Paradise (1991 film)

Paradise is a 1991 drama film written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue. The original music score is composed by David Newman.

Promotional poster
Directed byMary Agnes Donoghue
Produced byScott Kroopf
Patrick J. Palmer
Screenplay byMary Agnes Donoghue
Based onLe Grand Chemin
by Jean-Loup Hubert
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographyJerzy Zieliński
Edited byEva Gardos
Debra McDermott
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • October 4, 1991 (1991-10-04)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$18,634,643 (Domestic)

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (at the time married to each other) play Lily and Ben Reed, a young couple torn apart by a family tragedy. It would take a miracle to rekindle their love and a miracle arrives in the form of a summer guest - Willard Young (Elijah Wood).

It is a remake of the French film Le Grand Chemin by Jean-Loup Hubert.


Willard Young is a 10-year-old boy who is sent by his mother to stay with her best friend Lily Reed, who lives in the Delta shrimp-fishing country in a town called Paradise. At that town, Willard meets 9-year-old Billie Pike. Despite Billie being a troublemaker, she becomes friends with Willard. Lily and Ben also become fond of Willard despite the tragedy of their 2-year old son’s death. Soon, Billie teaches Willard to face his fears although Billie has troubles of her own. When Billie finds out her dad is a skater, she goes to a skating area with Willard only for her dad to tell her to leave much to Billie’s dismay. Later at a party, Billie tells Willard his father left him and his mother for another woman. Upon hearing this, Willard becomes so upset that he runs away and goes missing for a while. When Ben finds him, he doesn’t trust him until he saves him from a bad accident. Later in the film, Lily blames herself for her son’s death but Ben reassures her. Towards the end of the film, Willard has to go home and he sees his mother’s new baby. The film ends with Lily and Ben kissing under their porch. That doesn’t mean that they have recovered from the tragedy but it does mean that they have regained their love.


  • Melanie Griffith as Lily Reed
  • Don Johnson as Ben Reed
  • Elijah Wood as Willard Young
  • Thora Birch as Billie Pike
  • Sheila McCarthy as Sally Pike
  • Eve Gordon as Rosemary Young
  • Louise Latham as Catherine Reston Lee
  • Greg Travis as Earl McCoy
  • Sarah Trigger as Darlene
  • Richard K. Olsen as Minister
  • Rick Andosca as Ernest Parkett
  • Anthony Romano as Popular Boy (Clay)
  • Timothy Erskine as Darlene's Boyfriend
  • Chestley Price as Bus Driver
  • Dave Hager as Bartender
  • John R. Copeman as Other Fisherman
  • Jeff Jeffcoat as Eddie (The Attendant)
  • Scott Hubacek as Greyhound Bus Driver
  • Melanie van Betten as Marliss
  • Jason Robert Somrak as Neighborhood Tough
  • William Thomas Crumby as Lou
  • Carl McIntyre as Willard's Father
  • Lucy Alpaugh as Old Lady #1
  • Kay Shroka as Old Lady #2
  • Eric Vest as DJ
  • Max Kleven as Stunt Coordinator


Paradise received mixed to negative reviews from critics, as it holds a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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