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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 150,602 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 417 user | 327 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

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Title: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tim Naughton (as Jonathan C. Daly)
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Gary Mannheim
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Don Proctor
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Cheryl's Co-Worker
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Ted's Toner Box Associate
Amanda Naughton ...
Female Editor
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Hernando
Nolan Carley ...
Western Union Employee
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Retirement Home Administrator
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...
Walter's Dad
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Storyline

Ben Stiller directs and stars in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. Written by 20th Century Fox

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stop dreaming. Start living.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some crude comments, language and action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La increíble vida de Walter Mitty  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,000,000 (USA) (27 December 2013)

Gross:

$58,229,120 (USA) (4 April 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The camera being used by Sean O'Connell is a Nikon F3/T, which was a titanium version of the Nikon F3 (1980-2001) and was in limited production in the 1980s. The champagne colored version seen in the film was made from 1982-1985. Later versions were black. See more »

Goofs

At his first trip Walter is carrying the wallet with the negative. When he jumps to the water, the wallet, the negative and the envelope get wet. When he later takes out the envelope, it looks as if it was always dry. See more »

Quotes

Ted Hendricks: Never fun, this stage, but we do have ahead of us the privilege of publishing what will be the very last issue of Life magazine. We just received a telegram from Sean O'Connell, who has never been willing, I'm told, to speak with the executives here. Well, he broke his long silence and shared his thoughts with us through that old man... Sean O'Connell. I expect full consideration of negative 25 for cover. My most grand. The quintessence of life... what is that?
Ted's Toner Box Associate: Best. Highest.
Ted Hendricks: So our cover will ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The making and authorized distribution of this film supported over 15,000 jobs and involved hundreds of thousands of work hours. See more »

Connections

References The Outsiders (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Lake Michigan
Written by Zach Rogue
Performed by Rogue Wave
Courtesy of Brushfire Records/Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Present
25 December 2013 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

In Afghanistan on the snow covered Himalayan Mountains grizzled and world wise Sean O'Connell played by Sean Penn gazes at his coveted photo moment. Sean says that all he wants is to be "in the moment". Sean Penn is selfless gravitas in this moment as he confides in Ben Stiller's exasperated mild mannered Walter Mitty, who literally travels to the ends of the earth to track down the maverick old-school legendary photographer. Be in the moment and be present in life--are the eloquently poignant lyrics of Director Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".

I loved the James Thurber short story which Writer Steve Conrad based his update. Walter is the chronic day dreamer, an escape from his ordinary life. At times Director Stiller and Writer Conrad teeter capriciously all over the narrative landscape including a hysterical and touching eHarmony thread. Granted they humorously frame Walter's "zone outs" from reality. One obscure gag from "Benjamin Button" is nearly wacky enough to spiral into incoherence—fortunately it does not. There is the amazing upside. In a joyously freeing scene Walter skateboards down the winding roads of Iceland; spectacularly filmed by Stuart Dryburgh. Kristen Wiig in a touching turn goes unplugged with David Bowie's "Ground Control to Major Tom". All the curious rifting I think is forgivable for its noble purpose. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" celebrates being present in life. No one is alone.

Ben Stiller is quietly heroic navigating Walter's transformation into the unknown. His blank stares as Walter "zones out" touch the depth of our own vulnerabilities. He is bold, funny, and aware. Walter Mitty (Stiller) is a photo negative archiver at Life Magazine. He has given up on his dreams, taking on the financial and emotional stress of his aging Mom brilliantly played by Shirley MacLaine, about to enter a care home. His sister is flighty wannabe actress Odessa (good Kathryn Hahn), dreams of playing Rizzo in "Grease". Walter joined eHarmony so he can date Cheryl Melhof (Kristen Wiig), who works in the same office. Wiig charms as Cheryl, the quirky single Mom of skateboarder son Rich (Marcus Antturi). Cheryl is smart and pretty, and is actually interested in Walter, if he had a clue.

Life Magazine has been taken over by another Company. To transition over to an on-line magazine, Ted Hendricks (brilliantly arrogant Adam Scott) heads the restructuring corporate team. Ted is a major jerk— arrogant and not as smart as he thinks. Walter is the sole personal contact of legendary cover photographer Sean O'Connell (Penn). When Sean's photo negative for the cover of Life's last newsstand issue is missing, Ted focuses his attention on Walter. Sean claims this is his best photo of his career. Walter must find the missing negative to save his job and possibly win over Cheryl. Working with Cheryl, Walter starts his search in Greenland. Somehow diverting to Iceland, Walter calls Cheryl from a Papa John's Pizza there. It all ties in.

Ben Stiller is inspiring, as "Walter Mitty" amazingly never takes itself seriously. The movie joyfully celebrates life as illustrated by the beautiful soccer game with Walter and Sean in the Afghan mountains. Stiller makes us pull for Walter as he reclaims his power. Kristen Wiig is funny and compassionate as Walter's gentle muse. She is surprising. Sean Penn is awesome as Sean O'Connell, strong and whimsically wise. Shirley MacLaine anchors in her Mother's unconditional love for her son Walter, without many words. Patton Oswald nearly steals the movie as Todd, the eHarmony profile adviser. Warm and hysterical he punctuates Walter's transformational journey. Stiller reminds us with humor and soul that Life is wonderful when we are present in it. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is funny and beautiful.


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Dear Mr. Stiller ... pgomezperalta
Did anyone guess what the final cover photo was going to be? mike_cable
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