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.

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 ... 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

At one point, Howard's mother asks if Howard (Sam Shepard) is trying to run away like Jesse James (also evidenced by a poster, Howard played Jesse in a movie within the movie). Shepard played Jesse's brother in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007). See more »

Goofs

Howard's car is shot in the front left tire. A little later the right tire is flat. 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 »

Connections

References Pinocchio (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Power of Love
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

 
watching paint dry on a minor masterpiece
4 October 2005 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

Wim Wenders' makes extraordinary movies about ordinary people. Whether the inhabitants are important personalities or 'little people', they are always especial because of their humanity.

When I did an internet movie quiz that supposedly answered the question, ¨If someone made a movie about your life, who would direct it?¨ I kinda hoped it would be Wenders. His characters are tiny flecks on a vast landscape, made infinitely interesting by fine observation and untiring attention. Each character is a mystery unravelling.

In 'Don't Come Knocking', we follow the almost incomprehensible actions of a leading Hollywood actor (played by Sam Shepherd) who absconds from a film set in the middle of the American desert. He is struggling to escape a lifelong persona of drink, drugs and women, but doesn't know what he is looking for or why he feels life has passed him by. He is nudged occasionally in the right direction by his mother, and followed by a mysterious young woman carrying her mother's ashes – and whose knowing smile gently holds back a reservoir of yet-to-be-explained emotion.

Wenders can never be accused of hurrying things along. His movies can be like watching paint dry – except that when the painting is finally ready to touch we may feel a masterpiece has just crystallized before our eyes. This is perhaps one of those occasions. Tim Roth as the inscrutable bond man tracking down the wayward actor is barely recognisable till half way through the film, so perfect is the characterisation. Sarah Polley as the mysterious Sky can almost make us burst into tears before we have any idea why, or of the secret she is holding. Shepherd plays Howard Spence with biopic-like conviction. Add a score by T-Bone Burnett that seems to suspend time in the desert with guitar chords that hang in the air, and framed scene upon scene that looks like a classic movie poster waiting to be discovered.

Don't Come Knocking is like one big Do Not Disturb sign on the things we most need to know and that no-one wants to tell us. It's why they're secret – and why we also have to know. The film takes a very long time to answer it's own puzzle but, if you can stand the pace, the result is ultimately worth it.


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