It's the Wild West, circa 1870. Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As his group traverses the west, the once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Pattinson ... Samuel Alabaster
Mia Wasikowska ... Penelope
David Zellner ... Parson Henry
Nathan Zellner Nathan Zellner ... Rufus Cornell
Joseph Billingiere Joseph Billingiere ... Zachariah Running Bear
Morgan Lund Morgan Lund ... Bar Creep
Ray Kelleher Ray Kelleher ... Barkeep
David Wingo ... Barrel of Laughs
Russell Mael ... Prairie Crooner
Gary Brookins ... Sheriff
Gabe Casdorph ... Anton Cornell
Landon Weeks Landon Weeks ... Piano Player
Larry Zeng Larry Zeng ... Scalped Traveler
Sabrina Chappuis Sabrina Chappuis ... Angry Traveler
Palmer Scott Palmer Scott ... Barber


As Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) travels across the American Frontier, on a journey to marry the love he has always looked for, Penelope (Mia Wasikowski), life becomes more and more dangerous. Accompanied by his miniature horse, Butterscotch, and drunkard companion, Parson Henry (David Zellner), the lines between hero, villain and damsel in distress become more and more blurred in this comic reinvention of the classic western movie.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, language, sexual material, and brief graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska previously played together in Maps to the Stars (2014). See more »


Samuel Alabaster: Regular horses don't have names, they're just, uh, you know, regular.
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Arranged & Performed by Nathan Zellner
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User Reviews

An odd western experience
20 August 2019 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

The type of Western that you could see the Coen Brothers putting their name behind, Damsel is further proof that there's life in the age-old genre yet as filmmaking duo David and Nathan Zellner take us on a darkly comedic trip to the wild west.

It's not to say Damsel is a roaring success, as its slowly paced and rather emotion-free experience is often far too ponderous and cold for its own good, but the twisting, turning and non-conforming tale the Zellner's have created is an odd beast that is sure to find its fair share of fans amongst the many likely detractors.

Filmed in the eye-capturing surrounds of the American wilds, Damsel is a pretty sight indeed that's anchored by creative actors Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson, as the two young lovers reunite after years apart, as the Zellner's take us on a zany journey through a time and place that was filled with more than its fair portion of colourful and cuckoo characters, all on a quest to find meaning and purpose in a harsh unforgiving land, filled with much promise and even more dreaming.

We never really get much of a backstory or foundation of where Wasikowska's competent Penelope or where Pattinson's more dim-witted but well-meaning Samuel Alabaster come from or what shaped them into the people they are as we meet them but it's quite clear we can gather Samuel has been on some type of journey (with a miniature pony in tow), it's just a shame we couldn't get to partake in any of it, as the Zellner's choose not to relay any of this in Damsel's near two hour run-time.

It's a runtime that at times draws to a near halt as the story at the heart of it flows rather slowly and despite the good work of Wasikowska and Pattinson, Damsel struggles to maintain an energy and vibe to keep it going and you do wish that someone like the aforementioned Coen Brothers could've lead the charge here as Damsel feels as though it had the potential to be quite special.

There's brief moments where darkly attuned humour and hilarious encounters (Adams apple comparisons and town hangings) happen throughout Damsel, while David Zellner's side character Parson Henry and other oddball creations add spark to proceedings at certain times but it's not enough to enlighten the film as a whole as you feel as though Damsel missed the opportunity to maximize its unique tale.

Final Say -

Damsel is a curious entry into the western genre with some nice moments of black humor and well-staged strange happenings but overall the Zellner's film ends up being a rather forgettable feature.

2 ½ miniature ponies out of 5

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Release Date:

22 June 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Damsel See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,291, 24 June 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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