6.8/10
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99 user 38 critic

The Accidental Tourist (1988)

An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alexander Pritchett (as Robert Gorman)
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Mr. Loomis
Seth Granger ...
Ethan Leary
Amanda Houck ...
Debbie
Caroline Houck ...
Dorrie
London Nelson ...
Caroline
Gregory Gouyer ...
Paris Boy
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Morgue Detective #1 (as W.H. Brown)
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Storyline

After the death of his son, Macon Leary, a travel writer, seems to be sleep walking through life. Macon's wife, seems to be having trouble too, and thinks it would be best if the two would just split up. After the break up, Macon meets a strange outgoing woman, who seems to bring him back down to earth. After starting a relationship with the outgoing woman, Macon's wife seems to think that their marriage is still worth a try. Macon is then forced to deal many decisions Written by Justin Sharp <rainman88@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Turista Acidental  »

Box Office

Gross:

$32,632,093 (USA)
 »

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was entered and selected to screen in competition at the 16th Moscow International Film Festival in 1989 where the picture was nominated for the Golden St. George Award. See more »

Goofs

After returning from England, Macon reaches into his pocket for his keys twice. See more »

Quotes

Julian: He got lost on Howard Street?
Charles Leary: It's a problem with this family - directions.
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Connections

Featured in The Directors: The Films of Lawrence Kasdan (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

I'M GONNA LASSO SANTA CLAUS
Written by Frankie Adams and 'Wilbur Jones'
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User Reviews

 
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
20 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Accidental Tourist is a quiet and contemplative film that adults rarely have an opportunity to experience from an American perspective. Macon (William Hurt) is a Baltimore travel writer whose son was accidentally killed in a robbery. His wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner) leaves him when Macon withdraws to a somnambulist response, a favored routine to life that is Macon's family way. Macon's brothers (Ed Begley, Jr. and David Ogden-Stiers) are 40+ year old bachelors and living with their spinster sister, Rose in the family home. With the addition of the now separated Macon, the siblings are reduced to an eccentric routines of alphabetizing the pantry and discussions of who could be calling while the phone rings.

Into Macon's sedentary and uneventful pattern comes Muriel Pritcherd (Geena Davis), a dog trainer who takes hold of Edward, Macon's misbehaving Corgi, and inserts herself into their lives. A latent Annie Hall dresser whose mismatched clothing and late 50s car screams woman of a certain age with free spirit tendencies, Muriel gives new options to Macon through her unpredictable character and a small son, who takes immediately to him. Edward the dog even manages to behave and the little family becomes a new and invigorating experience for Macon, whose own relatives have long ago lost any sense of independence or initiative. With the unheard of occasion of the spinster sister's wedding to Macon's publisher, (Bill Pullman), Macon and Sarah are reunited and Muriel is dropped for the familiar situation of a convenient reconciliation. When Macon's work takes him to Paris, Muriel accidentally finds they are on the same plane and hotel. Although he is reluctant to interact with her, Muriel is storming the walls of resistance as before. Macon's situation is made more complicated with the appearance of his ex-wife, whose presence is both familiar and upsetting to a Macon-Muriel-Sarah menage.

How this trio resolves the situation is filled with wonderful and literate conversations between characters which ring true to the adult situation of marriage and changing lives, goals, and the unexpected. For an American film this kind of complex story telling is almost a lost art in today's car chase, adolescent fart humour, and situational absurdities. However, with long silences and occasional comic relief from the dog, the film is both contemplative and entertaining as it unfolds with bittersweet truisms.


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