Guarding Tess (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 March 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 12,171 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 39 user | 18 critic | 14 from

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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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 »


In the hospital scene, where Doug is menacing the chauffeur for information, he draws his S&W double-action revolver. Even after firing it, however, he is shown to cock the hammer repeatedly, as though it were a single-action gun. See more »


Tess Carlisle: It's got no price at all.
Bob Hutcherson: Yes ma'am. Uh, Doug, this is Bobby in canned goods, are you anywhere near the manager? I need a price check on Lesieur baby peas, repeat, Lesieur baby peas.
Doug Chesnic: Lesieur baby peas.
Store Manager: They're on special today, two for .59.
Doug Chesnic: They're on special today, two for .59.
Bob Hutcherson: Uh, copy that, it's two for .59.
Tess Carlisle: But I only want one.
Bob Hutcherson: Uh, roger that, Doug, but she only wants one.
Doug Chesnic: How much for just one?
Store Manager: The same. It's a two for one thing.
See more »


Referenced in Freakazoid!: Dexter's Date (1996) See more »


Joy To The World
Courtesy of Capitol/OGM Production Music
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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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