IMDb > The Mosquito Coast (1986)
The Mosquito Coast
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The Mosquito Coast (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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The Mosquito Coast -- Based on a best-selling novel, this is the story of one man's attempt to create a utopian existence in the rain forest for his family.
The Mosquito Coast -- US Home Video Trailer from Warner Home Video


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6.6/10   20,461 votes »
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Up 43% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Paul Theroux (novel)
Paul Schrader (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Mosquito Coast on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 November 1986 (USA) See more »
He never bargained for what he found. See more »
An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build an ice factory in the middle of the jungle... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Insightful Drama From Peter Weir See more (99 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Harrison Ford ... Allie Fox

Helen Mirren ... Mother Fox

River Phoenix ... Charlie Fox

Conrad Roberts ... Mr. Haddy
Andre Gregory ... Reverend Spellgood

Martha Plimpton ... Emily Spellgood

Dick O'Neill ... Mr. Polski
Jadrien Steele ... Jerry Fox
Michael Rogers ... Francis Lungley
Hilary Gordon ... April Fox
Rebecca Gordon ... Clover Fox

Jason Alexander ... Hardware Clerk
Alice Heffernan-Sneed ... Mrs. Polski (as Alice Sneed)
Tiger Haynes ... Mr. Semper
William Newman ... Captain Smalls
Melanie Boland ... Mrs. Spellgood
Raymond Clare ... Convert #1
Emory King ... Man at Bar
Tony Vega Sr. ... Mr. Maywit
Aurora Clavel ... Mrs. Maywit

Butterfly McQueen ... Ma Kennywick
Michael Opoku ... Bucky
Adolpho Salguero ... Drainy
Rafael Cho ... Leon
Sofia Coc ... Alice
Margarita Coc ... Veryl
Wilfred Peters ... Dixon
Luis Palacio ... Peaselee
Juan Antonio Llanes ... Mercenary
Abel Woolrich ... Mercenary
Jorge Zepeda ... Mercenary

Directed by
Peter Weir 
Writing credits
Paul Theroux (novel)

Paul Schrader (screenplay)

Produced by
Jerome Hellman .... producer
Neville C. Thompson .... associate producer (as Neville Thompson)
Saul Zaentz .... executive producer
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
Cinematography by
John Seale 
Film Editing by
Thom Noble 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Production Design by
John Stoddart 
Art Direction by
John Wingrove 
Set Decoration by
John H. Anderson  (as John Anderson)
Costume Design by
Gary Jones 
Makeup Department
Rosalina Da Silva .... assistant makeup artist (as Rosalina Silva)
Judy Lovell .... key hair stylist
Judy Lovell .... key makeup artist
Michelle Myers .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Stewart Krohn .... production manager
Stratton Leopold .... production manager: USA
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Steve E. Andrews .... second assistant director (as Steve Andrews)
Mark Egerton .... first assistant director
Michael Hammerman .... trainee assistant director (as Mike Hammerman)
Philip A. Patterson .... third assistant director (as Philip Patterson)
Russell Vreeland .... fourth assistant director (as Russ Kneeland)
Art Department
Frank L. Brown .... assistant property master (as Frank Brown)
Gary Clark .... painter foreman
John Fredericks .... assistant props
Gene Fukuzawa .... greensman (as Gene 'Chubby' Fukuzawa)
Richard Greene .... greensmen
Mike Higelmire .... assistant set decorator: USA (as Michael Higelmire)
Bill Iiams .... first construction foreman
Roger Irvin .... construction coordinator
Michael Kohan .... stand-by props
Tom Lawson .... metalwork foreman
Charles R. Lipscomb .... lead man (as Chuck Lipscomb)
Ray Mercer Jr. .... property master (as Ray Mercer)
Brian Nickless .... assistant art director
John A. Scott III .... lead man (as John Scott III)
Daniel Sudick .... second construction foreman (as Dan Sudick)
Tony Villanueva .... construction foreman: Belize
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
C.J. Appel .... adr editor
Sandina Bailo-Lape .... sound effects assistant (as Sandina Bailo)
John Benson .... sound effects editor
David Franklin Bergad .... dialogue assistant (as David Bergad)
Mark Berger .... supervising re-recording mixer
Jay Boekelheide .... sound effects editor
Todd Boekelheide .... sound re-recording mixer
Nicole Boris .... apprentice sound editor
Matt Brady .... foley engineer
Karen Brocco .... dialogue assistant
T.M. Christopher .... sound effects assistant
Luis Colina .... foley assistant
Gloria D'Alessandro .... dialogue assistant
Richard Daniel .... sound maintenance
Frank E. Eulner .... sound effects assistant (as Frank Eulner)
Peter Fenton .... dialogue mixer: Australia
Les Fiddess .... dubbing editor: Australia
Rob Fruchtman .... foley editor
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam .... supervising dialogue editor
Phil Heywood .... sound effects mixer
Richard Hymns .... sound effects editor
Pat Jackson .... sound effects editor
Leigh Kowald .... assistant dubbing editor: Australia
Ann Kroeber .... sound effects recordist
Laurel Ladevich .... adr editor
Michael Magill .... dialogue assistant
Robert Marty .... dialogue assistant (as Bob Marty)
Barbara McBane .... dialogue editor
John Morris .... foley assistant
Christopher Newman .... production sound recordist
David Parker .... sound re-recording mixer
Diana Pellegrini .... foley editor
Michele Perrone .... apprentice sound editor
Janis Prater .... apprentice sound editor
Michael Rosen .... foley engineer
Paige Sartorius .... sound effects assistant
Robert Shoup .... foley editor
Karen Spangenberg .... dialogue editor
Alan Splet .... supervising sound editor
Ewa Sztompke .... sound effects assistant
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
John Verbeck .... assistant sound editor
Ken Weston .... boom operator
Alan Abrams .... sound effects recordist (uncredited)
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Albert Bartoli .... special effects
Paul Bradley .... special effects foreman: Belize
Pat Cartwright .... special effects
Casey Cavanaugh .... special effects
Lawrence J. Cavanaugh .... special effects coordinator (as Larry Cavanaugh)
Noah Cornell .... special effects assistant
Allen Hall .... special effects
Rudy Liszczak .... special effects
Joe Lombardi .... special effects consultant
Tom Sindicich .... special effects
R. Bruce Steinheimer .... special effects supervisor (as Bruce Steinheimer)
Chuck E. Stewart .... special effects (as Chuck Stewart)
Rich 'Nubbs' Gowdy .... stunt double
Vic Armstrong .... stunt double: Mr. Ford (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dean Bryan .... electrician
Craig Bryant .... best boy electric
David Burr .... camera operator: second unit photography
Patrick Capone .... assistant camera: additional camera crew
François Duhamel .... still photographer (as Francois Duhamel)
Alan Dunstan .... electrician
Nancy Ellison .... special photographer
Ross Erickson .... dolly grip
Geoff Full .... grip
Reg Garside .... gaffer
Andrew Glasser .... rigger
Karl Glasser .... rigger
Gary Hill .... electrician
Laurie Kirkwood .... clapper loader: first camera crew (as Laurence Kirkwood)
Robin P. Knight .... key grip (as Robin Knight)
Bruce MacCallum .... camera operator: additional camera crew (as Bruce McCallum)
Larry McConkey .... camera operator: additional camera crew
Andrew McLean .... focus puller: second unit photography
Rex Nicholson .... clapper loader: second unit photography
John Seale .... camera operator: first camera crew
Ben Seresin .... focus puller: first camera crew
Matt Slattery .... electrician
Robert Verkerk .... electrician (as Robbie Verkerk)
Brian Gunter .... best boy (uncredited)
Casting Department
Alejandra Hernández .... casting: Mexico (as Alejandra Hernandez)
Sarah C. Koeppe .... casting assistant: New York (as Sarah Koeppe)
Lisa London .... casting apprentice: Los Angeles
Sue Parker .... casting: Central America
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Maurine Boutin .... wardrobe assistant
Michael Dennison .... wardrobe consultant
Bruce Ericksen .... wardrobe supervisor
Sue Gandy .... assistant costume designer
Yvonne Jeffries .... wardrobe assistant: Belize
Kerri Mazzocco .... wardrobe mistress (as Kerri Barnett)
Editorial Department
Joan E. Chapman .... post-production coordinator: USA
Carol A. Ellison Fleming .... apprentice editor (as Carol Fleming)
Richard Francis-Bruce .... editor: Australia
Lynn Gailey .... post-production coordinator: Australia
Patricia A. Galvin .... assistant editor (as Patricia Galvin)
Jane Moran .... assistant editor: Australia
Simon Smithers .... assistant editor: Australia
Pamela Jule Yuen .... second assistant editor (as Pamela J. Yuen)
Music Department
Michael Boddicker .... musician: synthesizers
Michael Fisher .... musician: synthesizers
Ralph Grierson .... musician: synthesizers
Jim Harrison .... supervising music editor
Maurice Jarre .... music supervisor
Judd Miller .... musician: synthesizers
Joel Moss .... music recordist
Nyle Steiner .... musician: synthesizers
Ian Underwood .... musician: synthesizers
Transportation Department
Hank Van Apeldoorn .... transportation captain: Rome, GA
Susan Van Apeldoorn .... transportation: Rome, GA
Ernesto Vázquez .... transportation manager: Belize (as Ernesto Vazquez)
Other crew
Bunny Alsup .... assistant financial controller
Bonnie Arnold .... production coordinator: USA
Jim Austin .... production assistant
Pamela Bendich .... assistant production coordinator
Christopher Boyer .... production assistant
Judi Bunn .... production coordinator
Larry Cain .... assistant location manager
Phil Carroll .... title designer
Vince Casper .... production assistant
Ann Crump .... nurse: Belize
Michele Day .... post-production accountant: Australia
Jack Dearlove .... stand-in: Mr. Harrison Ford
Denise DeFalco .... production assistant
Milan Dusatko .... production assistant
Michael Emery .... production assistant
Helen Fairweather .... production secretary: Belize
Steven Feldman .... production assistant
Ann-Marie Ferney-Tellez .... production assistant (as Anne-Marie Ferney)
Ashley Fleming .... production assistant
Isabel Goldberg .... stand-in: Mrs. Helen Mirren
Jeff Golub .... native's teeth
Tom Greenwood .... security chief: Belize
Nancy Griffin .... assistant to producer: USA
Ruth Hasty .... production assistant
Moya Iceton .... assistant: Mr. Weir
Moya Iceton .... continuity
Melba Majarrez .... production office secretary: Belize
Donna Maloney .... courier
Juliet Mason .... teacher
Sharon Matola .... animal consultant: Belize
Tamma Myvett .... accounting assistant: Belize
David Nichols .... location manager
Lou Nicolait .... location assistant: Central America
Tim Noonan .... production accountant
Dawn Oltman .... production assistant
Felice Peres .... assistant production coordinator
Scott G. Roberts .... production assistant (as Scott Roberts)
Wayne Rogers .... production assistant
Reid Rosefelt .... unit publicist
Jeff Rosenstock .... production assistant
Roy Segal .... production assistant
Steve Shurtz .... production assistant
Beau St. Clair .... assistant to producer (as Beaumarie St. Clair)
Joe Tysl .... production assistant
Jennifer Ware .... production assistant
Diana Wells .... production assistant
Carice Witte .... courier
John Younger .... production assistant
Paul Zaentz .... financial controller
Jerry Irvine .... rocket effects (uncredited)
Burton Sharp .... adr group coordinator (uncredited)
Todd Turner .... directorial assistant (uncredited)
Max Cleland .... special thanks (as Secretary of State Max Cleland)
Joe Frank Harris .... special thanks (as Governor Joe Frank Harris)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
117 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
Continuity: 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 country.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Ten (2007)See more »
Clap Your HandsSee more »


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32 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Insightful Drama From Peter Weir, 20 May 2002
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

Someone once said that ignorance is bliss; and if you follow through the reasoning process that leads to that conclusion, you discover that it is, indeed, true. Another way of saying it would be, that the less you know, the happier you are likely to be; kind of a `what you don't know can't hurt you' perspective, but true, nevertheless. Conversely then, what can be said about knowledge? About knowing too much? Can genius, for example, be equated with a life of torment? Can knowing-- and more precisely, understanding-- too much bring about anguish and unhappiness? The answer to that , of course, cannot be absolute, for there are a number of variables that must first be factored in, one of the most prevalent being that thin line that separates the true genius from madness, and how close to which side of that line the individual in question resides. It's a situation examined in depth by director Peter Weir, in his riveting, thought provoking drama, `The Mosquito Coast,' starring Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren and River Phoenix.

Allie Fox (Ford) is a family man; he has a devoted wife, `Mother (Mirren),' and four children, the eldest of whom, Charlie (Phoenix), thinks his dad is a genius. Which he is. Allie Fox is an inventor who believes it's man's job to tinker with an unfinished world and make it work. He is also a true individual, the epitome of the man who marches to his own drum-- and in his case, his drum is the `only' one he will march to. He sees such potential in everything around him, but he also sees that very same potential being wasted at every turn by seemingly everyone, from the average guy just trying to make a living, to a Corporate America he sees as the impetus that has already begun to destroy the nation. All around him he sees a country and a people that has lost that spirit that made America strong; he sees ruin and decay in everything: In the lack of quality in any and all manufactured goods, and in the apathy of the acquiescent consumer. And he's had enough. Refusing to stand by and watch America die, he packs up and moves his family to a remote section of a jungle in Central America, near the coast of La Moskitia; and it is there that he discovers a land, that to him, is paradise-- and where he also encounters the demons that plague those who know too much, and feel too deeply.

Working from an intelligent and penetrating screenplay by Paul Schrader (adapted from the novel by Paul Theroux), Weir delivers a thoroughly engrossing character study that parallels Werner Herzog's 1972 masterpiece, `Aguirre, The Wrath of God,' inasmuch as it examines the effects of self-perceived omnipotence in an individual driven to extreme measures by a singular quest for power and autonomy (albeit in different times and with different motives). Allie Fox, like Don Lope de Aguirre, becomes a victim of his own obsession, consequently victimizing those around him, as well, by losing sight of his own ideals and getting swept away in the current of a distorted sense of purpose. Allie leaves an environment he perceives as defective for one that is ultimately equally flawed-- that being the environs within his own mind. All of which is hauntingly presented by Weir, aided by John Seale and Maurice Jarre, whose cinematography and score, respectively, helps to create the atmosphere that so effectively underscores the drama of the story.

As Allie Fox, Harrison Ford gives a performance that is one of his best and most powerful ever, affecting a commanding presence that dominates virtually every scene-- so compelling that his presence is felt even when he is absent from the screen. This isn't a character you are going to like, necessarily; and yet you are going to care about him, because there's something in him that reflects and addresses concerns that are universal, which makes Allie someone to whom many in the audience will be able to relate and identify. He's the man who believes that he truly `can' be an island unto himself, and beyond his personal peccadilloes, that is the kind of strength that demands admiration; for at the same time, it enables forgiveness. It's a solid portrayal of a man at cross purposes with himself, who realizes to some extent what he is doing, yet adamantly refuses to back down. And this is the man Ford brings to life so vividly; he's convincing, and his Allie Fox is disconcertingly real.

Helen Mirren also turns in a memorable performance as Allie's devoted wife, whom he calls `Mother.' Mirren says more without dialogue-- through a subtle expression, or even the merest glance-- than most actors do with a limitless number of words. And it's her moments of silence that are some of the most telling of the film, while at the same time adding strength to the lines she does recite. In the end, Mirren creates a character who chooses her words well, then uses them wisely-- and it's a portrayal that is, without question, one of the strengths of the film. In the way Mother looks at Allie, Mirren conveys that love and absolute loyalty that makes everything they do believable. There is complete trust there, which you can feel when, standing in her kitchen, for example, she gives a final glance at the dishes piled high in the sink; a glance at the life she's leaving behind to follow her husband. And she's happy. In it's simplicity and brevity, it's a powerful scene that says so much about who she is, and who `they' are. And Mirren makes it work beautifully.

Phoenix does a solid job, too, providing the narrative of the film as Charlie. He is perfectly cast as Ford's son, and he succeeds in giving `The Mosquito Coast' that sense of reflection and perspective that makes it a truly memorable, and emotionally involving, film. 9/10.

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Ford's words even more true today bpicking-1
This movie shows how the hispanics ruined Allie's paradise. ernie-68-167182
Am I the only one who thought it was weird that primitives talk English Fuwisu
Is The Book Recommended? dumb_brunette
Horrible Movie themightymick01
Science vs. Religion khurambashir
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