The Official Website for the 2008 Flm, The Yellow Hankerchief. has been restored and archived as required reading for Gordon Li's American Films I course for first year film majors. The website's preservation was managed by TNG/Earthling's CEO Bob Sakayama who provided pro bono development oversight. Former Queens assistant district attorney and film buff Benjamin Pred edited the commentary, reviews, and other content along with Rev Sale representing Blind Duck. Professor Li's recent works include "Don't Take My Picture!" and "It Takes A Spillage" produced for the university film production group. Copies of the complete reading list and the syllabus can be downloaded from the film department's website. Students wishing to enroll in this course are advised to apply early as the class size is limited to the first 20 applicants.



This was the official website for the 2008 film, The Yellow Hankerchief.
One lazy afternoon in a backwater Louisiana town, Martine takes a leap into an unfamiliar convertible. The driver, Gordy, an awkward young itinerant who eyed her in the diner earlier, isn’t displeased to find this pretty sylph in his front seat. Soon they meet Brett, a laconic, humble man just released from prison. Martine isn’t keen on going solo with Gordy, and now it’s raining cats and dogs, so she invites Brett along, and the unlikely trio sets out, each person unsure of the destination. What ensues is a journey through the lush green byways of rural Louisiana and into the depths of these characters’ souls.

Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other outside sources.


The Yellow Handkerchief Official Trailer


A love story at its core, :"The Yellow Hankerchief" is about three strangers of two generations who embark on a road trip through post Katrina, La. Along the way, relationships forge and change in a myriad of ways, leading to the possibility of second chances at life and love. Brett Hanson dealing with a painful past, crosses paths with Martine, a troubled teenager, and her new 'ride' Gordy. The trio head out together, each motivated by his/her own reasons: Brett must decide whether he wants to return to the uncertainty of his life and his ex-wife May for whom he longs, Martine yearns to escape her family and Gordy hopes to get close to her.
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, some violence, language and thematic elements)


Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:    Udayan Prasad
Written By:     Erin Dignam
In Theaters:     Feb 26, 2010  Wide
On Disc/Streaming:    Jul 1, 2010


RottenTomatoes Tomatometer CRITICS 67% | AUDIENCE 59%


April 1, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch  Top Critic
The unhurried direction of Udayan Prasad and the unafraid choices of the sure-footed cast keep this character-driven drama afloat.


April 1, 2010 | Rating: 2/4
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald Top Critic
The only positive thing about the aimless film The Yellow Handkerchief is the idea that William Hurt may be ready for his Jeff Bridges moment.


March 12, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune Top Critic
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, some violence, language.
This modest but moving indie ensemble piece puts three estimable actors in a convertible, sets them on a long drive to post-Katrina Louisiana and lets the character dynamics do the rest.
William Hurt brings a world of silent hurt to the role of an ex-con who picks up aimless, fidgety teen Kristen Stewart and her dorky would-be boyfriend, Eddie Redmayne. Their sentimental journey in Redmayne's ancient Ford LTD is fueled by Hurt's flashbacks of Maria Bello, the ex-lover who may or may not have something to do with his prison time. The three strangers open up to one another by degrees. The story meanders a bit as we puzzle over Hurt's motivation. Is he running away from something or toward something?
The healing family unit that evolves among the strangers is heartwarming, and the ravishing cinematography by Chris Menges ("The Mission") gives the southern locations a lush atmospheric beauty, whether they're stands of oaks or urban jungle. If "The Notebook" had you reaching for your handkerchief, this is your movie.


October 14, 2010
Prairie Miller
Taking time off from vampire infatuation but still into Native male magnets, Kristen Stewart does a snobby sexpot, while the bayou weepie conjures a relentless alien place where crocodiles, snakes and eccentric when not unhinged redneck humans roam free


May 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
Keith Cohen
Entertainment Spectrum
Three strangers form the bonds of a makeshift family as they take a road trip through the Louisiana bayous in an old convertible.
Brett Hanson (William Hurt from “Into the Wild” and “A History of Violence”) is a free man again after serving a six-year prison sentence for manslaughter. Martine (Kristen Stewart, best known as Bella Swan from the “The Twilight Saga” movies) is a troubled teenager who feels ignored by her truck driver father. Gordy (Eddie Redmayne from “The Other Boleyn Girl”) is a misunderstood youngster who grew up on an Indian reservation.

Their paths cross one lazy afternoon at a diner in a backwater town. They end up spending three memorable days together.

Brett is a man of few words, but he slowly reveals his painful past to the two kids. It involves his relationship with ex-wife May (Maria Bello from “A History of Violence,” “Thank You for Smoking” and “The Cooler”). His story is dramatized in flashbacks, which become the beating heart and motivational impetus of the movie.

This uplifting film is an indie gem with a wonderful payoff that will bring you to tears. The acting is superlative and makes this emotionally moving experience good to the last drop.

High praise goes to British director Udayan Prasad for using the eyes of the performers as windows to the soul. Screenwriter Erin Dignam has an astute understanding of the way men and women approach intimacy and love. Men are willing to jump right in before testing the water. Women want to get to know and feel comfortable around another person initially.

All the characters come from broken homes and are seeking a sense of belonging.

This film adaptation comes from a 1971 article written by Pete Hamill that inspired the Tony Orlando and Dawn hit song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree.”

Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges (“The Reader,” “Michael Collins,” “The Mission” and “The Killing Fields”) wields a very observant camera that captures crucial non-verbal reactions.

Besides the lush green and swampy scenery of rural Louisiana, post-Katrina New Orleans and Morgan City background locations add immensely to the sentimental, thought-provoking atmosphere.

This slice-of-life romantic drama is now playing for a limited engagement exclusively at Screenland Crown Center.




Lorin T April 7, 2010
***** So I was really looking forward to this movie when it was finally released in Austin . This little independent film was actually shot on location back in 2007 and is now just finding a very limited theater release thanks to Samuel Goldwyn distributors. The cast was impressive and the storyline was intriguing and naturally I found myself seeing this film in one of the few theaters in Austin on a recent trip.

The movie is actually a remake of a 1977 Japanese film. The story follows the lives of four unique characters who all feel out of place in their current situations and is set in present day Louisiana . Brett Hanson (William Hurt) has just been released from prison and finds himself suddenly on a road trip with Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) who also recently met. Hanson then retells the story of a lost love he once had with May (Maria Bello). The characters begin to find acceptance in each other and work to fill the voids each of them have in their own lives.

The story is deeply personal and really flows well with the interweaving plot lines. The characters are very real and believable and each comes with their own set of different flaws and weaknesses. The dialogue is very well written and again these characters are just believable. Itâ??s nice to see a love story about real people and not idealic perfect characters who participate in these grand love stories. This story is sweet and personal while at the same time it is truly believable. The characters are complex and develop on different levels. By the end of the movie, we really know what their weaknesses are and how they can use each other to fill their voids.

The movie was filmed beautifully and really emphasized the locations they shot at. There was some just amazingly beautiful locations in the movie. The lighting was soft and artistic and really gave a warm feel to this movie. There was a particular sequence of dialogue between Martine and Gordy which was filmed while they were driving down the highway in a convertible and the sound was just done so perfectly. I was amazed that they were able to get that sequence with doing the sound in post or having the wind drown out their words. The editing was also great and kept a nice pace to the movie and also switched between the past and present with ease.

The performances were superb and this is really what made the movie shine. All of the cast gave true heartfelt portrayals of these characters and you couldnâ??t help but just be drawn into the story through to the end. Kristen Stewart did a great job playing a fun lively character, which is a little different that the darker moodier characters most have seen her portray. It was refreshing to see her play an optimist and she gives the character a sort of wise innocence that I donâ??t think most other actresses her age couldâ??ve played. She also actually did a good job with the Southern accent. Most of the time, I cringe when actors try to pull of the Southern drawl in movies, but all the actors did really good with the subtle but believable accents. William Hurt and Maria Bello played really well off each other and had such great chemistry. Hurt proves why he is one of my favorite actors, you can just see the pain and regret in his face in this movie. Eddie Redmayne did fantastic. For a British actor to pull off this role, is no small feat. He plays the character so well that we truly are sympathetic for him but while still showing his uniqueness, quirks, and flaws.

Overall, I was very happy with this movie. I wouldn’t necessarily label this a feel good movie, but rather a true life movie. These characters are believable and the story is captivating and mesmerizing. Itâ??s nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, its just so real and true that it shines brighter than others of this type. The producers said they had wanted to make a movie that was captivating without sex or violence and they really pulled it off. I usually prefer my movies to be rated â??Râ?? because that usually means they are more realistic however that is not the case here. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys sweet personal dramas with strong lead actors. I can see your whole life in your face, and I love that face!


***½ Sarah T March 23, 2010
william hurt was, well, william hurt. kristen stewart was okay, maria bello was great and and eddie redmayne was spectacular.


***** Melissa M March 18, 2010
Beautifully nuanced film about loneliness and learning how to love other people well.
Matthew S ½March 13, 2010
Nice slice of life story about love and trust. I really enjoyed this film and the acting. A very believable and sweet story.



***Josie-Lynn L March 6, 2010
I didn't know anything about this one before watching. Only that I don't enjoy Kristen Stewart very much... at all. But she did an OK job, and she wasn't as annoying as she usually is to me. William Hurt was really good. And the story was pretty good. Not the best, but pretty solid, I'd say. However, the relationship btwn K.Stewart and E.Redmayne was a little WTF....



**½ John M March 3, 2010
"The Yellow Handkerchief", loosely based on a short story by writer Pete Hamill, is the story of three lost souls who happen upon each other one average Louisiana day. Starring William Hurt, Maria Bello, Kristen Stewart and Eddie RedMayne, the film starts out with, quite fittingly, yellow-washed credits.

The story centers around Brett Hanson (Hurt), a recent ex-convict, making his way back home. He meets Martine (Stewart) and Gordy (Redmayne) on a trip across the river. Through a stroke of bad (or good) luck, the three strangers are stranded together and slowly learn about each other's histories and how they ended up in the present day.

William Hurt plays Hanson with gusto. He's lost, hurt, hopeless and hopeful all at the same time. He plays both loner on a journey and father figure to two lonely teens. Despite his ex-convict status, one gets the impression Hanson is not a bad person. Throughout the film, as you learn his past, you understand where his emotions and state of mind come from.

Stewart's character, Martine, is also a lonely person. No caring family and no obvious friends, she takes the trip across the river in hopes of a quick joy ride allowing her to escape her desperate reality. Martine and her existence is believable, however Stewart still has some of her stereotyped panting and hair pulling which can sometimes make it hard to forget that you are watching Kristen Stewart. Forgetting these mannerisms, the part, including the southern accent, are well played.

Gordy, played by Eddie RedMayne, is an extremely awkward character to watch. I can't quite tell if the character is supposed to be that awkward of an individual or if RedMayne over-acted. Though he and Stewart's character are supposed to have chemistry on-screen, it's only when she dislikes him that their chemistry is believable.

Bello is seen through flash-backs and has little effect on the likeability of the film. She effectively plays a beautiful object of caring and desire, but she isn't given enough character depth and screen time to make an impact.

Unfortunately, I did not have much time to research this film before viewing. Upon leaving the theater, my impression was and still is that the acting by Hurt and Stewart was solid (and Redmayne if he was supposed to be that awkward), but there wasn't enough depth to the overall story line. I thought to myself (and out-loud), "this film felt like a short story more than a film". I am, therefore, not surprised to learn it's loosely based on a short story.

With a deeper story line, this film could have invested the audience more. As-is, there just isn't enough of a story to make a successful full-length feature film.


Melinda S  February 25, 2010
Love a good love story.



***** paulinedao princesz A February 23, 2010
A love story at its core, THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF is about three strangers of two generations who embark on a road trip through post Katrina Louisiana.




Roger Ebert
March 10, 2010  |

The action in "The Yellow Handkerchief" takes place within the characters, who don't much talk about it, so the faces of the actors replace dialogue. That's more interesting than movies that lay it all out. This is the story of three insecure drifters who improbably find themselves sharing a big convertible and driving to New Orleans not long after Hurricane Katrina.

The car's driver is a painfully insecure teenager named Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), who doubts most of what he does and seems to apologize just by standing there. At a rural convenience store, he encounters Martine (Kristen Stewart), running away from her life. He says he's driving to New Orleans. No reason. She decides to come along. No reason. They meet a quiet, reserved man named Brett (William Hurt), and she thinks he should come along. No particular reason.

We now have the makings of a classic road picture. Three outsiders, a fabled destination, Louisiana back roads and a big old convertible. It must be old because modern cars have no style; three strangers can't go On the Road in a Corolla. It must be a convertible because it makes it easier to light and see the characters and the landscape they pass through. They must be back roads because what kind of a movie is it when they drive at a steady 70 on the interstate?

The formula is obvious, but the story, curiously, turns out to be based on fact. It began as journalism by Pete Hamill, published in the early 1970s. In the movie's rendition, Brett fell in love with a woman named May (Maria Bello), then spent six years in prison for manslaughter charges, although his guilt is left in doubt. Martine slowly coaxes his story out of the secretive man.

You don't need an original story for a movie. You need original characters and living dialogue. "The Yellow Handkerchief," written by Erin Dignam, directed by Udayan Prasad, has those, and evocative performances. William Hurt occupies the silent center of the film. In many movies we interpret his reticence as masking intelligence. Here we realize it's a blank slate, and could be masking anything. Although his situation is an open temptation for an actor to signal his emotions, Hurt knows that the best movie emotions are intuited by the audience, not read from emotional billboards.

Stewart is, quite simply, a wonderful actress. I must not hold the "Twilight" movies against her. She played the idiotic fall-girl written for her, as well as that silly girl could be played, and now that "Twilight: New Moon" has passed the $300 million mark, she has her choice of screenplays for her next three films, as long as one of them is "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." In recent film after film, she shows a sure hand and an intrinsic power. I last saw her in "Welcome to the Rileys," where she played a runaway working as a hooker in New Orleans. In both films she had many scenes with experienced older actors (Hurt, James Gandolfini). In both she was rock solid. Playing insecure and neurotic, yes, but rock solid.

The story of Redmayne, who plays Gordy, is unexpected. He fits effortlessly into the role of the scrawny, uncertain 15-year-old Louisiana kid. Yet I learn he is 27, a Brit who went to Eton, a veteran of Shakespeare and Edward Albee. Michael Caine explained to me long ago why it's easier for British actors to do American accents than the other way around. Whatever. You can't find a crack in his performance here.

These three embark on a road odyssey that feels like it takes longer than it might in real life. Their secrets are very slowly confided. They go through emotional relationships expected and not expected. They learn lessons about themselves, which is required in such films, but are so slowly and convincingly arrived at here that we forgive them. There is rarely a film where the characters are exactly the same at the end as they were at the beginning. (Note: Being triumphant is not a character change.)

Prasad made a wonderful British film in 1997, "My Son the Fanatic." I've seen none of his work since. Now comes this redneck slice of life. Since the characters are so far from the lives of the actors and the director, this is a creation of the imagination. As it must be. The ending is a shade melodramatic, but what the heck. In for one yellow handkerchief, in for a hundred.


Review: 'The Yellow Handkerchief'

DEC 17, 2008   KEVIN THOMAS |
Pete Hamill's Reader's Digest story "The Yellow Handkerchief" inspired Yôji Yamada's appealing 1977 film of the same name, and now it has become the basis for a new movie, also of the same name but not really a remake.

Screenplay writer Erin Dignam and director Udayan Prasad have taken the plot outline of the Yamada film and created original characters in a rural post-Katrina Louisiana, captured in evocative images by master cinematographer Chris Menges.

This "Yellow Handkerchief" is a gentle, low-key road movie, centering on the eternal need to love and to trust, suffused in the humanist spirit that has won its veteran producer, Arthur Cohn, three Oscars.

Cohn has assembled a quartet of gifted actors who are captivating under Prasad's perceptive direction. Eddie Redmayne's Gordy, a skinny, sweet-natured kid with wanderlust, passes through a tiny town in his vintage convertible and gives a lift to pretty teenager Martine ("Twilight's" Kristen Stewart), upset over an overly aggressive boyfriend and eager for a change of scenery, and to Brett (William Hurt), a middle-aged man of much kindness and concern for these two young people, but not eager to talk about himself.

We gradually learn Brett's story in flashbacks as he is swept over by memories of his passionate romance with the sensuous, earthy May (Maria Bello).

As Gordy heads toward New Orleans, we discover that his passengers -- as well as himself -- are longing for a connection with someone. As the three travelers affect each other, it becomes clear that, even though he's awkward with girls, Gordy is a resilient and resourceful kid, in some ways more mature than the seemingly poised Martine, who is well aware of her sexual appeal and who regards Gordy as a nerd.

Flashbacks of Brett's memories reveal that he and May are in deep need of each other, but issues of trust have May struggling.

"The Yellow Handkerchief" is adept at making a viewer care what happens to these very likable people.