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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.

Plot Summary[edit]

Sam Doonby (John Schneider) is a mysterious 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 (d. 1947-2017), 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. 

External links[edit]