6.7/10
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Don't Come Knocking (2005)

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An aging cowboy movie star deserts a film set and tries to reconnect with his mother, whom he hasn't seen in thirty years, only to learn that he has a child he never knew about.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... 1st AD
... 2nd AD (as Jeff Parise)
... 1st Girl
... 2nd Girl
... Howard Spence
... Director
... Producer 2
... Producer 1
... Old Ranch Hand
... Sutter
Robin Twogood ... Patrolman
... Earl
... Amber
Mike Butters ... Businessman
... Sky
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Storyline

Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs, and young women. If he were to die now, nobody would shed a tear over him, that's the sad truth. Until one day Howard learns that he might have a child somewhere out there. The very idea seems like a ray of hope that his life wasn't all in vain. So he sets out to find that young man or woman. He discovers an entire life that he has missed. Written by Reverse Angle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Océan Films [France] | Official site |  »

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

25 August 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Estrela Solitária  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,630, 19 March 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$438,732, 30 July 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture of Sky's mother is a photograph of Sarah Polley's own mother, the late Diane Polley. Diane, who died in 1990, was a huge fan of Sam Shepard. Shepard plays the father of Sarah's character in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Spence and Sutter make a nighttime fuel stop hours after they've supposedly left Butte in broad daylight, signs indicate this scene actually was shot in Butte. See more »

Quotes

Earl: [singing] Where is Howard? Who is Howard? We wanna know, we wanna know. Where is Howard? Who is Howard? Where did he go, where did he go? He's down in the ditches. He's down in the ground. Disappeared himself. He's no-where to be found! Where is Howard? Who is Howard? He's long gone, he's long gone.
See more »

Connections

References High Noon (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Monkey Dance
Written by T Bone Burnett (as Henry Burnett)
Performed by T Bone Burnett
Published by Henry Burnett Music
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A slow, beautiful, meandering, improbable, poorly written, beautifully filmed film...
12 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

Don't Come Knocking (2005)

A disappointing attempt at gritty Western aura, movie insider savvy, and creative parallel plotting and editing. It has elements of camp, of post-modern drama (references to earlier movies or movie types), and even some genuine sincerity.

There is a terrific George Kennedy, who is still active and very much making movies with his over-sized persona. There are smaller roles by several women, including a wan and frankly dull if pretty Sarah Polley. And mostly there is Sam Shepard being Sam Shepard, which is pretty good stuff. But he plays a famous actor who walks off a cheesy movie shoot into reality, and for the rest of the movie is walking as if in a dream through a reality he never quite knew existed.

I think this looked great on paper. At least until someone read the script. It just doesn't hold water, partly for the simple fact that we couldn't care less about most of these folk. In particular, the movie makers, the directors and execs are playing meaningless roles that might mean something to insiders, but to the rest of us (I'm not an insider, thankfully), it's self-indulgent and, well, boring.

What works best? Well, since the story pushes you out you look at the performances straight up, and some, like Shepard's, are strong (he reminds me of Woody Harrelson in this film, for some reason). There's the music (by T-Bone Burnett), an often used electric guitar sound with a country twang that is appealing and sometimes even evocative. And there is the filming, which is unadorned and very nice, depending on some amazing scenes, and the light and color in them. If there is ever an Oscar for scouting, for period sets that hype up the truth of a certain period, this is a good candidate. Certainly the light is romantically appealing.

But I'm stretching to see the best in a plodding film that had potential and lost its velocity very early on.

It has to be added that the director, Wim Wenders, has done some amazing work, and has his own following. But he might be trying to cash in on "Paris, Texas" which has its own small cult following, and which at least has a quirky and disturbing element to it. Here it is mostly a matter of wandering in the modern wilderness, and Wenders, I really believe, is not quite in touch with what makes America America. It feels cold and superficial. See his "Wings of Desire" for a masterpiece. Here? Have patience. Oh...and enjoy the scenery!


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