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Film poster
Directed by Peter Mackenzie
Produced by
  • Peter Mackenzie
  • Mike Mackenzie
  • Tommy G. Warren
  • Dawn Krantz
  • Mark Joseph
Screenplay by Peter Mackenzie
Music by Claude Foisy
Cinematography Peter Field
Edited by Drake Silliman
Release date
  • November 1, 2013 (2013-11-01)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million[1]

Doonby is a 2013 independent film written and directed by Peter Mackenzie. It stars John Schneider, Jenn Gotzon, Ernie Hudson, Jennifer O'Neill, Will Wallace, Robert Davi and Joe Estevez. Schneider plays Sam Doonby, a mysterious, yet talented drifter who gets off a bus one afternoon in a small Texas town to change and improve the lives of all he comes in contact with. It is a story of greed and envy, played out against the backdrop of the classic country and blues music that is performed in Leroy’s Bar.[2] The film has been described by the producers as Crazy Heart-meets-It's A Wonderful Life, while Schneider described it as "It's A Wonderful Life without the Wonderful."[3]



The film was shot on location in Smithville, Texas.[4][5]


Doonby was released through crowdsource funding.[5] It previewed during the 64th annual 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[1] It received a limited release in February 2012 to be followed by wider release in the United States during the spring.[6] The film was given wide release on February 17, 2012 by Freestyle Releasing[7] In 2014 distribution company CMD Distribution obtained DVD distribution rights.[8]


Doonby resonated with many pro-life organizations due to its anti-abortion theme. Activist Norma McCorvey, known as the plaintiff Jane Roe of the Supreme Court landmark decision Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the United States in 1973, appeared in a cameo in the film.[1][5] It has also been endorsed by the Vatican and has premiered at the Landmark E Street Cinema during the 2013 March for Life, an annual pro-life march protesting abortion in the United States.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Bond, Paul (2011-05-05). "Do You Know Who This Woman Is?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  2. ^ Archived from the original on July 15, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "John Schneider: Checking In From The Set Of My New Movie Doonby". 2010-05-08. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Doonby wraps, producer talks". The Smithville Times. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  5. ^ a b c "Pro-Life Movie "Doonby" Will Hit Theaters on November 1". LifeSiteNews. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "Doonby, Set to Release in Theaters". 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  7. ^ "Doonby". 17 February 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Doonby - CMD Distribution (Inspirational) -". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Mancari, Jim (30 January 2013). "NET and 'Doonby' March for Life". The Tablet. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 

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