Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (at the time married to each other) play Lily and Ben Reed, a young couple torn apart by a family tragedy. It would take a miracle to rekindle their love ... See full summary »




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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Reed
Billie Pike
Sally Pike
Rosemary Young
Louise Latham ...
Catherine Reston Lee
Earl McCoy
Darlene Pike
Rick Andosca ...
Ernest Parkett
Anthony Romano ...
Popular Boy
Timothy Erskine ...
Darlene's Boyfriend
Chestley Price ...
Bus Driver


Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (at the time married to each other) play Lily and Ben Reed, a young couple torn apart by a family tragedy. It would take a miracle to rekindle their love and a miracle arrives in the form of a summer guest - Willard Young played by Elijah Wood. Written by Pfyre Caidmon <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They gave a boy a summer he'd always remember. He gave them back the love they lost. See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Földi paradicsom  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,634,643 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Thora Birch beat out 4,000 other hopefuls in winning the role of Billie Pike. See more »


In one of final scenes where child actors say goodbye to each other, a glass vase of flowers behind Thora Birch's character keeps appearing and disappearing. See more »


Remake of The Grand Highway (1987) See more »


Written by Johnny Diesel
Performed by Johnny Diesel & The Injectors
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Paradise Regained!
5 August 2002 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen this film. Even among the fairly good films shown on TV nowadays, 'Paradise' stands out because of its simplicity and naturalism. The plot in itself is not new. It's about a person (a little boy in this case), who reconciles a troubled couple. And it's about the couple themselves, who have become estranged after the loss of their child. Jon Bon Jovi and Demi Moore did that turn in Jovi's 'Destination Anywhere', which was good, but I'd recommend the album not the film! What films with similar plots perhaps lacked was the gigantic effort that everyone in this film has put in - from the director to the actors, the music director, the set designer...I can go on and on... What we see seems almost not a film, the acting is so natural, it seems effortless!

Perhaps the fact that Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson were married in real life at the time helped, they share a great chemistry on screen, which helps when you are playing such emotionally charged roles. Elijah Wood is absolutely angelic as Willard. I had seen him in three other movies before I saw him in this one and I was pleasantly surprised to watch what a pro he was even as a wee kid! His big break of late has of course been 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, and I hope he continues to act in more sensitively made films. About Thora Birch - boy, this has got to be her most impressive performance till date! Even bettering the ones she's given in 'Now and Then' and 'American Beauty'. She's a veritable scene stealer as the precocious tomboy Billie Pike! And never has friendship between kids been portrayed with such disarming innocence - a credit that goes as much to Wood and Birch as to the director, Mary Agnes Donoghue who has managed to get such incredible performances from all her actors. Sheila McCarthy is perfect as the single working mother of Billie who idolizes Joan Collins and for whom marriage equals security, not love. Her character though minor, is very well etched and poignant. In terms of poignancy, one might wonder at the character of Louise Latham. She makes a cameo appearance as Catherine Reston Lee, a painter living in seclusion in her little house by the lake which Billie visits on one of her wild jaunts. The only thing we hear of her later is when Billie tells Willard that she has given her some watercolors with which she is now painting. Perhaps it is an indication that Billie too will become a painter once she has grown up. The character most likely has a bigger part to play in the book on which the film is based. Even so, the screenplay of this film is one of the best. Donoghue has succeeded in really getting under the skin of her characters. This is also one of the few rare films in which natural beauty forms a part of the unfolding drama and adds a wonderful atmosphere to it. Not surprisingly, like many of its predecessors, this film was also shot in South Carolina.

Last but not least, this is a bit of trivia many would be interested in

  • the music of this film is composed by David Newman and it is really

good. What many of you might have guessed is that he's the brother of THE Thomas Newman who has has composed great music for such films like 'American Beauty', 'Little Women', 'How to Make American Quilt', 'The Shawshank Redemption','Road to Perdition' etc. Genius, I guess runs in the Newman family!

'Paradise', the film IS what the title means, see it to believe it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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