6.6/10
25,399
103 user 36 critic

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,988 ( 1,824)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Witness (1985)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder, policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt
Frantic (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As a lawyer investigates the murder of a colleague, he finds himself more connected to the crime than anyone else.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Harrison Ford, Raul Julia, Greta Scacchi
Little Nikita (1988)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An F.B.I. Agent works to uncover an All-American family as Soviet sleeper Agents, and gets caught up in friendship with their unaware son.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix, Richard Jenkins
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo
Fearless (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After being shot, a man loses his memory and must relearn speech and mobility, but he has a loving family to support him.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, Michael Haley
Green Card (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man wanting to stay in the US enters into a marriage of convenience, but it turns into more than that.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth
Dogfight (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Before leaving to fight in Vietnam, a group of teenagers play a game where they try to seduce the ugliest girl they can find.

Director: Nancy Savoca
Stars: River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A group of newcomers to the country music business seek love and stardom.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Dermot Mulroney
Edit

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
Edit

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:

How far should a man go to find his dream? Allie Fox went to the Mosquito Coast. He went too far. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix and Martha Plimpton appeared in Running on Empty (1988). 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Between Two Worlds: The Making of 'Witness' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Chuluya Mama
Performed by The Larumbati Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Iceman Cometh
23 August 2010 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Frothing at the mouth with disgust for his homeland America, inventor Allie Fox (Harrison Ford), with family in tow, pulls up roots, and moves to Central America. Here, he proceeds to build a new life in the jungle, using his mechanical skills, his inventiveness, and in particular his patented machine, which produces ice, sans electricity. "Ice is civilization", he proclaims with unctuous authority. That will be the foundation for his utopian dream. But Allie is so headstrong, so convinced of his infallibility that his vision blinds him to reality. And the film's ending is poignant.

Delusion and self-deception breed nightmarish outcomes. And the cinema, through the years, has dramatized these themes quite well, in films like "Aguirre: The Wrath Of God", "Fitzcaraldo", and "Deliverance". In real life, delusion and self-deception were the basis for the events surrounding American preacher Jim Jones who, in the late 1970s, relocated his naive flock to the jungles of Guyana, whereupon he established Jonestown, envisioned as a religious utopia. The result was tragic.

Beyond the deep themes thus expressed in the script, "The Mosquito Coast" looks good visually. The tropical scenery is spectacular. Production design and cinematography are terrific. And the film's score, by Maurice Jarre, is wonderfully exotic and majestic.

My only complaint is the character of Allie Fox, who at some point badmouths just about everyone and everything. I could have wished for a quieter, less loquacious, madman. Then too, Harrison Ford plays Fox in a way that overrides subtext. In short, Fox not only is delusional and self-deceptive, he's also preachy, domineering, and totally lacking in compassion for others, someone whom we as viewers cannot root for or have any empathy with.

"The Mosquito Coast" reminds us that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Chasing that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is for dreamers. This is a good film to watch when you're facing a pile of problems. You could be like Allie's family, trying to forge some existence in the jungles and listening to the rants of an icy madman.


25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 103 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed