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A Walk in the Woods (2015)

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After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends.


Ken Kwapis


Michael Arndt (screenplay) (as Rick Kerb), Bill Holderman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Bill Bryson
Nick Nolte ... Stephen Katz
Emma Thompson ... Catherine Bryson
Mary Steenburgen ... Jeannie
Nick Offerman ... REI Dave
Kristen Schaal ... Mary Ellen
R. Keith Harris ... Sam Bryson
Randall Newsome ... TV Host
Hayley Lovitt ... Donna
Linds Edwards ... Darren
Susan McPhail ... Beulah
Andrew Vogel ... Young Hiker #1
Derek Krantz ... Young Hiker #2
Gaia Wise Gaia Wise ... Becca
Tucker Meek ... Grandson


In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer, Bill Bryson, instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife, and large and happy family, challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail - 2,200 miles of America's most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is anything but, once he agrees to being accompanied by the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek - his long lost and former friend Katz, a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law - sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, "adventure". Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins. Written by Broad Green Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This Labor Day, Take a Hike See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

2 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A spasso nel bosco See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,400,000, 6 September 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$29,467,855, 29 November 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The 2nd film to co-star Nick Nolte and Robert Redford. They previously starred together in "The Company You Keep" (2012). See more »


Bryson can be seen entering the laundromat with his clothes in a Mountain Hardwear Lamina 15 sleeping bag storage sack, but when Bryson awakes in the tent after hearing bears, we can see he is in a sleeping bag made by Big Agnes. See more »


Bill Bryson: We weren't even close, were we?
Stephen Katz: What are you talking about? We did it, Bryson.
Bill Bryson: We never even laid eyes on Mount Katahdin.
Stephen Katz: Another mountain? How many mountains do you need to see?
Bill Bryson: That's one way of looking at it.
Stephen Katz: The only way of looking at it. As far as I'm concerned, we walked the Appalachian Trail. We walked it in the heat, we walk it in the snow, we walked it until our feet bled. We hiked the Appalachian Trail, Bryson.
Bill Bryson: Maybe you're right.
See more »


Referenced in Half in the Bag: The Visit and Turbo Kid (2015) See more »


Rock You Like a Hurricane
Written by Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine & Herman Rarebell
Performed by Scorpions
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tries for zany slapstick; sometimes cringe-y
5 September 2015 | by FeatherlessBipedSee all my reviews

The book _A Walk in the Woods_ is a literate contemplation of some of life's big questions, spurred by a hike along the Appalachian Trail. It contains plenty of Bill Bryson's trademark wry humor.

The movie _A Walk in the Woods_ is entirely different. It throws lots of exaggerated slapstick scenes at the viewer, trying for cheap laughs rather than anything deeper and richer.

I found Nick Nolte's character overdramatic and consistently annoying. Meanwhile, Robert Redford portrayed Bill Bryson as a taciturn parody of the actual person; we've seen this sort of world-weary loner performance from him more than enough in other films. And, as others have pointed out, Bryson was in his mid 40s when he attempted to hike the Trail; Redford is nearly 80. This gives the story a very different flavor.

Minor characters were used to add sparks, but they generally made goofy impressions before disappearing. Mary Steenburgen (a favorite actor of mine) depicted a motelkeeper who appeared oddly smitten with the much older Redford. (There was a theme here; Redford's wife was played - over-emotionally and under-sensibly - by Emma Thompson, who is vastly younger than him.) I kept expecting other characters to reappear, but almost none of them did; the movie is so short that I wonder if some reappearances were filmed but edited out.

This film was obviously not meant to be an accurate translation of the book. But I liked reading it a lot better than I liked watching it.

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