5.5/10
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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 »

Connections

Features Jerry Springer (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Freddy's Ribs
Written by Gabriel Roth
Performed by The Soul Providers
Courtesy of Desco Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a light comedy with local color
3 April 2005 | by modelcadet18See all my reviews

I just saw The Wendell Baker Story at what is its third screening, at the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville.

Although, as stated in the prior comment, this movie will be no cult nor mainstream classic, it is highly entertaining. For a comedy, it is considerably light: the humor is mostly situational.

I personally found Wendell Baker's greatest success in the developing of the secondary characters as foils. The movie does not have opening credits, instead only introducing the title. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to see many high profile actors in roles fitting well within the film. In the post-screening interview, Luke Wilson discussed how this choice for no opening credits was as an "album cover" and that, with the focus directly on the introduction of an Austin Texas feel.

The acting in the film is generally good. Highlights for me were the performances of Grant James and Kris Kristofferson. I was, unfortunately, disappointed in Eva Mendes' delivery of her character. I feel the 'girlfriend who 'the guy' loses' cliché could have been as fresh as the other foil supporting characters.

The film has many beautiful shots on location in Texas, although the editing at times is choppy (granted the film is still not finished). The music is absolutely wonderful: the folky rock feel contributing in subtle persistence to the southwestern feel of the film.

I enjoyed this film. It was not profound... do not go to this movie to see another Royal Tenenbaums. The film is a comedy, but it is neither dark nor slapstick. It very much reminds me of Sideways in that both take advantage of a specific local color create a more personal and more relaxed movie. As such, while not often was I laughing, the ever-present humor kept me entertained.


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