The Tourist

The Tourist Information

The Tourist is a 2010 thriller-romance and action film co-written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It is a remake of the 2005 French action film Anthony Zimmer. GK Films financed and produced the film, with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions releasing it in most countries through Columbia Pictures. The $100 million-budgeted film went on to gross $278 million at the worldwide box office.

Despite the negative reception from the critics, the film was nominated for three Golden Globes, with a debate arising over the question as to whether it was a comedy or a drama. Henckel von Donnersmarck repeatedly stated it was neither genre, calling it "a travel romance with thriller elements", but that if he had to choose between the two, he would choose comedy.


Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) is being followed by French Police while working with Scotland Yard under the direction of Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany). Acheson has spent years hunting Elise's old lover, Alexander Pearce, who owes £744 million in back taxes from money stolen from a Russian mob, and is believed to have received plastic surgery to alter his appearance completely. At a cafe, Elise receives written instructions from Pearce: board a train to Venice, pick out a man, and make the police believe that this decoy is Pearce himself. Elise burns the note, then manages to evade the police and board the train.

On the train, Elise picks Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), a U.S. community college teacher. She spends much time with him, seeming to start a romance. In the meanwhile, the police have managed to salvage the ashes of her burned note and assembled them to extract information regarding her rendezvous as well as her ruse. Aware of her location but not of the ruse, an informer from the police station communicates to Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff), a gangster from whom Pearce stole $2.3 billion, that Pearce is traveling with Elise on the train to Venice. Shaw immediately proceeds to Venice.

Elise invites Frank to stay with her at her room at the Royal Hotel Danieli that has been arranged for her in Venice. Pearce leaves further instructions for Elise to attend a ball. Elise abandons Frank, who is then chased by Shaw's men. While trying to escape from them, Frank is detained by the Italian police ostensibly for his own safety, only to have a corrupt inspector turn him over to Shaw's men in exchange for the bounty that has been placed on Pearce's head. Elise rescues Frank just before he is handed over, leading Shaw's men on an extended boat chase and escaping. She leaves Frank at the airport with his passport and money, urging him to go home for his own safety.

Elise is revealed to be an undercover Scotland Yard agent who was under suspension for her suspected sympathies with Pearce. Because of her fears for Frank, she agrees to participate in a sting operation. At the ball as Elise wanders around trying to spot Pearce in the crowd, an envelope is placed on the table in front of her by a man who then quickly disappears into the crowd. Elise sees that the envelope is for her, and believes that the man must be Pearce himself. She tries to follow him through the crowd, calling out his name, but is stopped by Frank, who has managed to enter the event. Frank claims to be in love with Elise and invites her to dance with him, only to hauled away by the police. Elise opens the envelope and finds a note mentioning a rendezvous point, then heads off in her boat to this new rendezvous point; Shaw and his men tail her in their boat. Both parties are followed discreetly by the police in another boat, Frank held handcuffed inside to stop him from obstructing the investigation.

When Elise arrives at the destination, Shaw takes her prisoner, threatening to harm her unless she reveals the location of the stolen money. The police monitor the situation inside the rendezvous room through audio and video links. Despite Elise's peril, Acheson repeatedly turns down police requests to intervene with their snipers. While the police are occupied in monitoring the situation, Frank escapes from the police boat and confronts Shaw, claiming to be Pearce and offering to open the safe if Elise is allowed to leave safely. Shaw is skeptical and makes a counter offer that Frank should open the safe if he does not want to see Elise being cut up. Chief Inspector Jones (Timothy Dalton) arrives at the police stake-out, overrides Acheson, and orders the police snipers to fire into the room, killing Shaw and his men. Jones lifts Elise's suspension, but then terminates her employment.

Acheson receives a radio message that Pearce has been found not far from the rendezvous point, and rushes to the location where police have detained the suspect. However, the man claims to be just a tourist who has merely been following instructions texted to his mobile phone, mostly to be present at certain locations, for which he has been receiving payments. Meanwhile, Elise tells Frank that she loves him, but she also loves Pearce. Frank then suggests a "solution" to this dilemma; to Elise's surprise, he opens the safe by entering the correct code, thus revealing that he is really Alexander Pearce. He and Elise then take the money and depart, leaving a check in the safe for the full amount of the taxes he owes to be found by the police. Acheson prepares to chase after Pearce once he realizes the truth, but Jones overrides him, reasoning that with the taxes now paid in full Pearce's only crime is that he stole money from a now-dead gangster. Jones orders the case to be closed, much to Acheson's frustration. Frank and Elise sail away to a new life together.


  • Angelina Jolie as Elise Clifton-Ward
  • Johnny Depp as Frank Tupelo / Alexander Pearce
  • Paul Bettany as Insp. John Acheson
  • Timothy Dalton as Chief Insp. Jones
  • Steven Berkoff as Reginald Shaw
  • Rufus Sewell as the Englishman
  • Christian De Sica as Col. Lombardi
  • Alessio Boni as Sgt. Cerato
  • Daniele Pecci as Lt. Narduzzi
  • Giovanni Guidelli as Lt. Tommassini
  • Raoul Bova as Count Filippo Gaggia
  • Igor Jijikine as Virginsky
  • Bruno Wolkowitch as Capt. Courson
  • Marc Ruchmann as Brigadier Kaiser
  • Julien Baumgartner as Brigadier Ricuort
  • François Vincentelli as Brigadier Marion
  • Nino Frassica as Brigadier Mele
  • Neri Marcorè as Alessio, the hotel concierge
  • Renato Scarpa as Arturo, a tailor
  • Maurizio Casagrande as Antonio, a waiter


The project went through a number of directorial and cast changes. Originally, the film was set with Lasse Hallström, with Charlize Theron playing the lead. But Hallström left, allegedly over scheduling conflicts. Bharat Nalluri then came on, as did Tom Cruise, who was later replaced by Sam Worthington. When Jolie accepted her role, so did filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck; but he left citing "creative differences" along with Worthington. After many names were mooted, including Alfonso Cuarón, Henckel von Donnersmarck returned, re-wrote the script in two weeks, and shot the film in 58 days (including 2nd unit days), with Johnny Depp taking the lead.

Henckel von Donnersmarck was assisted by stunt coordinator Simon Crane who devised the boat action sequence. In the DVD director's commentary, Henckel von Donnersmarck recounts that the film's one action sequence was devised by Simon Crane to allow for the speed limitations imposed on boats in Venice. This speed limit was strictly enforced by the Venetian authorities and there was a policeman on set at all times to make sure no wave movement would let the pillars (on which the palazzi are built) be exposed to oxygen. Henckel von Donnersmarck and Crane felt that if one boat was towing the other, this could perhaps be a realistic reason for a slow speed chase.

The whole film was made in only a little over 11 months, counting from the day Henckel von Donnersmarck came on board to re-write and direct to the day of the premiere in New York. The reason the film had to be shot so quickly was that Depp had to leave for Hawaii to start filming the fourth film of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The reason post-production had to happen so quickly was because all commercially interesting release dates in 2011 were reserved for the potential start of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Filming began in Paris with Jolie on February 23, 2010 and moved to Venice, where Depp joined the production, on March 1. The hotel featured in the film is the Hotel Danieli.

French minister of culture Frédéric Mitterrand visited Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck on the set of The Tourist, Place Colette.


The Tourist was filmed entirely in Paris and Venice. Locations, in narrative order, include:


  • Place des Victoires - Elise's apartment
  • Place Boieldieu, Opéra Comique - Elise's stroll
  • Café Le Nemours, Place Colette - the bike messenger's arrest
  • Place des Petits-Pères - where Elise loses the van and enters the shopping center
  • Galerie Vivienne - the shopping center Elise walks through
  • Passage Jouffroy - the shopping center Elise walks through.
  • Rue Du 4th Septembre - where Elise enters the subway station in Paris
  • Gare de Lyon train station - where Elise boards the Freccia Rossa (which in the movie travels through Tuscany to Venice)

  • Venezia Santa Lucia railway station - where Elise and Frank get off the train separately.
  • Fondamenta San Giovanni (Cipriani) - Where Elise invites Frank on board the Danieli boat.
  • Palazzo Pisani Moretta - the outside facade and the interior of the "Danieli".
  • Hotel Danieli - all that was used of the actual hotel is the interior courtyard.
  • Palazzo Benzoni - the balcony of the "Danieli" where Frank smokes an electronic cigarette.
  • Marco Polo Airport - Where Reginald Shaw's (Steven Berkoff's) Gulfstream Jet lands.
  • Pontile Bucintoro, Magazini del Sale - where Reginald Shaw and his men get off the plane and take the boat to town.
  • The Venice Guggenheim Museum - the museum's terrace was transformed into an outdoor restaurant for the film. Here, they talk about the God Janus and being "down to earth".
  • Sant' Angelo Vaporetto Stop - The water bus stop where the Russian gangsters watch Elise and Frank kiss on the Benzoni balcony.
  • Mercato della Frutta, Pescheria - is the fruit market where Frank drops onto the awning.
  • Marciana Library- Police Station.
  • Fondamenta Rio di San Francesco della Vigna - Here Christian de Sica sells Johnny Depp to the gangsters.
  • Madonna dell'Orto - The big boat chase!
  • Scuola vecchia della Misericordia - is where the boat chase ends on the outside. And is where the inside of the big ball scene was filmed.
  • Palazzo Loredan, Instituto Veneto - The inside of Reginald Shaw's Casino.
  • Arsenale - Interpol's Venice Headquarters.
  • Piazza San Marco - Frank/Alexander smokes his first real cigarette.
  • Fondaco dei Turchi- where Elise enters the ball, and where the Interpol's and Reginald Shaw's boats are waiting.
  • Palazzo Zeno - "Frank Tupelo" climbs over the balcony of Palazzo Zeno to enter Alexander Pearce's apartment.
  • Villa Effe, Giudecca - Alexander Pearce's apartment with view of the Piazza San Marco. It is at Villa Effe that the final shootout takes place.


Janus symbolism

The film repeatedly uses symbolism revolving around the Roman god Janus.

At a dinner in Venice, Frank asks Elise about her bracelet, and she replies:

"It's the the Roman god, Janus. My mother gave it to me when I was little. She wanted to teach me that people have two sides. A good side, a bad side, a past, a future. And that we must accept both in someone we love."
The safe in Pearce's apartment is hidden behind a Janus-relief. Finally, it is revealed that Alexander Pearce has obtained a new face with the help of plastic surgery.

Dostoyevsky references

The film's Russian gangsters Virginsky (Igor Jijikine), Lebyadkin (Vladimir Orlov), Liputin (Vladimir Tevlovski), Fedka (Alec Utgoff) and Shigalyov (Mark Zak) all carry names from Fyodor Dostoyevky's 1873 political novel Demons. First-credited screenwriter and director Donnersmarck has talked of his childhood obsession with the Russian writer, and the Dostoyevskian theme of corrupt police and government resonates throughout the entire film.



The Tourist received mostly negative reviews. It holds a 20% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 158 reviews, with a rating average of 4.3/10. The site's critical consensus states: "The scenery and the stars are undeniably beautiful, but they can't make up for The Tourists slow, muddled plot, or the lack of chemistry between Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie." Metacritic has given the film a weighted average score of 37/100, based on 37 reviews, indicating "[g]enerally unfavorable reviews".

Brandon Fibbs gave the film 2 and a half out of 4 stars, writing that "Henckel von Donnersmarck is allowed to have both a serious and a frothy side, but there is the feeling that he has not quite earned the liberty yet; that he needs a few more mature films under his belt before he can earn the right to say, "Time to do something fun and forgettable." Roger Ebert also gave the film 2 out of 4 stars. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 0 out of 4 stars, and put the film on his list for the top 10 worst films of 2010.

Positive English-language reviews include the Daily Mail, which gave it 5 out of 5 stars, calling the film "a glossy, sophisticated, gloriously improbable romp "? escapist fun for these austere times". The film also received good reviews in the Dutch Press.

Stephanie Zacharek, a Rotten Tomatoes Top Critic, listed the film as one of her "10 Best Movies of 2010." She called it "a visually sensuous picture made with tender attention to detail and an elegant, understated sense of humor". Casey Burchby of DVD Talk acknowledged that the movie was "beautifully shot by the accomplished Oscar-winner John Seale," but that the "hastily-prepared film does not care one iota about its characters." Alex Zane of The Sun said, "If you sit back, and enjoy the eye candy of the stars and locations, at least one cold winter night might fly by." Jeff Beck wrote in, "Very Entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable from the very start and doesn't let up until the screen goes black."

Cultural reception

Several notables from various fields took to twitter to comment on The Tourist, among them musicians Romeo Miller: "Happy I went to see "The Tourist" for my self. A lot of bad reviews but it was a good movie, loved the ending.", Talay Riley: "I highly recommend everyone goes to see 'The Tourist' in the Cinema saw it the other day it's great!", Steel Magnolia: "saw the tourist last week. Started slow but the payoff was great! Jonesy", Ferras: "Loved "The Tourist". Angelina is stunning as usual. I can't take my eyes off of her. I know I say this all the time, but I think I'm bi.", Mallary Hope: "Just watched 'The Tourist' so good! I Loved it!" and Stephen Mason: "The Tourist was beautiful people in beautiful places wearing beautiful outfits. Think Hepburn's "Charade."".

Film Director Michael Winner wrote three of his last tweets about the film, stating on 5 June 2011, "just saw The Tourist with A Jolie and J Depp. bloody good romantic thriller I thort, all acted very well, clever tho i guessed twist b4 end" and the next day "critics can get stuffed, the tourist was a very enjoyable, well-written romantic-comedy-thriller mostly thriller, lovely setting" and on 20 August recommending it to a follower who asked for a good thriller to watch.

Governor Nikki Haley tweeted: "Michael and I saw The Tourist on the plane ride home. Great suspense movie!", as did television presenter Melanie Sykes: "Watching The Tourist for the umpteenth time! Love it and you don't get more exquisitely beautiful than Angelina Jolie's face!!! #ridiculous", as well as athletes Victoria Azarenka: "Watched the tourist with Johnny Depp. Great movie! He is unbelievable actor", Mercedes Nicoll: "just saw the Tourist! great movie! loved it!", DeAndre Jordan: "Man, The Tourist was awesome!!! Wish that was me...", Louis van Amstel: "The Tourist started off slow, but both J n A looked stunning. Great chemistry. Wardrobe n locations in Venice were beautiful! Worth seeing", Sarah Barrow: "Watched The Tourist this evening, what a great film! Recommended", Bryan Jordan: "Absolutely fell in love with the movie "The Tourist." "Italians are big on that kind of thing" lol, just go watch it! You'll get it later" and Ryan Lochte: "I just watched the movie "the tourist" and it's a really good movie. Angela Jolie is smoking hot in it!!"

At the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, Ricky Gervais made fun of the film while he was presenting. Johnny Depp questioned Gervais following the incident on Gervais' show, Life's Too Short. Depp reminded Gervais that the film has been very successful and had grossed $278 million. This dig from Depp was aimed at Gervais' two Hollywood films he had filmed at point in his career, which were Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying. The films grossed $27 million and $32 million respectively.


The film was nominated for three Golden Globes: Best Musical or Comedy, Depp for Actor Musical or Comedy and Jolie for Actress Musical or Comedy. The fact that a film originally promoted as romantic thriller was nominated for the comedy category garnered the film and the Golden Globes considerable mockery. It was later revealed that the film was originally submitted by the studio as a drama, but Henckel von Donnersmarck then told the HFPA that the film should be categorized as a comedy. HFPA President Phil Berk noted that "Given the differing opinions, we asked the studio to screen the film for us in advance, and collectively, we decided that the elements of preposterous fun lent the film more to a comedy than a straight drama category."

Ceremony Award Category Name Outcome
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Golden Globe Award
Best Picture: Musical or Comedy
Best Actor: Musical or Comedy Johnny Depp
Best Actress: Musical or Comedy Angelina Jolie
2011 Teen Choice Awards
Teen Choice Awards
Choice Movie: Action
Choice Movie: Actor Action Johnny Depp
Choice Movie: Actress Action Angelina Jolie
2011 Redbox Movie Awards
Redbox Movie Awards
Most rented drama
2011 ASCAP Awards
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards
Top Box Office Films James Newton Howard


The soundtrack CD of The Tourist was released on 21 December 2010.

Nr. Title Artist Duration
1. Tracking Elise James Newton Howard 1:29
2. Burned Letter James Newton Howard 2:21
3. Paranoid Math Teacher James Newton Howard 3:33
4. Arrival At Venice James Newton Howard 3:06
5. Elise Offers A Ride James Newton Howard 1:52
6. A Very Nice Kiss James Newton Howard 2:04
7. Bedroom Dreams James Newton Howard 2:58
8. Piecing It Together James Newton Howard 3:11
9. Rooftop Run James Newton Howard 5:18
10. Chase Through The Canals James Newton Howard 5:45
11. Because I Kissed You James Newton Howard 3:34
12. A Very Nice Hotel James Newton Howard 2:27
13. Arriving At The Ball James Newton Howard 2:04
14. Your Choice In Men James Newton Howard 2:04
15. Sudden Departure James Newton Howard 2:03
16. The Infinite Price James Newton Howard 7:30
17. The Janus Safe James Newton Howard 3:01
18. Rain Of Bullets James Newton Howard 1:29
19. Aftermath James Newton Howard 0:52
20. Elise & Alexander James Newton Howard 2:41
21. Personal Cheque James Newton Howard 1:57
22. Dance In F Gabriel Yared 2:42

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