6.8/10
13,780
101 user 38 critic

The Accidental Tourist (1988)

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An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan

Writers:

Anne Tyler (book), Frank Galati (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Macon
Kathleen Turner ... Sarah
Geena Davis ... Muriel
Amy Wright ... Rose
David Ogden Stiers ... Porter
Ed Begley Jr. ... Charles
Bill Pullman ... Julian
Robert Hy Gorman ... Alexander (as Robert Gorman)
Bradley Mott ... Mr. Loomis
Seth Granger Seth Granger ... Ethan
Amanda Houck Amanda Houck ... Debbie
Caroline Houck Caroline Houck ... Dorrie
London Nelson London Nelson ... Caroline
Gregory Gouyer Gregory Gouyer ... Paris Boy
Bill Lee Brown ... Morgue Detective #1 (as W.H. Brown)
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Storyline

After the death of his son, Macon Leary, a travel writer, seems to be sleep walking through life. Macon's wife, seems to be having trouble too, and thinks it would be best if the two would just split up. After the break up, Macon meets a strange outgoing woman, who seems to bring him back down to earth. After starting a relationship with the outgoing woman, Macon's wife seems to think that their marriage is still worth a try. Macon is then forced to deal many decisions Written by Justin Sharp <rainman88@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Reisen des Mr. Leary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$97,578, 26 December 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$32,632,093
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many movie posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "Macon Leary was set in his ways. The way he lived, thought and worked. He imagined it would always be like that. Until an unusual woman showed him the way it could be". See more »

Goofs

The shaving cream on Macon's face changes as he talks with Sarah. See more »

Quotes

Julian: He got lost on Howard Street?
Charles Leary: It's a problem with this family - directions.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in King of the Hill: The Accidental Terrorist (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

I'M GONNA LASSO SANTA CLAUS
Written by Frankie Adams and 'Wilbur Jones'
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User Reviews

 
An Underrated Gem
2 July 2003 | by OuardaSee all my reviews

This is a faithful adaption of a brilliant novel. I have seen this movie a dozen times and it gets better with each viewing. It is subtle, yes, and that probably means it is not for everyone. Subtle, however, is not synonymous with boring, as unfortunately many people accustomed to a non-stop barrage of sense-dulling special effects and violence have come to believe. This film is as far from boring as it gets.

What I walked away from this story with is a reaffirmation of a force bigger than ourselves that takes our lives in a new direction -- one that we often consciously choose to reject. Macon Leary, as superbly played by William Hurt, has been sleepwalking through life for years. His profession says it all: he writes books for business travelers who have to visit exotic places but want to feel as if they never left home. Thus, the title, "The Accidental Tourist".

He is separated from his beloved wife, Sarah, played very well by Kathleen Turner. She could no longer live in with the waking death their life had become since the senseless murder of their young son years before. But he still wants nothing more than for her to return and resume that life. Even after a quirky dog-trainer played by Geena Davis (in her well-deserved Oscar-winning performance) enters his life and his heart he believes his future can only be with Sarah.

I don't want to give away the entire story, but I will say that the entire supporting cast, Macon's family (Ed Begley, Jr., Amy Wright, David Ogden Stiers) his editor (Bill Pullman), and a scene-stealing Welsh Corgi contribute richly and completely to the overall power of this story.

Some of the best dialogue I've ever heard on relationships, why they work, and why what we want so dearly to work just doesn't work anymore, is in this film. "Don't be lulled by a false sense of security". This powerful line, is what this film is all about, and it is placed perfectly, as all the memorable lines are. Give it a chance and an open mind because this film is the real deal. In my estimation, "The Accidental Tourist" is American cinema at it's best.


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