6.7/10
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68 user 106 critic

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.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Roday ... 1st AD
Jeffrey Vincent Parise ... 2nd AD (as Jeff Parise)
Majandra Delfino ... 1st Girl
Marieh Delfino ... 2nd Girl
Sam Shepard ... Howard Spence
George Kennedy ... Director
Julia Sweeney ... Producer 2
Tim Matheson ... Producer 1
James Gammon ... Old Ranch Hand
Tim Roth ... Sutter
Robin Twogood Robin Twogood ... Patrolman
Gabriel Mann ... Earl
Fairuza Balk ... Amber
Mike Butters Mike Butters ... Businessman
Sarah Polley ... 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 | See more »

Country:

UK | France | Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 2005 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Estrela Solitária See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jessica Lange, George Kennedy, and Eva Marie Saint; and three Oscar nominees: Sam Shepard, Tim Roth, and Sarah Polley. 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

Howard Spence: Mind if I turn the radio on?
Sutter: Yes, I do, as a matter of fact. I don't like outside influence.
Howard Spence: Outside?
Sutter: That's right. The world at large. It's a nasty place. Why allow it in? Livestalk reports, Navajo chanting, beheadings, bestiality. Nothing's changed. Black Death, the Inquisition, the Crusades, conquest of Mexico. What's changed?
Howard Spence: I was thinking...
Sutter: What?
Howard Spence: I don't know.
Sutter: Nothing's changed.
Howard Spence: Guess not.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Theatrical version was 113 minutes, and the director's cut (on DVD) is 122 minutes. See more »


Soundtracks

I'm Coming Home
Written by T Bone Burnett (as Henry Burnett)
Performed by T Bone Burnett
Published by Henry Burnett Music
Courtesy of Electro Magnetic Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

Hard Not to Knock It
26 January 2006 | by wmjahoSee all my reviews

I really wanted to like Don't Come Knocking. It's a contemporary Western by famed German director Wim Wenders, written by Pulitzer-Prize winner (and stud actor) Sam Sheppard, and including in the cast Sam's main squeeze (and my first crush) Jessica Lange. With these credentials, I would have bet that Don't Come Knocking would have been in my Top 5 at Sundance this year.

Not even close.

Here's my #1 criterion for judging a movie: Did I care about the characters? Love 'em or hate 'em, either one is OK, they just have to mean enough to me to care about what happens to them. And unfortunately, I didn't care two hoots about Howard Spence (Sheppard), the washed-up Western actor who tries to escape his past of hard living and general selfishness. I didn't even care about Doreen (Lange), a former girlfriend from a movie shot in Butte, Montana. And I certainly didn't care about Earl (Gabriel Mann), Doreen's son, no matter how over-the-top obnoxious his behavior. Maybe I did care for Sky, the Butte native played by the remarkable Sarah Polley, who was clearly the most likable and the only truly compelling character in the movie. And Tim Roth's portrayal of the studio bond man was interesting at least.

But beyond character development, this movie just didn't have any direction, suffering from the thinnest of story lines and a pace that often needed a quick kick from Howard Spence's spurs. It does feature some interesting locations and beautiful southern Utah landscapes. But that's not why we go to movies.

Wenders and Sheppard go back to their collaboration on Paris, Texas in 1984, and they spoke very fondly of each other during the Q&A. They collaborated on the story over a period of years and have looked for a chance to work together again. I wish they would have produced something better.

Interesting Tidbit from the Q&A: Sheppard's son Jesse is an expert horseman and did his father's riding stunts for the movie. Sam Sheppard also rides well, but his contract limited his riding to a trot.

Second Interesting Tidbit: Wenders has wanted to shoot a film in Butte for twenty years, since his first visit there, and was concerned that someone else would film there before him.


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