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

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Paul Theroux (novel), Paul Schrader (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,129 ( 2,082)
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 on the novel by Paul Theroux. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You are about to discover what separates genius from madness: very little. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final theatrical movie of Butterfly McQueen (Ma Kennywick). 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 ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Performed by River Phoenix, Jadrien Steele, Hilary Gordon and Rebecca Gordon
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User Reviews

 
Life on La Mosquitia – Chronicles of the Fox Family
17 October 2005 | by golem3See all my reviews

Mosquito Coast is one of the best books I have ever read, and the movie does super well to do justice to that novel. It is also one of Harrison Ford's best character roles; the eccentricity and opinionated genius of Allie is done to perfection by him. Peter Weir's brilliant direction is to be expected considering his other masterpieces – Fearless, also based on an excellent book of the same name, is one of the best movies yet. His films (Truman Show, Green Card, and Witness come to mind) tend to chronicle troubles and eccentric characters to go out on a limb, literally.

The narration is carefully done, only enough voice-overs to explain the philosophical implications and underpinnings of the characters' thoughts and actions. There are, of course, some mysterious elements to how things happen, which can only be remedied by reading Theroux's book of the same name.

Taking a very Robinson Crusoe-esquire piece of fiction and putting it to film is not an easy process. In fact, this is the kind of novel that can be very easily messed up by the movies with strong action and adventure type Hollywood direction. Luckily, Weir has done an excellent job portraying the characters – not so much the plot – of those who will come to inhabit The Mosquito Coast. In short, not only is Mosquito Coast a film to watch, it should be required.

RATING: 10/10 "We eat when we're not hungry, drink when we're not thirsty. We buy what we don't need and throw away everything that's useful. Why sell a man what he wants? Sell him what he doesn't need. Pretend he's got eight legs and two stomachs and money to burn. It's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong."


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mosquito Coast See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,313, 30 November 1986

Gross USA:

$14,302,779

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,302,779
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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