8.0/10
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38 user 18 critic

Knockin' on Heaven's Door (1997)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Comedy | 20 February 1997 (Germany)
Two young men, Martin and Rudi, both suffering from terminal cancer, get to know each other in a hospital room. They drown their desperation in Tequila and decide to take one last trip to ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Martin Brest
... Rudi Wurlitzer
Thierry van Werveke ... Henk - der Belgier
... Abdul - der Araber
... Frankie 'Boy' Beluga
... Kommissar Schneider
... Assistent Keller
... Frau Brest - Martins Mutter
... Curtiz
Willi Thomczyk ... Autoverkäufer (as Willy Thomczyk)
... Verkäuferin Boutique
... Motorrad-Polizist
Vladimir Weigl ... Harald Rohwitz
Jenny Elvers ... Schwester Labor A
... Schwester Labor B
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Storyline

Two young men, Martin and Rudi, both suffering from terminal cancer, get to know each other in a hospital room. They drown their desperation in Tequila and decide to take one last trip to the sea. Drunk and still in pajamas they steal the first fancy car they find, a 60's Mercedes convertible. The car happens to belong to a bunch of gangsters, which immediately start to chase it, since it contains more than the pistol Martin finds in the glove box. Written by Armin Ortmann <armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ein schnelles Auto, 1 Million Mark im Kofferraum und nur noch eine Woche zu leben

Genres:

Action | Crime | Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 February 1997 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A mennyország kapujában  »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 4,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,296, 23 April 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,296, 23 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rutger Hauer filmed his scenes in one day. See more »

Goofs

What is called "Helsinki syndrome" in the movie actually is called Stockholm syndrome. The same mistake is also present in Die Hard. See more »

Quotes

Martin Brest: Im Himmel, da reden die über nichts anderes, als über das Meer. Und darüber, wie wunder-wunderschön es ist. Sie reden über den Sonnenuntergang, den sie gesehen haben, sie reden darüber, wie die Sonne blutrot wurde, bevor sie ins Meer eintauchte und sie reden darüber, wie sie spüren konnten, wie die Sonne ihre Kraft verlor und die Kühle vom Meer heraufzog und das Feuer nur noch in ihrem Innern glühte.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a short film sequence after the credits. It shows Bernd Eichinger being searched by a Policemen. He carries some of the money that was sent to different people by mail in the film. See more »

Connections

Remade as Heaven's Door (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Selig
Produced by Franz Plasa
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User Reviews

GREAT FILM, but you've got to either learn German, or wait for the dubbed version.
6 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

First of all, WHY HAS THIS FILM NOT BEEN RELEASED IN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES??!! Is it because Hollywood is afraid of German films that are actually as good as theirs? Is it because this is a foreign film that isn't "foreign" enough (e.g. Bergmanesque symbolism or Wender's "poetic imagery") or is it because neither America nor Britain have the nerve to properly dub this film into English? In any case, the world is missing out. This is a highly entertaining film with a simple plot, lots of humor, plenty of action, and two terrific leads. The plot, regardless of how many people will compare it to "pulp fiction" (a comparrison, by the way, which I simply cannot understand,)is a straight-forward buddy flick about two terminally ill men in their early thirties. Like all buddy movies, (Lethal Weapan, 48 hours, Nothing to lose) the characters couldn't be more different at the beginning, and find a way to get along by the films end. Nothing new here, except for the fact that both men know they will be dead by the film's end, thus eliminating (thank goodness) any chance of a sequel. Anyway, our heroes meet in the hospital, and quickly decide that they want to really "live" their final days on earth, and see the ocean before they pass away. They steal a car which happens to belong to a dutch gangster (brief cameo by rutger hauer). Thus begins the chase across Germany and Holland, a chase which combines road-movie laughs a-la Dumb and Dumber (there is a VERY similiar scene where the two men find the suitcase filled with money, and check into a rediculously fancy hotel) with genuine character development and bonding, a-la Thelma and Louise.

The real star of the film is not the plot, but the little moments of genuine humor and tenderness between the leads. Director Thomas Jahn's balance between over-the-top action-comedy and emotional "cancer drama" is amazingly played out by the two actors (til schweiger and jan josef liefers)

I would recommend this film to ANYBODY who likes to be entertained. The music is great, the jokes (most of them, at least) fly, and the relationships are genuine. The only problem is probably that at this point, you have to speak German fluently to understand most of what's going on. BUT BE PATIENT! Someday Hollywood will discover this film and at least SUBTITLE it like they did the equally terrific(er) "lola rennt". My only hope is that they don't simply ruin the film by remaking it with american stars. That would be a great letdown, because this film is already perfect. I doubt that most people would even think it's foreign, if they simply forget the subtitles and get into it.


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