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Guarding Tess [VHS]
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Product Description

Nicolas Cage stars in this drama-comedy about a Secret Service agent unable to get out of his assignment watching over an exasperating former first lady (Shirley MacLaine). The two get along like oil and water, but when MacLaine's bored widow ends up kidnapped, Cage's agent becomes a determined avenger. While the pairing of these two actors in a movie isn't something most audiences would ever have considered, that's what makes it so much fun. Cage and MacLaine are brilliantly focused in their respective parts, and filmmaker Hugh Wilson brings an unusually solid and urgent feeling to a story that might have become a dismissible light comedy in another director's hands. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • This Movie Is Great!!
    I saw this movie about 4 or 6 years ago. Iwas about 7 or 8 then. This movie was truly amazing to me. This is a very warm, bubbly movie about a former president's wife and one of her closest Secret Service Agents. This movie ties in wonderful with the background of Summersville, Ohio. This movie is one of Nicholas Cage's great movies and one of Shirley MacLaine's greatest movies next to Terms of Endearment. Keep it up, you guys. You're doing great so far....more info
  • A sleeper worth checking out.
    Nick Cage, "Special" Secret Agent in "Charge" is really an equal in this little flick; since he's "Guarding Tess" and not wanting to. Probably a bit boring for younger children but certainly nothing they "shouldn't" see, just not enough fun stuff.

    Tess Carlisle's husband dies during his presidential term in office. Shortly thereafter doctors discover she has an inoperable brain tumor; which she chooses to keep knowledge of to herself. (Tess was an integral part in her husband's running of the White House and it's obvious the acting President knew ) Doug knew it too.

    Her narcissistic son, played by Edward Albert, from whom she gets no real warmth; appears for a short while because he needs her stamp of approval on a big real estate deal he's scheming. The charisma between the two actors, MacLaine and Cage, shows a very obvious love/hate relationship. Tess wants Doug to continue on as her main "guardian"; whether as punishment or not, I'm not sure. (Doug constantly receives calls from the President threatening to put the agent "in charge" of the White House dog; if he gives Tess a hard time any more.) Agent and ex-First Lady become like mother and son in a very touching scene at a bar of all places. Doug becomes an integral part in her kidnapping outcome. Looking like the true hero is was always meant to be. I love it.

    Two stubborn personalities dueling with words and "deeds". Tess is bored and always trying to outsmart her agents. Excellent banter back and forth between them makes me laugh out loud.

    They happily discover they have much more in common than not, both being basically lonely.

    Kidnappings, guns going off in hospital rooms, action of one sort or another make it great. Austin Pendleton plays the cagey chauffer, and a suspect in Tess's abduction because he has a burn on his neck that won't be explained away by his stupid story of "terrorists" abducting them....more info

  • Shirley and Nicolas are Magic
    Shirley MacLaine and Nicolas Cage are magic in this movie. Hugh Wilson deserves kudos for his excellent direction in this superior film. Nicolas Cage plays the part of an intelligent, aspiring Secret Service agent who thinks that he's completing his tour of duty with former First Lady Tess Carlisle, when, to his dismay, she's requested that he stay on permanent assignment. He tries on various occasions to sabotage his assignment through outrageous acts directed towards Tess, but the old political warhorse turns around every situation to her benefit, calling the President and complaining, to the point that the President is calling up Cage and chewing him out to get along with the "cagey" first lady. Underneath the friction are suble revelations that change the entire outlook of the movie. For instance, one begins to realize how much Cage cares for the former first lady's husband in a scene where she watches old videos of her husband's funeral when, spotted in the congregation, Cage is lowering his head to shed tears at the passing of the President. Further revelations unfold when Tess visits with her son that results in a very unsatisfactory, shallow encounter leaves her feeling a need to make a connection with someone who actually cares for her, and Agent Cheznic fulfills this need without even realizing it. Subtle, classy humor is the rule of the day, and Cage and MacLaine pull it off in style. The pace picks up towards the last half of the movie when the first lady is kidnapped, and Cage, through feelings of affection and guilt, turns up the heat on the situation and suspects to begin a frantic search. Watch carefully and watch again at the many subtle scenes and extremely excellent performances by this cast of gifted actors....more info
  • Great Movie!
    Maclaine plays a former First Lady who is a real piece of work, Cage is a Secret service man, the storie is funny and touching at the same time, I think is one of their best movies....more info
  • Great!
    Shirley McLaine is really convincing in this role as a rather difficult aging public figure, the widow of the deceased VP. Her co-star was a good match as well. I loved the movie....more info
  • Makes You Go Ooooooooooooo
    This film is great nicolas cage is so good at any character. In this film he plays a warm, caring, lovable person but still you get all that cage action. If you love Nicolas Cage you'll love this....more info
  • Enjoyable and often charming
    Guarding Tess

    Score: 71/100

    Guarding Tess is an unexpected and cheery film that has a strong power to be able to mix comedic situations and dramatically emotional scripting. That's quite a plausible thing about this movie, and the rest of it enjoyable too. Even though it lets itself down a couple of times, Guarding Tess is still enjoyable none-the-less, and will appeal to many audiences.

    Doug (Nicolas Cage) is a Secret Service Agent who has just completed his stint in charge protecting Tess Carlisle (Shirley MacLaine), 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.

    Guarding Tess has most of the things to please a willing audience: an original and effective story, 2 pitch-perfect performances from Nicolas Cage and Shirley MacLaine, some intriguing realistic situations and bright reviews from the critics. I found all of these things to be very impressive facts about the movie, especially the storyline, which dreams up tonnes of ideas as to why Tess should be a pain. The characters are original and you can relate to some of the messes they get into, especially the Doug's craziness of wanting to get away from Tess and do some real Secret Service work. There are a few flaws that stop the movie from being as stunning as their 2 main performers. The comedy never really hits the spot as well as it should. Sure, there are a couple of unashamed giggles, but with a premise so neat, you should expect laughs-out-loud and a lot of them. The film also could've ended better, but you'll still have a good time, guaranteed.

    Guarding Tess is a good and old-fashioned movie that has a strong mind to please it's audience. And it does, with charm and style....more info

  • A pleasant surprise
    I really can't even remember what it was that I expected when I first saw ads for Guarding Tess. I definitely remember that it wasn't much. This film has so much heart and character that its impossible to resist.

    Shirley McLaine (Tess Carlisle) is the former first lady of a now deceased president. Nicholas Cage (Doug Chesnik) is the head secret service agent assigned to 'guard' the former first lady. Tess is a rather crochety seemingly self absorbed old girl and agent Chesnik is a by the book G-man.

    While Tess does her level best to break all the rules and drive Doug crazy, Doug yearns to be on a 'real' assignment. He hates the non structured nature of guarding someone like Tess.

    What each of them realizes along the way is how much they care for one another and how much they bring to the others life.

    And along the way we are introduced to an ecclectic group of characters who will endear themselves to your heart and have you chuckling at many of their antics.

    You'll laugh, cry and feel for all the characters in this gem of a film.

    So why only 4 stars then. Because despite its genuine warmth and humor I found the story to be a bit contrived and somewhat unbelievable.

    All that notwithstanding it shouldn't be missed....more info

  • Guarding Tess
    THis is a favourite and a fun movie. Shirley MacLaine does a wondeful performance of an ex-First Lady who knows she is in the middle of nowhere with not much of a life. Nicolas Cage is great as the annoyed head of her security detail. The DVD arrived quickly and in great shape....more info