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The Accidental Tourist (film)

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Genre  Drama, Romance
Country  United States
6.8/10 IMDb

4.2/5 Amazon

Director  Lawrence Kasdan
Language  English
The Accidental Tourist (film) movie poster
Release date  December 23, 1988 (1988-12-23)
Based on  The Accidental Tourist  by Anne Tyler
Writer  Anne Tyler (book), Frank Galati (screenplay), Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay)
Cast  William Hurt (Macon Leary), Kathleen Turner (Sarah Leary), Geena Davis (Muriel Pritchett), Amy Wright (Rose Leary), David Ogden Stiers (Porter Leary), Ed Begley Jr. (Charles Leary)
Similar movies  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Time Traveler's Wife, Hector and the Search for Happiness, The Silence, Something Wild, The Science of Sleep

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The Accidental Tourist is a 1988 American drama film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Geena Davis. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan and scored by John Williams. The film's screenplay was adapted by Kasdan and Frank Galati from the novel of the same name by Anne Tyler.


The Accidental Tourist (film) movie scenes

One of the most acclaimed films of 1988, it was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Supporting Actress for Davis, which she won. John Williams was nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Best Original Score.

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The accidental tourist 1988 trailer


Macon Leary (William Hurt) is a Baltimore writer of travel guides for reluctant business travelers, which detail how best to avoid unpleasantness and difficulty.

His marriage to his wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner) is disintegrating in the aftermath of the murder of their twelve-year-old son, Ethan. Sarah eventually leaves Macon, moving out of their house and into an apartment. After he falls down the basement stairs and breaks his leg, Macon returns to his childhood home to stay with his eccentric siblings.

Macon is pursued by Muriel Pritchett (Geena Davis), an animal hospital employee and dog trainer with a sickly son. Macon eventually hires Muriel to put his dog through much-needed obedience training. Although Muriel at first seems brash and unsophisticated, Macon finds himself slowly opening up to her and trusting her, and he spends most nights at her house. When Sarah becomes aware of the situation, she decides they should move back together into their old home. Macon leaves Muriel, and he and Sarah set up house once more.

When Macon visits Paris for research, Muriel surprises him by showing up on the same flight and stays in the same Paris hotel, recommended by Macon in one of his travel guides. She suggests that they enjoy themselves as if they are vacationing together. Macon insists he is there strictly for business, and he keeps Muriel at arm's length.

After Macon is bedridden in his room by his back problem, Sarah comes to Paris to care for him and make day-trips to help complete his travel research. After some time, Sarah confronts Macon about his relationship with Muriel, but he refuses to discuss the situation in any depth.

Macon dresses while Sarah still sleeps, then wakes her to tell her that he is going back to Muriel. On the way to the airport, Macon spots Muriel hailing a taxi and tells the driver to stop. Thinking the driver stopped for her, Muriel bends to gather her luggage and catches sight of Macon in the taxi. She smiles, and Macon returns the smile.


  • William Hurt as Macon Leary
  • Kathleen Turner as Sarah Leary
  • Geena Davis as Muriel Pritchett
  • Bill Pullman as Julian
  • Amy Wright as Rose Leary
  • David Ogden Stiers as Porter Leary
  • Ed Begley Jr. as Charles Leary
  • Reception

    Roger Ebert praised the film, giving it four out of four stars. The film holds a rating of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 reviews.



  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress - Geena Davis
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1988 - Best Film
  • USC Scripter Award 1988
  • Golden Horse Award for Best Foreign Actor - William Hurt
  • Nominated:

  • Academy Award for Best Picture
  • Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay
  • Academy Award for Original Music Score
  • BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
  • Golden St. George - 16th Moscow International Film Festival
  • The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
  • References

    The Accidental Tourist (film) Wikipedia
    The Accidental Tourist (film) IMDbThe Accidental Tourist (film) Rotten TomatoesThe Accidental Tourist (film) Amazon.comThe Accidental Tourist (film) MetacriticThe Accidental Tourist (film)