The Accidental Tourist


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

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 6.7/10 (8,767 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Lawrence Kasdan

Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis

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

Writers: Anne Tyler, Frank Galati


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

Bill Pullman


Robert Hy Gorman

Alexander Pritchett

(as Robert Gorman)

Bradley Mott

Mr. Loomis

Seth Granger

Ethan Leary

Amanda Houck


Caroline Houck


London Nelson


Gregory Gouyer

Paris Boy

Bill Lee Brown

Morgue Detective #1

(as W.H. Brown)

Release Date: 6 January 1989

Filming Locations: 324 Hawthorne Road, Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Opening Weekend: $97,578
(26 December 1988)
(3 Screens)

Gross: $32,632,093

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Edward the dog is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.


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


While armchair travelers dream of going places, traveling armchairs dream of staying put.

User Review

An Underrated Gem

Rating: 10/10

This is a faithful adaption of a brilliant novel. I have seen this movie
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
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
than ourselves that takes our lives in a new direction — one that we
consciously choose to reject. Macon Leary, as superbly played by William
Hurt, has been sleepwalking through life for years. His profession says
all: he writes books for business travelers who have to visit exotic
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
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
still wants nothing more than for her to return and resume that life.
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
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

Some of the best dialogue I've ever heard on relationships, why they
and why what we want so dearly to work just doesn't work anymore, is in
film. "Don't be lulled by a false sense of security". This powerful
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
the real deal. In my estimation, "The Accidental Tourist" is American
cinema at it's best.