The Mosquito Coast (1986)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  26 November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 20,893 users   Metascore: 49/100
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An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build a utopia in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher and ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Haddy
Andre Gregory ...
Reverend Spellgood
Mr. Polski
Jadrien Steele ...
Michael Rogers ...
Francis Lungley
Hilary Gordon ...
April Fox
Rebecca Gordon ...
Clover Fox
Hardware Clerk
Alice Heffernan-Sneed ...
Mrs. Polski (as Alice Sneed)
Tiger Haynes ...
Mr. Semper
William Newman ...
Captain Smalls


An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build a utopia in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher and with nature are only small obstacles to his obsession. Based upon a Paul Theroux novel. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He never bargained for what he found. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mosquito Coast  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$14,302,779 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's failure at the box office was mainly attributed to Harrison Ford's performance, which many critics found to be too forced and over-the-top. See more »


While Allie Fox and his family are being lashed by violent winds and near horizontal rain during a hurricane a couple of palm trees in the background are standing perfectly still. See more »


[first lines]
Charlie: My father was an inventor, a genius with anything mechanical. Nine patents, six pending. He dropped out of Harvard, "to get an education", he said. I grew up with the belief that the world belonged to him, and that everything he said was true.
Allie Fox: Look around ya, how did America get this way? Land of promise, land of opportunity. Give us the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Have a Coke. Watch TV.
Charlie: Have a nice day.
Allie Fox: Go on welfare. Get free money. Turn to crime - crime pays in this ...
See more »


Referenced in Reel Paradise (2005) See more »


Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
Performed by The Ron Hicklin Singers
Conducted by O.Q. Hall
See more »

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User Reviews

Muddled message
10 May 1999 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Although this movie is intriguing, it leaves one wondering about what exactly it is driving at. The answer to why the world is endless at the end of the movie seems to have too many conflictual answers. Could it be because Allie's ideals are too narrow? Is America the endless world (where the Foxes were returning to), and therefore Allie really off the mark? Was Allie a hypocrite (establishing his own religion and relying on technology as a last resort)? Did Allie actually think of himself as a type of god? Too many questions arise at the end of the movie.

The lengthy criticisms of Allie seem to be the author screaming out his opinion as well. The criticisms could have been shortened a tad and Allie's actions could have expressed the opinion of the author in a deeper manner.

Still, the movie is spellbinding. The imagery is intriguing. Harrison Ford is incredible. Helen Mirren portrays the ever-loyal wife well. The problems with this movie lie not in its presentation, but in the story's muddled messages.

19 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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