5.5/10
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27 user 31 critic

The Wendell Baker Story (2005)

Trailer
1:29 | Trailer
Luke Wilson plays a good-hearted ex-con who gets a job in a retirement hotel. Three elderly residents help him win back his girlfriend as he lends them a hand in fighting hotel corruption.

Writer:

Luke Wilson
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luke Wilson ... Wendell Baker
Eva Mendes ... Doreen
Jacob Vargas ... Reyes Morales
Owen Wilson ... Neil King
Harry Dean Stanton ... Skip Summers
Kris Kristofferson ... L.R. Nasher
Seymour Cassel ... Boyd Fullbright
Eddie Griffin ... McTeague
Will Ferrell ... Dave
Angela Alvarado ... Irma (as Angela Alvarado Rosa)
Jo Harvey Allen ... Wanda King
Buck Taylor ... Bob Draper
Billy Joe Shaver ... Reverend Shackelton
Azura Skye ... May
Nicole Swahn Nicole Swahn ... Lucy
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Storyline

Near the Texas-Mexico border, Wendell Baker has a few things going for him: his genial nature and optimism and the love of Doreen. His troubles? He dances around telling her that he loves her, and his idea of work is illegal. He's arrested, imprisoned, and she puts him behind her when she realizes that even prison is just a good excuse for him to play football with the guys. When he is paroled, it's to a job in the "hotel industry" at a board and care home for seniors, where the head nurse is running a scam. Three of the residents respond to Wendell's good heart. Can they expose the scam and help Wendell win back Doreen? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Why not call him a hero?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some crude and sexual humor and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 August 2005 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

A Wendell Baker balhé See more »

Filming Locations:

Lakeway, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,120, 20 May 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$127,144, 8 July 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wendall Baker's (Luke Wilson's) dog, Junior, is played by Brother, Luke's dog. On the DVD commentary, Wilson claims that no one thought Brother was up to the part, but that he always believed Brother could do it. See more »

Quotes

Neil King: [Neil is spoofing Wendell Baker in front of McTeague] "Thank you very much for this job. It's my first job in the hotel buisness
See more »


Soundtracks

Every Grain of Sand
Written and Performed by Bob Dylan
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
"It's hard to hold onto your idealism after you've lost your innocence"
5 March 2012 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

This is a nice movie that packs some laughs & entertainment as well as an inspiring message. Luke Wilson plays the protagonist Wendell, a seemingly clueless dreamer whose "capitalist ventures" always land him in hot water.

This movie carries a great message about what it takes to succeed as a human being. In particular, the line in the title of my review (spoken by Kris Kristofferson) applies to Wendell. If you like movies about people who stay fresh & optimistic despite life's hard knocks, this is a good one to watch. Other films that delve into the same theme are "Little Miss Sunshine", "Chocolat", "The Marc Pease Experience" and the classic film "Zorba the Greek".

"The Wendell Baker Story" features a lot of veteran actors whom you may not recognize at first, such as Harry Dean Stanton (who played the leading role in "Paris Texas" and also a memorable role in "Alien"), Seymour Cassel (who got an Oscar nomination for his role in the 1968 film "Faces") and my favourite of the lot: Kris Kristofferson (one of the best musician-turned-actors I've ever seen).

Unfortunately, some powerful scenes featuring these actors were cut from the final version of this film. I suppose it was to give the movie more of a snappy comedic appeal instead of carrying a heavier vibe. But you can still see these scenes in the deleted material on the DVD.

The film, as it was released, balances itself squarely between comedy and heart. In other words, it's not a laugh-a-minute riot, nor is it a film that makes you stop & ponder your place in the universe ...though it could have gone either way. I suppose you can take it at your own pace. Me, I would've liked it to be at least a half hour longer & feature more of the dramatic scenes that were cut.

The music is a real treat and lends a nice, rustic Texas vibe to the whole show. Peppered throughout the film are songs by Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, etc. Oddly enough I don't think there was anything by Kris Kristofferson. But his excellent performance on screen is enough to satisfy any fan.


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