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Guarding Tess Details


A man trained for a life of excitement and danger is given a new and unexpected challenge -- minding a grouchy old woman -- in this comedy. Doug Chesnic (Nicolas Cage) is a Secret Service agent who takes great pride in his job, performing his duties with the utmost professionalism and always minding the details. However, his assignment for the last three years has been a severe test of his patience; Tess Carlisle (Shirley MacLaine) is the widow of a former U.S. president who is well-known for her diplomatic and philanthropic work, and Doug has been in charge of her security force. But Tess tends to regard Doug less as a security officer and more as a domestic servant, like her chauffeur Earl (Austin Pendleton) or her nurse Frederick (Richard Griffiths). While Doug regards it as beneath his professional dignity to perform little chores around the house or bring Tess her breakfast in bed, she orders him to do so, and he's in no position to say, "no." Sometimes, Tess even refuses to obey Doug's security instructions, and should he argue his point too strongly, Tess will contact her close friend, the President of the United States, and ask him to give Doug a severe dressing down. So when Doug's three year hitch with Tess comes to an end, he asks to be given a more exciting and challenging assignment. However, Tess has other ideas; she's decided that she likes working with Doug, and she demands that his assignment be made permanent. Director Hugh Wilson also provides the voice of the President. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Shirley MacLaine Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1994 Nominee


Shirley MacLaine
as Tess Carlisle
Nicolas Cage
as Doug Chesnic
Austin Pendleton
as Earl Fowler
Edward Albert
as Barry Carlisle
James Rebhorn
as Howard Shaeffer
Richard Griffiths
as Frederick
John Roselius
as Tom Bahlor
David Graf
as Lee Danielson
Dale Dye
as Charles Ivy
James Handy
as Neal Carlo
Susan Blommaert
as Kimberly Cannon
Hugh Wilson
as The President
Katie O'Hare
as Barbara
Aleta Helena Chappelle
Harry J. Lennix
as Kenny Young
Diana Sowle
as Hairdresser
James Lally
as Joe Spector
Al Cerullo
as Helicopter Pilot
John Louis Fischer
as Crew Member
Don Yesso
as Ralph Buoncristiani
Brant Van Hoffman
as Bob Hutcherson
Michael Gabel
as Kidnapper


Hugh Wilson
Martin Elfand
Ned Tanen
Hugh Wilson
Peter Torokvei
Michael Convertino
Composer (Music Score)
Sid Levin
Peter Larkin
Production Designer
Charley Beal
Art Director
Jonathan Filley
Associate Producer
Leslie Rollins
Set Designer
Sue Gandy
Costume Designer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer
James J. Sabat
Sound/Sound Designer
Henry Bronchtein
First Assistant Director
Chuck Jeffreys
Aleta Helena Chappelle