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:

| |  »



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?


William Hurt and Maria Bello previously starred in A History of Violence (2005), but they didn't share any scenes. 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 »


Brett Hanson: Look at it this way, it can always get worse.
Martine: Yeah well, I don't really think so.
Brett Hanson: Give it time.
See more »


Remake of The Yellow Handkerchief (1977) See more »


performed by Sublime Journey
written by Kendall Williams, Broussard
See more »

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User Reviews

A trip worth taking
4 May 2010 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Road trips in American film have often been flamboyant metaphors—Easy Rider and Thelma and Louise come quickly to mind. The Yellow Handkerchief will not be remembered so readily given its low-key, Southern slow delivery. Yet it has a subtle power to inform the Louisiana bayou landscape with meaning as three strangers embark by auto for destinations barely known.

Brett Hanson (William Hurt) has just been released from 6 years in prison for manslaughter. Ignorant of this fact is Martine (Kristen Stewart), a fifteen year-old runaway, who invites Brett to ride with her and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), who is a stranger and a strange young man having the advantage of a convertible and enough cash for a trip that might end up in New Orleans.

Like a European film, Handkerchief takes it time to reveal character, meet a conflict and climax, and settle down to its title, which is unsubtly tied to the handkerchief and a pop tune about an ex-convict "comin' home." Hurt, one of America's finest actors, brings gravity and melancholy to a role that requires sorrow and redemption to ride along with hope. I hope he receives a well-deserved Oscar nod and the grand prize—think of Jeff Bridges' win for Crazy Heart, a more histrionic part than Hurt's understated torture.

While I'm still trying to warm up to Kristen Stewart as anything but a vampire lover of little acting range beyond a hesitating delivery, Maria Bello as May, Brett's love interest, is plain persuasive as the one who tries to understand and work with the eccentricities of Brett.

Of course, Katrina as family wrecker is quietly in the background, and because this is a story of the search for family, or "belonging to something," the hurricane informs every grasp for lost love as the vanished twin towers might do. If you want slow exposition that offers character development of the first order, then ride along with these three misfits to find a bit of yourself in the journey.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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