Knockin' on Heaven's Door

February 20th, 1997


Knockin' on Heaven's Door

No valid json found

Two young men, Martin and Rudi, both suffering from terminal cancer, get to know each other in a hospital room...

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 7.8/10 (9,868 voted)

Director: Thomas Jahn

Stars: Til Schweiger, Jan Josef Liefers, Thierry van Werveke

Two young men, Martin and Rudi, both suffering from terminal cancer, get to know each other in a hospital room. They drown their desperation in Tequila and decide to take one last trip to the sea. Drunk and still in pajamas they steal the first fancy car they find, a 60's Mercedes convertible. The car happens to belong to a bunch of gangsters, which immediately start to chase it, since it contains more than the pistol Martin finds in the glove box.

Writers: Thomas Jahn, Thomas Jahn

Til Schweiger - Martin Brest
Jan Josef Liefers - Rudi Wurlitzer
Thierry van Werveke - Henk - der Belgier
Moritz Bleibtreu - Abdul - der Araber
Huub Stapel - Frankie 'Boy' Beluga
Leonard Lansink - Kommissar Schneider
Ralph Herforth - Assistent Keller
Cornelia Froboess - Frau Brest - Martins Mutter
Rutger Hauer - Curtiz
Christiane Paul - Verkäuferin in der Boutique
Hannes Jaenicke - Motorradpolizist
Willi Thomczyk - Autoverkäufer (as Willy Thomczyk)
Vladimir Weigl - Harald Rohwitz
Jenny Elvers-Elbertzhagen - Schwester Labor A (as Jenny Elvers)
Corinna Harfouch - Schwester Labor B

Taglines: Ein schnelles Auto, 1 Million Mark im Kofferraum und nur noch eine Woche zu leben

Release Date: 20 February 1997

Filming Locations: Alter Wartesaal, Cologne, North Rhine - Westphalia, Germany

Opening Weekend: $3,296 (USA) (23 April 2000) (2 Screens)

Gross: $3,296 (USA) (23 April 2000)

Technical Specs


Boom mic visible: Microphone is visible at the top of the frame in stairs shootout episode

[Own translation since the movie is not available in English]
Patient im Fahrstuhl: [waking up] What's happened? Am I in Heaven?
Henk - der Belgier: Sure. I am Sweet God and this
[points to Abdul]
Henk - der Belgier: is Saint Peter.
Abdul - der Araber: [St. Peter] Salam aleikum.

User Review

GREAT FILM, but you've got to either learn German, or wait for the dubbed version.


First of all, WHY HAS THIS FILM NOT BEEN RELEASED IN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES??!! Is it because Hollywood is afraid of German films that are actually as good as theirs? Is it because this is a foreign film that isn't "foreign" enough (e.g. Bergmanesque symbolism or Wender's "poetic imagery") or is it because neither America nor Britain have the nerve to properly dub this film into English? In any case, the world is missing out. This is a highly entertaining film with a simple plot, lots of humor, plenty of action, and two terrific leads. The plot, regardless of how many people will compare it to "pulp fiction" (a comparrison, by the way, which I simply cannot understand,)is a straight-forward buddy flick about two terminally ill men in their early thirties. Like all buddy movies, (Lethal Weapan, 48 hours, Nothing to lose) the characters couldn't be more different at the beginning, and find a way to get along by the films end. Nothing new here, except for the fact that both men know they will be dead by the film's end, thus eliminating (thank goodness) any chance of a sequel. Anyway, our heroes meet in the hospital, and quickly decide that they want to really "live" their final days on earth, and see the ocean before they pass away. They steal a car which happens to belong to a dutch gangster (brief cameo by rutger hauer). Thus begins the chase across Germany and Holland, a chase which combines road-movie laughs a-la Dumb and Dumber (there is a VERY similiar scene where the two men find the suitcase filled with money, and check into a rediculously fancy hotel) with genuine character development and bonding, a-la Thelma and Louise.

The real star of the film is not the plot, but the little moments of genuine humor and tenderness between the leads. Director Thomas Jahn's balance between over-the-top action-comedy and emotional "cancer drama" is amazingly played out by the two actors (til schweiger and jan josef liefers)

I would recommend this film to ANYBODY who likes to be entertained. The music is great, the jokes (most of them, at least) fly, and the relationships are genuine. The only problem is probably that at this point, you have to speak German fluently to understand most of what's going on. BUT BE PATIENT! Someday Hollywood will discover this film and at least SUBTITLE it like they did the equally terrific(er) "lola rennt". My only hope is that they don't simply ruin the film by remaking it with american stars. That would be a great letdown, because this film is already perfect. I doubt that most people would even think it's foreign, if they simply forget the subtitles and get into it.


Comments are closed.