Door to Door
Door to Door is a 2002 American television film directed by Steven Schachter, based on the true story of Bill Porter, an man with cerebral palsy who became a successful door-to-door salesman in Portland, Oregon in the 1950s, despite suffering from discrimination and physical challenges. The film was produced by TNT and originally aired on July 14, 2002.
The film opens in 1952, with Bill Porter (played by William H. Macy) trying to get a job at a local grocery store. He is turned down because of his cerebral palsy, but is determined to find work. With the help of his friend Warren Carr (played by Kyra Sedgwick), Bill begins working as a door-to-door salesman for Watkins Products Company. He is initially met with skepticism and hostility from potential customers, but slowly starts to build up a clientele by being polite and persistent.
Despite his success, Bill faces discrimination from his co-workers and supervisors, who regularly give him the most difficult territories to work in and refuse to give him proper credit for his sales. In one instance, Bill is even assaulted by a disgruntled customer. However, he continues to persevere and is eventually recognized as one of the company’s top salesmen.
The film stars William H. Macy as Bill Porter, Kyra Sedgwick as Warren Carr, Robert Loggia as Mr. Watkins, and Helen Mirren as Mrs. Watkins. Additionally, Bill Macy appears in a cameo role as one of Bill Porter’s customers.
Door to Door was filmed on location in Portland, Oregon over the course of six weeks in 2001. William H. Macy underwent intense physical training prior to filming in order to convincingly portray someone with cerebral palsy. Notably, several real-life people portrayed by actors in the film were present during production, including Bill Porter himself (who served as a consultant) and Watkins Products Company president Bob Watkins (played by Robert Loggia).
Door to Door originally aired on TNT on July 14, 2002. The film was later released on DVD by TNT Home Entertainment on September 24, 2002. It has also been screened at several film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Door to Door was generally well-received by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 73% approval rating based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site’s consensus reads, “Well-acted and heartwarming, Door to Door is a based-on-a-true-story film that overcomes its television movie trappings.”
Additionally, the film was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, winning one for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. Helen Mirren was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.
Outstanding Made for Television Movie (2003)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (Helen Mirren, 2003)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (William H. Macy, 2003)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Kyra Sedgwick, 2003)