6.2/10
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44 user 19 critic

Guarding Tess (1994)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 11 March 1994 (USA)
A former U.S. First Lady 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. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's a former First Lady. He's a top agent in the Secret Service, stuck in the worst assignment of all. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un ange gardien pour Tess  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$27,053,498 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Store Manager: [to Doug, as other secret secret service agents escort Tess around the supermarket ] 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 »

Connections

References Amadeus (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Madamina Il Catologo e Questro
from Don Giovanni
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Giuseppe Taddei
with The Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini
Courtesy of EMI Classics
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

The scene in the bar...
23 November 2002 | by (Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

Like the earlier poster, the key in it is the scene in the bar. Prior to it Tess's son came to see her on Christmas Day, only because his probably shady business partners wanted to use her name on their project (which is doubtless the only reason they brought him on board). She smells a rat and refuses. She is forcibly confronted with the fact that she cannot trust her own son and aside from his occasional need to use her for his own financial advantage, they have no relationship (I guess it is hard to avoid feeling like an underachiever if you are the son of a president. Especially when you go through life trading on your last name the way I suspect Tess's son has. I loved the disappointment welling up in Tess's face as her son continued his obviously planned pitch. He had only come because he wanted something. She knew some scam, some manipulation was coming.).

In the bar with Chesnic, Tess acknowledges that she hasn't been much of a mother and because of this she is all alone. She asks Doug about himself, gently bringing up a very brief marriage on his file.

He simply, sadly says, "Everybody but me could see what she was really like."

You conjure up a vista of someone who is a guardian, a protector, trying to be a knight in shining armor to someone who had no wish to be saved. These characters have such depth that in one line you see a whole other very plausible side to his character; a disastrous love life driven by his need to find basket cases to 'save'. Both Tess and Doug have failed, made mistakes at the fundamental relationships of their lives and their loneliness pulls them together.

It is pleasant to see Nicholas Cage understated.


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