6.2/10
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52 user 24 critic

Guarding Tess (1994)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 11 March 1994 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A former U.S. First Lady wants a particular Secret Service agent to head her bodyguard detail, even though he can't stand her.

Director:

Hugh Wilson
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley MacLaine ... Tess Carlisle
Nicolas Cage ... Doug Chesnic
Austin Pendleton ... Earl Fowler
Edward Albert ... Barry Carlisle
James Rebhorn ... Howard Schaeffer
Richard Griffiths ... Frederick
John Roselius ... Tom Bahlor
David Graf ... Lee Danielson
Don Yesso ... Ralph Buoncristiani
James Lally James Lally ... Joe Spector
Brant von Hoffman ... Bob Hutcherson (as Brant Von Hoffman)
Harry Lennix ... Kenny Young (as Harry J. Lennix)
Susan Blommaert ... Kimberly Cannon
Dale Dye ... Charles Ivy
James Handy ... Neal Carlo
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Storyline

Doug is a Secret Service Agent who has just completed his stint in charge protecting Tess Carlisle, widow of a former U.S. President, and close personal friend of the President. He finds that she has requested that he not be rotated but instead return to be her permanent detail. Doug is crushed. He wants off her detail. She is very difficult to guard and makes her detail crazy with her whims and demands. Doug returns with no idea of how to continue dealing with her. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy beyond the call of duty. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un ange gardien pour Tess See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,065,213, 13 March 1994

Gross USA:

$27,058,304

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,058,304
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The President calls Doug Chesnic (Nicolas Cage) to inform him that Tess Carlisle (Shirley MacLaine) has refused Secret Service protection. The President refers to Tess Carlisle as "A National Treasure". Nicolas Cage, of course, stars in the National Treasure series of films in 2004 and 2007. See more »

Goofs

When Chesnik is grilling Earl about the location of Mrs. Carlisle he shoots one of his toes. He begins counting down to shoot the next and cocks his revolver but does not shoot. When he asks Earl "An abandoned farmhouse? I don't think so!", flashing the gun in Earl's face. It is uncocked. See more »

Quotes

Doug Chesnic: [standing next to him] Where is she Earl?
Earl Fowler: [dismissively, sitting the hospital bed] Speak to my lawyer Agent... Agent Dougie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Community: Introduction to Teaching (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Shout
Written by Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley & O'Kelly Isley
Performed by The Isley Brothers
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

The scene in the bar...
23 November 2002 | by TarasicodissaSee all my reviews

SPOILER: Like the earlier poster, the key in it is the scene in the bar. Prior to it Tess's son came to see her on Christmas Day, only because his probably shady business partners wanted to use her name on their project (which is doubtless the only reason they brought him on board). She smells a rat and refuses. She is forcibly confronted with the fact that she cannot trust her own son and aside from his occasional need to use her for his own financial advantage, they have no relationship (I guess it is hard to avoid feeling like an underachiever if you are the son of a president. Especially when you go through life trading on your last name the way I suspect Tess's son has. I loved the disappointment welling up in Tess's face as her son continued his obviously planned pitch. He had only come because he wanted something. She knew some scam, some manipulation was coming.).

In the bar with Chesnic, Tess acknowledges that she hasn't been much of a mother and because of this she is all alone. She asks Doug about himself, gently bringing up a very brief marriage on his file.

He simply, sadly says, "Everybody but me could see what she was really like."

You conjure up a vista of someone who is a guardian, a protector, trying to be a knight in shining armor to someone who had no wish to be saved. These characters have such depth that in one line you see a whole other very plausible side to his character; a disastrous love life driven by his need to find basket cases to 'save'. Both Tess and Doug have failed, made mistakes at the fundamental relationships of their lives and their loneliness pulls them together.

It is pleasant to see Nicholas Cage understated.


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