Movie Review: Door to Door


I was recently blessed to be in Pennsylvania, visiting two wonderful spoonie friends of mine. We’d had a very long and busy day sightseeing around Hershey Chocolate World, followed by a wonderful family dinner with Rose’s family and were totally beat! So we did what all responsible “spoonies” should do and settled down to have a movie night, with a bottle of wine and some snacks. Trying to choose a movie that everyone will like is not always easy. We were three very different people, so we decided to go for a movie that two of us hadn’t seen yet.
Door to Door, is the heartwarming tale of Bill Porter, the movie was released in 2002 for TNT, as a TV movie, co-wrote by and starring William H Macy.

Bill Porter (William H Macy), was born with Cerebral Palsy, his father had been a door to door salesman for years and had even won awards for his sales prowess. When Bill walked into the door of Watkins Company, they took one look at him and refused to employ him, due to his disability and his apparent inability to carry his deliveries. Bill couldn’t use one of his arms, and a couple of fingers on his other hand, but Bill wouldn’t give in. He told them, “give me your worst route, give me the areas nobody wants, let me prove I can do this.” He walked 8 to 10 miles every single day, to try to sell Watkins Companies Products to his customers. Often including his personal phrase, “May I be candid with you?”
Bill Porter met so many people on his route, affected so many lives and had so many angles to endear him to his customers, many of whom also seemed to think of Bill as a friend, a confidant and almost a family member in some cases. Living with his mother (Helen Mirren) Bill would be dropped off at 8, with his lunch, and collected again at the end of his day. One day when his mother didn’t turn up to collect him, Bill made his way home to find his mother not home. She was eventually brought home by a police officer after becoming confused. She taught him ‘Patience and Persistence’ wins the day.
This true story follows Bill’s life, from getting his job at Watkins, to his mother getting sick, to his relationships with friends and customers, including some very corny jokes, that you really do laugh and groan at. To some of his customers, Bill was probably the only person they had contact with, and they cherished his company, often buying his products, even if they didn’t need them, just so he would keep going back. He used to go to the local hotel and the bellhop would fasten his tie and cuff links, the shoe shiner would polish his shoes, while listening to his corny jokes, because he couldn’t do these things for himself, it was something his mother used to do for him. He employed Shelly (Kyra Sedgewick), a college student to help him and be his assistant. She played a huge part in his life, even though married with a family of her own.

Bill Porter finally retired from his job at the age of 69, he won awards for his service to Watkins, and has his own website with cleaning tips.
I really don’t want to give away the rest of the movie, it’s worth a couple of hours of your time. It’ll make you laugh, and cry, say awwww and even sigh contentedly. I loved this movie!!
Definitely 5/5 from me.
Written by Wendy Jones, © 2008,

  • Kristy

    This is a truly wonderful movie. It is very touching and William H. Macy’s performance is outstanding. I recall watching a 60 Minutes segment featuring Bill Porter sometime before I saw the movie. If you can find the segment, I highly recommend it as a compliment to the movie. Thanks for the review and reminding me of Mr. Porter and his extraordinary life, courage, independence, and joy.

  • Interesting. I normally hate movies about ordinary people — contemporary or recent, no explosions, no special effects, no aliens, no vampires, nothing weird. You’ve made this one sound intriguing because it’s such a period piece.
    I can understand his mentality right enough and had to smile reading your review because he sounds like too many salespeople I’ve known who were good at it.

  • Thanks for reminding me of this movie! I’ve always wanted to see it and somehow forgot about it! I’ve added it to my must see movie list online so I won’t forget it again! It really seems like a sweet and important film. The power of the human spirit. Really should make most people feel foolish when they complain about trivial little things when compared to all of the people out there that struggle with serious issues on a daily basis. My heart goes out to all of them.