Director Bruce Beresford's affinity for the subtleties of southern life is apparent in this adaptation of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Starring Jessica Tandy as Daisy Werthan and Morgan Freeman as Hoke Colburn, the film opens in late-1940s Atlanta. Since Miss Daisy is becoming a menace behind the wheel, her son, Boolie (Dan Aykroyd), ignores her protests and hires Hoke, a black chauffeur. When the feisty matron decides to resist necessity and walk to the store, the equally stubborn chauffeur follows her in her car. As he says to Boolie, "I used to rassle hogs down to the ground...ain't nary a hog got away from me yet." But Hoke's methods are gentleness and patience, and as the years elapse in his ongoing tug-of-war with the temperamental Daisy, she begins to tacitly acknowledge his wisdom. When she expresses annoyance over the demands of the nascent civil rights movement, Hoke points out to the Jewish woman the similarity between the attack on her synagogue and Klan attacks on black churches. But it is only after many years together that they can finally admit to the depth of the friendship they have shared. The two stars give unforgettable performances, and Beresford's direction is a model of restraint.
1989 - Academy Awards - Best Makeup Winner
1989 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1989 - Academy Awards - Best Actress Winner
1989 - Academy Awards - Best Adapted Screenplay Winner
Bruce Beresford - Australian Director
Dan Aykroyd - Writer/Director/Actor
Daniel Edward Aykroyd - Writer/Director/Actor
Esther Rolle - American Film/TV Actress
Patti LuPone - American Actress/Singer
Jessica Tandy - American actress, DRIVING MISS DAISY
Morgan Freeman - American Actor
David Brown - Producer, worked with Richard Zanuck, began in '73, JAWS
Alfred Uhry - Screenwriter (DRIVING MISS DAISY)
Adapted from Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, DRIVING MISS DAISY tells the tale of the reluctant friendship between Daisy Werthan, a willful, wealthy Southern woman, and Hoke Colburn, her stoic black chauffeur.
Theatrical release: December 15, 1989. Shot in Atlanta, Georgia. DRIVING MISS DAISY received 8 Academy Award Nominations, including Best Actor--Morgan Freeman, Best Supporting Actor--Dan Aykroyd. The film won 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress--Jessica Tandy, Best (Adapted) Screenplay.
"...Funny and touching..." - 01/11/1990 Rolling Stone, p.30
"...Small and pure and healthily skeptical....[Tandy] has never had a role of a richness and humor to match Miss Daisy, and she brings to it her mastery..." - 12/13/1989 New York Times, p.C19
"...Freeman and Tandy have their own performer's pride, and that transfers to their characters....The disciplined yet intuitive way in which these actors connect is a model of ensemble performance..." - 01/12/1990 Los Angeles Times, p.F1