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The Mosquito Coast (1986)

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An inventor spurns his city life to move his family into the jungles of Central America to make a utopia.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Paul Theroux (novel), Paul Schrader (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... Allie Fox
Helen Mirren ... Mother
River Phoenix ... Charlie
Jadrien Steele Jadrien Steele ... Jerry
Hilary Gordon Hilary Gordon ... April
Rebecca Gordon Rebecca Gordon ... Clover
Jason Alexander ... Clerk
Dick O'Neill ... Mr. Polski
Alice Heffernan-Sneed Alice Heffernan-Sneed ... Mrs. Polski (as Alice Sneed)
Tiger Haynes Tiger Haynes ... Mr. Semper
William Newman ... Captain Smalls
Andre Gregory ... Reverend Spellgood
Melanie Boland Melanie Boland ... Mrs. Spellgood
Martha Plimpton ... Emily Spellgood
Raymond Clare Raymond Clare ... Convert 1
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Storyline

An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build a utopia in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher and with nature are only small obstacles to his obsession. Based upon a Paul Theroux novel. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Allie Fox followed his dream to the Mosquito Coast. He planned a paradise. He created a Hell. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mosquito Coast See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,302,779
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix had a reputation for being very anti-establishment, particularly against big corporations. For that reason, Peter Weir was very taken aback when he saw the young star quaffing cans of Coca-Cola and eating Mars bars on set. See more »

Goofs

While Allie Fox and his family are being lashed by violent winds and near horizontal rain during a hurricane a couple of palm trees in the background are standing perfectly still. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charlie: My father was an inventor, a genius with anything mechanical. Nine patents, six pending. He dropped out of Harvard, "to get an education", he said. I grew up with the belief that the world belonged to him, and that everything he said was true.
Allie Fox: Look around ya, how did America get this way? Land of promise, land of opportunity. Give us the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Have a Coke. Watch TV.
Charlie: Have a nice day.
Allie Fox: Go on welfare. Get free money. Turn to crime - crime pays in this ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Clap Your Hands
Words and Music by Gary Johnson
Performed by Grace Gospel Primary School Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Anti hero falls short of redemption
7 March 2006 | by Davidon80See all my reviews

With much of Harrison Ford's career during the eighties dominated by his participation in George Lucas and Spielberg blockbusters, it comes as a relief to discover that in between his numerous flights on the Milennium Falcon and slashing his whip he found time to star in many low key movies. Among these hidden treasures is The Mosquito Coast, a character driven story about one mans attempt to recreate an Eden in a faraway land. And his secret to survival? Ice.

This is an interesting movie, not only because it has an all star cast, that includes River Phoenix, but because we see Harrison Ford give his all to creating a character that is multi dimensional. He is an idealist and has the best intentions, yet is doomed to failure as the viewer senses an impeding violent side to his vision which will come to destroy him.

As a movie this is a good study of man's attempt to act upon his dreams, as a lighthearted pop corn flick this will annoy the average mainstream cinema goer. Simply put, many people will find it hard to imagine Harrison Ford as anything else other than the super hero incarnation of Indiana Jones, and multi faceted anti heroes that never see the errors of their ways is a genre of cinema that Hollywood hasn't quite got their head around yet.

For everybody else who would like to see a movie that has depth, great acting and a solid script, this will be excellent viewing.


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