Guarding Tess (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Guarding Tess1994

Guarding Tess (1994)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Guarding Tess Photos

Movie Info

This comedy offers a combination of humor, drama, and thrills as it follows the tumultuous relationship between a young Secret Service agent assigned to protect the feisty widow of a U.S. president. Straight arrow agent Doug Chesnic has been guarding widow Tess Carlisle for three years. He is ecstatic when he is finally transferred to a new assignment. Just when it finally looks as if he will escape for good, he is reassigned to Tess' Ohio home. He breaks down and tells them it is the worst assignment there is. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a choice so he grudgingly returns to the high-handed ex-First Lady. He begins his stint with a clear discussion of his duties as presented in his service handbook which Tess blithely ignores. The mulish two engage in a minor power struggle, but when she is kidnapped, agent Chesnic winds up showing his true feelings for her.

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Shirley MacLaine
as Tess Carlisle
Nicolas Cage
as Doug Chesnic
Edward Albert
as Barry Carlisle
James Rebhorn
as Howard Shaeffer
John Roselius
as Tom Bahler
David Graf
as Lee Danielson
Don Yesso
as Ralph Buoncristiani
James Lally
as Joe Spector
Brant von Hoffman
as Bob Hutcherson
Harry Lennix
as Kenny Young
Susan Blommaert
as Kimberly Cannon
Dale Dye
as Charles Ivy
James Handy
as Neal Carlo
Katie O'Hare
as Barbara
Mark Conway
as Caleb Harrison
David L. King
as Derrick Hastings
Hugh Wilson
as The President
Jane Beard
as Kidnapper
Michael Gabel
as Kidnapper
Kelly Williams
as Mr. Porter
Beverly Brigham
as Autograph Seeker
Kyle Duvall
as FBI Man
Brian Deenihan
as Plainclothes Guard
Julie Kurzava
as Opera Singer
Michael Consoli
as Opera Singer
Saige Spinney
as Waitress
Gerald F. Gough
as Store Manager
George Gomes
as James Carlisle
Bob Child
as Shaeffer's Assistant
John Louis Fischer
as Crew Member
Diana Sowle
as Hairdresser
Maggie Linton
as Carlo's Secretary
Jim Hild
as Helicopter Doctor
Will Bellais
as Major Domo
Matilde Valera
as Yvonne Hernandez
Al Cerullo
as Helicopter Pilot
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Critic Reviews for Guarding Tess

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (9)

The film is indeed likable. But director Hugh Wilson, who co-wrote the script with Peter Torokvei, just skims the surface of potentially rich territory.

September 19, 2008

Cage is on best behaviour here, but he's not an especially sympathetic performer.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Mr. Cage, once again sounding mock-suave and Elvisy, makes the most of his character's fragile cool.

May 20, 2003

There are a few good jokes, some solid chemistry between the leads, and a little pathos, but it all doesn't add up to very much.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

What counts is the comic tension between MacLaine and Cage. It's so well done, it doesn't matter how dumb things get.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Like the role itself, Cage is clearly in service here to a fabled but fading star, and he seldom slips on that second banana.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Guarding Tess


The premise of the movie (differing opinions between a headstrong political widow and her secret service agents) is good. But the movie struggles in the details - especially in last scenes of the movie.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Guarding Tess is such a Funny movie. A old lady driving a young man Nuts. lol

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

The performances by the two leads are perfect and certain situations are clever. But the third act ends on a ridiculous serious note that killed the film as a whole. And the music is way over the top.

Steven Vincent Gee
Steven Vincent Gee

Super Reviewer

Guarding Tess Quotes

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