The Yellow Handkerchief (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 November 2009 (Germany)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 6,364 users   Metascore: 62/100
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A road trip through Louisiana transforms three strangers who were originally brought together by their respective feelings of loneliness.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Motel Owner
Male Doctor (as Emanuel K. Cohn)
Nurith Cohn ...
Veronica Russell ...
Pregnant Warden
Lisha Brock ...
Snotty Girl (as Lucy Adair Faust)
Rebecca Newman ...
Marshall Cain ...
Ferry Driver


One lazy afternoon in a backwater Louisiana town, Martine takes a leap into an unfamiliar convertible. The driver, Gordy, an awkward young itinerant who eyed her in the diner earlier, isn't displeased to find this pretty sylph in his front seat. Soon they meet Brett, a laconic, humble man just released from prison. Martine isn't keen on going solo with Gordy, and now it's raining cats and dogs, so she invites Brett along, and the unlikely trio sets out, each person unsure of the destination. What ensues is a journey through the lush green byways of rural Louisiana and into the depths of these characters' souls. Written by Marisa_Gabriella

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A love lost in the past. A love struggling for a future. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some violence, language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

19 November 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Das gelbe Segel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,296 (USA) (26 February 2010)


$317,040 (USA) (14 May 2010)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To prepare for the role, William Hurt spent a night in Louisiana State Penitentiary - better known as Angola. See more »


At the beginning of the movie, after Brett enters the shop he request a beer. The woman brings him the beverage she pour into the glass and leaves the bottle on the table. A few shots later the bottle disappears. See more »


Gordy: I think it would go away, because it wouldn't be like this obsession thing...
Martine: So it's like an obsession thing. You touch me and it goes away? Why is that?
Gordy: The mystery's gone.
See more »


Remake of The Yellow Handkerchief (1977) See more »


In the Willow Garden
written and performed by Todd Phillips
published by Gourd Music o/b/o itself
and Bubinga Music
courtesy of Gourd Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Love: Finding It, Losing It, Reclaiming It
3 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF is a very quiet, small film that depends on dialogue rather than action. It began as a short story by Pete Hamill and was adapted for the screen by Erin Dignam. As directed with quiet intensity by Indian director Udayan Prasad the film is more an exploration of isolated individuals who for different reasons do not fit into society and how four of those individuals discover themselves through their interaction with each other.

Brett Hanson (William Hurt) is discharged form prison where he has served six years for manslaughter: he has a history of run-ins with the law and seems to face his release with a certain degree of fear of the outside world. He meets two youngsters - the lonely Martine (Kristen Stewart) who has only a father and an absent one at that, and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), a Native American asocial misfit itinerant - and because of a sever rain storm the three set out in Gordy's car to find shelter. They stay in motels and gradually each characters past unfolds: the running development is Brett's history of coming close to a significant relationship with a fearful woman named May (Maria Bello) whose fear of relationships was temporarily resolved with her romance with Brett - all of this history is played through flashback scenes when Brett was working oil rigs in New Orleans. Martine and Gordy are fascinated and a bit fearful of Brett as an ex-con but they both connect with Brett's essentially good spirit and insist that he stay with them and allow the bonding youngsters t help him recover the one love he had.

Two generations of lost people collide then bond and learn from each other. There is considerable emotional energy in this somewhat laconic film with as much being discovered by silences as with dialogue. William Hurt offers a profoundly understated performance: Stewart and Redmayne provide the perfect naïve foil for his reconnection with the world outside prison walls - both the physical prison he has just left and the mental prison in which he has been hiding all his life. Maria Bello is convincing as the strong woman who fears vulnerability while desperately in need of being loved. This is a film that may not have made it in theaters but is probably best viewed in the intimacy of the home via DVD.

Grady Harp

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