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Guarding Tess (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 March 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 12,036 users   Metascore: 46/100
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A former First Lady of the US wants a particular Secret Service agent to head her bodyguard detail, even though he can't stand her.


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Title: Guarding Tess (1994)

Guarding Tess (1994) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Earl Fowler
Barry Carlisle
Howard Schaeffer
John Roselius ...
Tom Bahlor
Lee Danielson
Ralph Buoncristiani
James Lally ...
Joe Spector
Bob Hutcherson (as Brant Von Hoffman)
Kenny Young (as Harry J. Lennix)
Kimberly Cannon
Charles Ivy
Neal Carlo


Doug is a Secret Service Agent who has just completed his stint in charge protecting Tess Carlisle, widow of a former U.S. President, and close personal friend of the President. He finds that she has requested that he not be rotated but instead return to be her permanent detail. Doug is crushed. He wants off her detail. She is very difficult to guard and makes her detail crazy with her whims and demands. Doug returns with no idea of how to continue dealing with her. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy beyond the call of duty.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az öreg hölgy és a testőr  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$27,053,498 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Clooney auditioned for just one line in this movie but it never made it to the screen. See more »


When Chesnik is grilling Earl about the location of Mrs. Carlisle he shoots one of his toes. He begins counting down to shoot the next and cocks his revolver but does not shoot. When he asks Earl "An abandoned farmhouse? I don't think so!", flashing the gun in Earl's face. It is uncocked. See more »


Store Manager: [to Doug] Does she want to be known today?
[Doug shakes his head]
Store Manager: [to customers and cashiers] Don't know her! Don't know her! Don't know her!
See more »


References Gigi (1958) See more »


Ich Gehe, Doch Rate Ich Dir
from Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Weiner Symphoniker, Bruno Weil
Güther Missenhardt, Elzbieta Szmytka
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

A good, old-fashioned comedy
17 January 1999 | by (Uphall) – See all my reviews

Guarding Tess is a film that relies on character and dialogue for its impact rather than flashy special effects or frenetic action. The humour is subtle rather than sledge-hammer, a rare achievement for a modern comedy.

The interaction between the eponymous Tess (Shirley MacLaine) and her chief minder (Nicholas Cage)is well scripted and beautifully played. There are also some fine supporting performances from the likes of Richard Griffiths.

Well worth investing 90 minutes of your time to watch.

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

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