Don't Come Knocking

Last updated
Don't Come Knocking
Dont come knocking ver3.jpg
U.S. theatrical poster
Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced byKarsten Brünig
Lee In-Ah
Peter Schwartzkopff
Written by Sam Shepard
Wim Wenders
Starring Sam Shepard
Jessica Lange
Tim Roth
CinematographyFranz Lustig
Edited by Peter Przygodda
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget~ US$11,000,000

Don't Come Knocking is a 2005 American drama road film directed by German director Wim Wenders and written by Wenders and actor/playwright Sam Shepard. [1] The two had previously collaborated on the film Paris, Texas (1984). [2] It was entered into the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. [3]



Shepard stars as Howard Spence, an aging, hard-living Western movie star, who, disgusted with his life & washed up, flees by horse from the set of his latest western filming in the desert outside Moab, Utah. He hits the road looking for refuge in his past, traveling to his hometown of Elko, Nevada to visit his mother, who he hasn't seen in 30 years. And, eventually, to Butte, Montana, looking for a woman (Jessica Lange) he left behind twenty years before when he was filming a movie there. Also converging on Butte is a young woman named Sky (Sarah Polley), returning her late mother's ashes to her hometown and conducting a search of her own. Spence is doggedly pursued by Mr. Sutter (Tim Roth), a humorless representative of the company insuring Spence's latest film, whose mission is to return Spence to the set to finish filming the movie. [4]



Actors and cameos

The film features cameo appearances by George Kennedy as a beleaguered movie director, and Tim Matheson and Julia Sweeney as movie producers. Also appearing briefly is Tom Farrell (from Wenders 1980 Lightning Over Water and the Screaming Man from Paris, Texas) as a high-school acquaintance who recognizes Howard along the way. [6] The film also marks the first collaboration in 18 years (since 1988's Far North ) between Shepard and his longtime partner Jessica Lange, as the two had an agreement never to work at the same time, in order not to neglect their children. Lange, Saint and Kennedy are all winners of Academy Awards.


The film was shot in 35mm anamorphic format by Franz Lustig using Hawk lenses. [7] He and Wenders emphasized the influence of painter Edward Hopper on the cinematography.


Most of the soundtrack was composed by T Bone Burnett and performed by Cassandra Wilson on vocals, Carla Azar on drums, Jay Bellerose on drums, Stephen Bruton on manaicello, Daphne Chen on violin, Keefus Ciancia on keyboards, Armando Compean on bass, Dennis Crouch on bass, Tony Gilkyson on guitar, Leah Katz on viola, Emile Kelman on cello, Jim Keltner on drums, Marc Ribot on guitar and Patrick Warren who also composed additional music on keyboards and pump organ.

The title song "Don't Come Knocking" was performed by Andrea Corr & Bono.

Related Research Articles

Wim Wenders German film director, playwright, screenwriter, photographer and film producer

Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer. He is a major figure in New German Cinema. Among many honors, he has received three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature: for Buena Vista Social Club (1999), about Cuban music culture; Pina (2011), about the contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch; and The Salt of the Earth (2014), about Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado.

<i>Wings of Desire</i> 1987 film by Wim Wenders

Wings of Desire is a 1987 romantic fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The film is about invisible, immortal angels who populate Berlin and listen to the thoughts of its human inhabitants, comforting the distressed. Even though the city is densely populated, many of the people are isolated or estranged from their loved ones. One of the angels, played by Bruno Ganz, falls in love with a beautiful, lonely trapeze artist, played by Solveig Dommartin. The angel chooses to become mortal so that he can experience human sensory pleasures, ranging from enjoying food to touching a loved one, and so that he can discover human love with the trapeze artist.

Jessica Lange American actress

Jessica Phyllis Lange is an American actress. She is the 13th actress to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, having won two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, along with a Screen Actors Guild Award and five Golden Globe Awards. Additionally, she is the second actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress after winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the third actress and first performer since 1943 to receive two Oscar nominations in the same year, the fifth actress and ninth performer to win Oscars in both the lead and supporting acting categories, and tied for the sixth most Oscar-nominated actress. Lange holds the record for most nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. She is the only performer ever to win Primetime Emmy Awards in both the Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Lead Actress categories for the same miniseries. Lange has also garnered a Critics Choice Award and three Dorian Awards, making her the most honored actress by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association. In 1998, Entertainment Weekly listed Lange among the 25 Greatest Actresses of the 1990s. In 2014, she was scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but she has yet to claim it.

Sam Shepard American playwright and actor (1943–2017)

Samuel Shepard Rogers III was an American actor, playwright, author, screenwriter, and director whose career spanned half a century. He won ten Obie Awards for writing and directing, the most won by any writer or director. He wrote 58 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. He received the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described Shepard as "the greatest American playwright of his generation."

<i>Paris, Texas</i> (film) 1984 film directed by Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas is a 1984 road movie directed by Wim Wenders and starring Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski, and Hunter Carson. The screenplay was written by L. M. Kit Carson and playwright Sam Shepard, while the musical score was composed by Ry Cooder. The film was a co-production between companies in France and West Germany, and was shot in the United States by Robby Müller.

<i>The Million Dollar Hotel</i>

The Million Dollar Hotel is a 2000 drama film based on a concept story by Bono and Nicholas Klein, directed by Wim Wenders, and starring Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, and Mel Gibson. The film features music by U2 and various artists that was released on the soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture.

<i>Faraway, So Close!</i> 1993 film by Wim Wenders

Faraway, So Close! is a 1993 German fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The screenplay is by Wenders, Richard Reitinger and Ulrich Zieger. It is a sequel to Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire. Actors Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk reprise their roles as angels who have become human. The film also stars Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann, in his last film role.

Jeremy Thomas

Jeremy Jack Thomas, CBE is a British film producer, founder and chairman of Recorded Picture Company. He produced Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, which won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2006 he received a European Film Award for Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema. His father was director Ralph Thomas, while his uncle Gerald Thomas directed all of the films in the Carry On franchise.

<i>Lisbon Story</i> (1994 film)

Lisbon Story is a 1994 feature film directed by Wim Wenders. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. As part of Lisbon's programme as the European City of Culture in 1994, Wenders and three Portuguese filmmakers were invited to make a documentary about the city. The result was the fictional Lisbon Story.

Tokyo-Ga is a 1985 documentary film about filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu directed by Wim Wenders. The film ranges from explicit focus on Ozu's filmmaking—Wenders interviews Ozu's regular cinematographer, Yuharu Atsuta, and one of Ozu's favorite actors, Chishū Ryū—to scenes of contemporary Tokyo such as pachinko and plastic food displays. Wenders introduces the film as a "diary on film." It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

Recorded Picture Company

Recorded Picture Company is a British film production company founded in 1974 by producer Jeremy Thomas.

<i>The End of Violence</i>

The End of Violence is a 1997 drama film by the German director Wim Wenders. The film's cast includes Bill Pullman, Andie MacDowell, Gabriel Byrne, Traci Lind, Rosalind Chao, and Loren Dean, among others. It also features a soundtrack marked with the signature sounds of Wenders regulars Jon Hassell, Ry Cooder, and Bono. The film was praised by a select few critics for its cinematography, but performed poorly in the box office. It was entered into the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

In-Ah Lee is a German film producer based in Los Angeles, California.

<i>Kings of the Road</i>

Kings of the Road is a 1976 German road movie directed by Wim Wenders. It was the third part of Wenders' "Road Movie trilogy" which included Alice in the Cities (1974) and The Wrong Move (1975). It was the unanimous winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>Lightning Over Water</i>

Lightning Over Water, also known as Nick's Film, is a 1980 West German-Swedish documentary-drama film written, directed by and starring Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray. It centers on the last days of Ray's own life, who was already known worldwide for his 1955 classic film Rebel Without a Cause. It was screened out of competition at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>Palermo Shooting</i> 2008 film

Palermo Shooting is a 2008 film written and directed by German director Wim Wenders, and starring Campino, Dennis Hopper, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Lou Reed as himself, and an uncredited Milla Jovovich, also playing herself. It was screened at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>Tough Guys Dont Dance</i> (film)

Tough Guys Don't Dance is a 1987 crime mystery comedy-drama film written and directed by Norman Mailer based on his novel of the same name. It is a murder mystery/film noir piece that was scorned by audiences and critics alike. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>50 Photographs</i>

50 Photographs is a photo book by American visual artist Jessica Lange, published by powerHouse Books on November 18, 2008. Featuring an introduction written by the National Book Award-winner Patti Smith, the art work distributed by Random House is the official debut of Lange as a photographer.

<i>Every Thing Will Be Fine</i>

Every Thing Will Be Fine is a 2015 German-Canadian-Swedish drama film directed by Wim Wenders, written by Bjørn Olaf Johannessen and produced in 3D. It is Wenders’ first full-length dramatic feature in seven years. The film stars James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rachel McAdams and Marie-Josée Croze. It premiered out of competition on February 10, 2015 at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. The film made its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015. It was released in the United States in a limited release and through video on demand by IFC Films on December 4, 2015.

<i>Pope Francis: A Man of His Word</i> 2018 documentary film by Wim Wenders

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word is a 2018 documentary film produced, co-written and directed by Wim Wenders, focusing on the life and goals of Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope and sovereign of the Vatican City State. A Swiss-Italian-French-German co-production, the film premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was released in the United States on May 18, 2018.


  2. Variety
  3. "Festival de Cannes: Don't Come Knocking". Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  4. DVD of the Week: Don't Come Knocking|The New Yorker
  6. AllMovie
  7. "Interview: Wim Wenders and Franz Lustig are excited about Hawks". Retrieved 2012-05-26.