T Bone Burnett (as T Bone Burnett)
Published by Henry Burnett Music
Courtesy of Electro Magnetic Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

A slow, beautiful, meandering, improbable, poorly written, beautifully filmed film...
12 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Don't Come Knocking (2005)

A disappointing attempt at gritty Western aura, movie insider savvy, and creative parallel plotting and editing. It has elements of camp, of post-modern drama (references to earlier movies or movie types), and even some genuine sincerity.

There is a terrific George Kennedy, who is still active and very much making movies with his over-sized persona. There are smaller roles by several women, including a wan and frankly dull if pretty Sarah Polley. And mostly there is Sam Shepard being Sam Shepard, which is pretty good stuff. But he plays a famous actor who walks off a cheesy movie shoot into reality, and for the rest of the movie is walking as if in a dream through a reality he never quite knew existed.

I think this looked great on paper. At least until someone read the script. It just doesn't hold water, partly for the simple fact that we couldn't care less about most of these folk. In particular, the movie makers, the directors and execs are playing meaningless roles that might mean something to insiders, but to the rest of us (I'm not an insider, thankfully), it's self-indulgent and, well, boring.

What works best? Well, since the story pushes you out you look at the performances straight up, and some, like Shepard's, are strong (he reminds me of Woody Harrelson in this film, for some reason). There's the music (by T-Bone Burnett), an often used electric guitar sound with a country twang that is appealing and sometimes even evocative. And there is the filming, which is unadorned and very nice, depending on some amazing scenes, and the light and color in them. If there is ever an Oscar for scouting, for period sets that hype up the truth of a certain period, this is a good candidate. Certainly the light is romantically appealing.

But I'm stretching to see the best in a plodding film that had potential and lost its velocity very early on.

It has to be added that the director, Wim Wenders, has done some amazing work, and has his own following. But he might be trying to cash in on "Paris, Texas" which has its own small cult following, and which at least has a quirky and disturbing element to it. Here it is mostly a matter of wandering in the modern wilderness, and Wenders, I really believe, is not quite in touch with what makes America America. It feels cold and superficial. See his "Wings of Desire" for a masterpiece. Here? Have patience. Oh...and enjoy the scenery!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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