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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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Up 8% 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 a utopia in the middle of the jungle... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
(61 articles)
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User Reviews:
A classic of the 1980's 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?

Corey Haim was offered the role of Charlie Fox. His father, who was acting as his manager at the time, turned it down in favour of a starring role in Lucas (1986).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 Kicking and Screaming (1995)See more »
Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead UsSee more »


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48 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
A classic of the 1980's, 30 August 2000
Author: millennia-2 from In shame (2005 update)

I can almost guarantee that anyone who has seen 'The Mosquito Coast', then looked at the subject line of this review, thinks I'm crazy. The truth is that this film is deeply flawed and undeniably weak in many regards, but it had a quality I cannot describe. This is the only film I have ever seen that, despite many shortcomings, manages to come out of the storm relatively unscathed, and become an unforgettable, almost haunting, movie.

The production values are immaculate. Peter Weir's direction is excellent, and is in top form here. He has crafted a thick shell that blocks the flaws from coming up to the surface, an indescribable feat that very few directors have accomplished. The musical score is good, not outstanding, but it's fitting, and surprisingly subtle. There is only about six minutes out of the entire film that has musical accompaniment, which makes for a very unique experience, and not necessarily a bad one. The tropical cinematography is dazzling, and the decision to shoot on location in Belize instead of on a studio back lot really paid off, contributing greatly to the film's success.

As good as the mentioned characteristics are, nothing is as good as the acting, especially that from the two leads: Harrison Ford and River Phoenix. Prior to this, Ford had made a name for himself with big budget action roles, with several failed attempts at drama (Hanover Street being the best example of that). It wasn't until 1985's 'Witness' (which Peter Weir also directed, that Ford was taken seriously as an all around actor. Personally I think Ford's performance here greatly overshadowed his work in 'Witness', and is a career best for him, even in the light of 'Regarding Henry' and 'Presumed Innocent', both made after his. He takes the character of Allie Fox, and moulds him into a selfish, driving maniac, blind to the wishes of others, only caring for himself. Phoenix, on the other hand, deserves even more acclaim, for several reasons. For one, this was only his third film, after 1985's 'Explorers', and 'Stand by Me', made right before this. Secondly, he was only 15 at the time of the shoot, and had little acting experience, yet he easily out acted most of his co-stars. Though his performance wasn't quite as refined as Ford's was, he still reached a level of near perfection and set the stage for a glorious, and ultimately tragic, career.

The story is one of utter genius, one of the few original ones popping up in an industry full of sequels, remakes and rip offs. Based on the 1981 bestseller by Paul Theroux, and co-starring Helen Mirren, 'The Mosquito Coast' deserves a place among the best films of the 80's.

But wait, I'm not done. Despite a great exterior, deep inside the movie is troubled. It's as if director Weir pushed all the movie's problems deep down under the surface, then piled layer after layer of... something, on top of it, hiding them from the clueless audience. My main problem with the movie is that it yearns to break away from it's literary roots, a problem that could've been easily avoided had the right script come along. Entire conversations are lifted from the text, and there isn't a single line that doesn't have an equal counterpart in the novel. For me this got extremely tedious as, hours before popping in the tape for a second viewing, I had finished the book, and the two are much too similar.

Another problem I have with it is that the scenes are much too short, with none of them running over about a minute and a half. An obvious result of this is that many subplots remain unresolved, and several concepts are hinted at, but go without further explanation, making for a confusing story. If the screenwriter had put a little more effort into making the film different than the book, with new scenes, we would have seen a much better end product.

A third, albeit a smaller one, is that the production team apparently spent too much time making sure that the movie would get a PG rating, though it would've been much better had it gotten an R, or even a PG-13 rating. That would've allowed Ford a little more breathing room to tweak his character, possibly allowing Allie to become less sympathetic, more of a madman.

I can't think of much more worth saying to put in this review, so I'll end it with this note: see the movie, even if you've read the book, but don't do the two back to back.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (99 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Mosquito Coast (1986)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Ford's words even more true today bpicking-1
This movie shows how the hispanics ruined Allie's paradise. ernie-68-167182
Self Righteous BS soccertrainy101
Horrible Movie themightymick01
Am I the only one who thought it was weird that primitives talk English Fuwisu
Is The Book Recommended? dumb_brunette
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