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Don't Come Knocking

3.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oscar(r) Nominee Sam Shepard (Best Supporting Actor, The Right Stuff 1983) and Academy Award nominated director Wim Wenders (Best Documentary Feature, Buena Vista Social Club 1999) reunite for their first collaboration since the critically acclaimed Paris, Texas in this delightful tale about second chances. Howard Spence was once one of Hollywood's hottest movie stars. Now he's a washed up actor barely making it through the day. So on the set of his latest western film he decides to flee and visit his mother (Oscar(r) winner Eva Marie Saint, Best Supporting Actress, On The Waterfront 1954) for the first time in 30 years. To his surprise he discovers that he might have a grown up child (Gabriel Mann, The Bourne Supremacy) living in a small town in Montana, where he once had a fling with a local waitress (2-Time Oscar(r) winner Jessica Lange, Best Supporting Actress, Tootsie 1982 & Best Actress, Blue Sky 1994). Things get even more complicated when the film company sends an insuranc

With Don't Come Knocking, Wim Wenders revisits territory, both literal and metaphorical, first explored in Paris, Texas. Not only does he return to the Southwest, but Sam Shepard is back as co-writer. This time, he's also the star. His Howard Spence is a movie cowboy who's had enough. One day while working in Monument Valley, he takes off his boots and hops a train to Nevada to see his mother (Eva Marie Saint, lovely as ever). Little does he know that Sutter (Tim Roth), a by-the-books bondsman, is hot on his trail. Next, Spence travels to Montana where a sad young woman named Sky (Sarah Polley) is recovering from a recent death, while an angry young man named Earl (Gabriel Mann), who sounds much like Chris Isaak, plies the troubadour trade. Spence doesn't know it yet, but they're the results of a rambunctious past that will soon "come knocking," as it were. While in Butte, he also catches up with Doreen (Jessica Lange), a lover from many moons ago. Clearly, Don't Come Knocking is Wenders and Shepard in a reflective mood, even more so than in Paris, Texas, as Spence is older and has more regrets than Harry Dean Stanton's Travis. It doesn't leave as much of an impression, but the film is a worthy addition to the post-modern Western canon. Shot by Franz Lustig, it's frames are filled with intense hues--fiery reds, glowing greens--and a plaintive score by T-Bone Burnett. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • Wim Wenders Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary
  • New York movie premiere featurette
  • Sundance Featurette
  • Interview with Wim Wenders and Eva Marie Saint

Product Details

  • Actors: Gabriel Mann, Sarah Polley, Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth
  • Directors: Wim Wenders
  • Producers: Peter Schwartzkopff, In-Ah Lee, Karsten Bruenig
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FUTVP0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,064 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Don't Come Knocking" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ronald Scheer on August 14, 2006
Format: DVD
This movie is for Wim Wenders fans and a little less so for moviegoers who love breath-taking images of the American West, with an ironic sense of how the real- and movie-West often contradict each other. Most of the film's themes come together in the character of Howard Spence (Sam Shepard), a man from a ranch in Nevada who's also had a career as a cowboy movie star. His playboy carelessness (drugs, alcohol, affairs, children he's fathered and doesn't know of) is a match for the reckless abuse of the land itself, the John Ford-like setting of southern Utah where his current movie is being shot contrasting with the unreal glitter of gambling casinos in Elko and the devastated city of Butte, where the vast open pit of what was once the Anaconda copper mine is now filling with toxic ground water.

For viewers a little puzzled by this rather loosely constructed and long-winded film, the DVD commentary by Wenders is a richly informative discussion of his intentions with the film along with anecdotes about making it (scenes created on the spot, the influence of painter Edward Hopper, also the story behind the final image of the film). Wenders' explanation of how he and Shepard wrote the film together and made it over a period of five years do much to account for its somewhat rambling structure.

The performances by the seasoned actors are great, including Jessica Lange (who would have remained far more beautiful and expressive without a facelift) flying into an unexpected rage in her last scene with a stunned Shepard and actually dislocating her shoulder as she hits him with a big handbag. However, it was harder for this viewer to wax as enthusiastic as Wenders about his younger actors, who seemed often vague about who and what they were supposed to be.
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Format: DVD
Combining two renaissance men like Sam Shepard (THE RIGHT STUFF, 1983) and Wim Wenders (director of PARIS, TEXAS which also starred Shepard) could seem like a golden film opportunity. I'd heard quite a bit of buzz about DON'T COME KNOCKING before its release and was pretty excited to finally sit down and watch it.

The story is about Howard Spence (Shepard), a cowboy movie star who's approaching the downside of his aging career. At 60, Howard still lives the life of a starling; he drinks, drugs and sexes himself into oblivion nightly. But (for unknown reasons) he has a bad night on the set of a lame film and decides to flee the production in hopes of finding what lay for him beyond the camera. His history is as scattered as his drug-induced years of debauchery and Howard quickly discovers that he has children in the world. Two children. He visits his mother (Eva Marie Sant, NORTH BY NORTHWEST) in Elko, Nevada and she tells him of a woman who'd called years before claiming to be the mother of his son. At first Howard doesn't believe it, but recollections filter in and he goes in search of his kids. But he also has to evade a bounty hunter named Sutter (Tim Roth, PULP FICTION) who was hired by the film studio to get Howard back to the movie he'd abandoned.

Both of Howard's kids' are now adults living lives of their own. We're first introduced to Sky (Sarah Polley, DAWN OF THE DEAD, 2004) who just cremated her mother. She's a withdrawn and quiet woman who easily picks up on who her father is when she sees him lurking around Butte, Montana. The second adult kid is Earl (Gabriel Mann, THE BOURNE IDENTITY), a modern blues singer with a chip the size of a boulder resting on him. His mother, Doreen (Jessica Lange, ROB ROY), tries to ease the news of his father's arrival but is too late.
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Format: DVD
"Don't Come Knocking" was something of an unexpected treat for me. I remember when the film opened in Chicago, and the awful reviews it got and the lack of public support, but I wanted to see it anyway. And before you knew it, it was out of theatres.

It's been a strage year for movies. I've found many times I'm on the outside of public opinion. I actually liked "All the King's Men" and I even liked "The Black Dahlia". I'm just not influenced by public opinion. I like what I like and the masses aren't going to change my mind.

"Don't Come Knocking" is the kind of film I love to watch. It's a self-discovery road picture. Going back to Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries", "The Browning Version" and even the more recent "About Schmidt" these kinds of films appeal to me.

The reason is because I find the topic universal. We all have regrets in our lives. We all wish at times that we can go back in time and rectify past situations. Now with some wisdom on our side perhaps we would respond to problems differently.

In "Don't Come Knocking" Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) is going through such a moment in his life. He was once a famous actor in westerns who is now a washed up has-been who gets by on memories of the past.

While on the set of his lastest film, a truly corny cliche western film, where characters kiss and then ride off into the sunset (!), Howard decides to pick up and leave. He sneaks off the set and makes his way back home.

Howard decides to go visit his mother (Eva Marie Saint) whom he hasn't seen for thirty years. It is there he learns he has a child. From who he doesn't know. How old the child is, he also doesn't know. His mother just casually blurted it out.
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