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Box of Moon Light (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 July 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,281 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 30 critic

Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Fountain
Floatie Dupre
Purlene Dupre
Deb Fountain
Alexander Goodwin ...
Bobby Fountain
Rica Martens ...
Ray Aranha ...
Robert Wightman ...
James Richardson ...
Stephen Dupree ...
Eugene Wolf ...
Reathel Bean ...
Luvven Coddle


Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking for a lake he remembers from his childhood. But his wandering takes him into the life of Kid, a free-spirited young man who helps Al escape from the routine of everyday life and find freedom to enjoy himself. Written by Mike Myers <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Box of Moonlight  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,500 (USA) (25 July 1997)


$720,717 (USA) (19 September 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Appeared on Entertainment Weekly's list of The 50 Best Movies You've Never Seen in the Jul 16, 2012 issue. See more »


When watching wrestling and eating hot dogs with the Kid, Al's hot dog goes from half-eaten to him taking the first bite of it back to half-eaten depending on the camera angle. See more »


Al Fountain: I can't believe it. I've been looking all over for this place. I don't know why, really. I spent a couple of days there when I was a kid, and, and I just remember having a really good time.
Old Motel Clerk: Me, too. My brother and I drowned a cat there once.
Al Fountain: Is that right?
See more »


Referenced in Wann ist der Mond eigentlich rund? (1999) See more »


Mexican Radio
Written by Marc Moreland (as Marc W. Moreland), Joe Nanini (as Oliver J. Nanini,
Jr.), Chas T. Gray (as Charles T. Gray) & Stan Ridgway (as Stanard R. Funsten)
Performed by Wall of Voodoo
Courtesy of I.R.S. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

DiCillo Takes Us On A Memorable Journey Of Discovery
15 August 2000 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

We first meet Al Fountain (John Turturro) at a remote construction site in the country, where he is the foreman. Immediately, we recognize who and what he is: The Boss; obsessive and meticulous about the work, tenacious in regard to detail. At the same time, it is obvious that he is sorely lacking when it comes to his relationship with his crew. Not that he is a bad guy; neither overbearing nor abusive with his employees, he is, in fact, somewhat personable in his own way. It's just that everything in his vision is so clearly cut in black and white. In the world of Al Fountain there are absolutely no shades of gray. This is further established when he phones his wife and young son to check in and give her an update on the job. When he tells her that one of the guys has invited him to play poker that night (much to the chagrin of the rest of the crew), she is ecstatic and encourages him to go. Clearly, she loves him, but knows how he is. When he quizzes his son on his multiplication tables and the response is unacceptable, flash cards are ordered. When Dad gets home there will be another quiz. In a brilliant metaphor, we see the flash cards as they are perceived by the boy; they are huge, nearly as big as he is, Marley's chains he must carry wherever he goes without respite.

When the job is abruptly closed down, Al finds himself with some time to reflect on his life, which he uncharacteristically embraces, prompted by an incident at the poker game the previous evening. At this point the story really begins, and we follow Al on a drive through the country, which ultimately becomes a journey of self-discovery. Along the way he meets 'The Kid,' (Sam Rockwell), a charismatic, though somewhat naive young man who lives alone in the remnants of a trailer situated on a secluded parcel of land far off the beaten path. It is a lifestyle that Al, initially, simply cannot comprehend. When The Kid explains that he lives 'off the grid,' it is beyond anything Al can fathom. In the end, this movie is a textured tale of awareness and the importance of setting one's personal priorities. Extremely well presented and acted, it is touching and poignant without the unnecessary burden (in this case) of undue sentiment.

The supporting cast includes Catherine Keener, Lisa Blount, Annie Corley and Dermot Mulroney. In 'Box of Moonlight,' writer-director Tom DiCillo offers us a journey that is well worth the taking. I rate this one 9/10

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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