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Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

4.3 3

Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLaine


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In this comedic adaptation of James Thurber's short story, Ben Stiller stars as Walter, a milquetoast proofreader for a magazine publishing firm. Walter is constitutionally incapable of standing up for himself, so he retreats into his fantasy world, where he is heroic, poised, self-assured, and the master of his fate. Stiller directed from a script by


In this comedic adaptation of James Thurber's short story, Ben Stiller stars as Walter, a milquetoast proofreader for a magazine publishing firm. Walter is constitutionally incapable of standing up for himself, so he retreats into his fantasy world, where he is heroic, poised, self-assured, and the master of his fate. Stiller directed from a script by Steven Conrad, with Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine rounding out the starring cast.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
After finding his directorial voice with a series of pop-culture satires that culminated in the pitch-perfect, Hollywood-skewering Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller changes gears with an adaptation of the classic James Thurber short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a movie with an earnest, humanistic message that's a substantive break from his previous work. The director stars as the title character, a devoted employee at Life magazine who's in charge of all of the photo negatives that arrive at the publication. He's a quiet and meek man whom others find bizarre because he often zones out -- sometimes in mid-conversation. What they don't know is that Walter has a rich fantasy life, and his spacey episodes find him imagining any number of things; most recently, he's been daydreaming about how to impress new co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). Walter quickly butts heads with Ted (Adam Scott), a corporate shark who has been put in charge of ending the magazine's print edition and converting the publication to a website that will be called Life Online. Ted has been tasked with overseeing the final issue, and luckily the mail brings the latest series of negatives from revered photojournalist Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn), including one that he claims in an accompanying letter is the best photo he's ever taken. Ted, who hates Walter on sight, says that's the picture that will grace the cover of the final issue. However, the negative of the photo is not in the envelope, prompting Walter to go on the sort of thrilling adventure that, to this point, he's only thought about. The first 45 minutes of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are thoroughly charming and often very funny. Stiller has grown into a very adept director, something apparent in the wordless but still warmly humorous opening scene in which Walter tries to make contact with Cheryl at an online dating site -- though that's hardly the only example. He's given Walter's regular life the sort of fussy visual control that recalls Wes Anderson, but when the daydreams take over, he can switch immediately into another mode altogether. The daydreams recall Stiller's work on his self-titled sketch-comedy show, where he would often make short films in the style of popular directors, and the first half of the movie feels like he figured out how to balance that playful side -- there's a parody of Benjamin Button that brings the house down -- with more original ambitions. The second half settles into a more straightforward tale -- a bittersweet, quirky road movie that finds Walter traveling around the world to find O'Connell. The daydreams disappear at the midpoint, and while that's thematically important and absolutely right from a storytelling standpoint, you miss the anarchic energy they brought to the film's tone of whimsical melancholy. Steven Conrad's script has a quite lovely central message: In an age in which everyone is encouraged to live publicly on social media, there are brave, important, and lovely souls who go unnoticed and underappreciated. It's a concept Stiller treats reverently and gently -- even if the symbolism of Life becoming Life Online is thunderously obvious. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty may be the first time the director hasn't improved over his previous film, but it's also quite unlike anything he's tried before. Earnestness is often the death of comedy, but this movie has something to say, and it says it with humor, style, and heart.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; The look of Life; Sights and sounds of production; The music of Walter Mitty; Still gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Stiller Walter Mitty
Kristen Wiig Cheryl Melhoff
Patton Oswalt Todd Maher
Shirley MacLaine Edna Mitty
Adam Scott Ted Hendricks
Kathryn Hahn Odessa
Sean Penn Sean O'Connell
Terence Bernie Hines Gary Manheim
Adrian Martinez Hernando
Olafur Darri Olafsson Helicopter Pilot
Don Proctor Paul Fitzgerald
Grace Rex Cheryl's Co-Worker
Alex Anfanger Ted's Toner Box Associate
Amanda Naughton Female Editor
Nolan Carley Western Union Employee
Joey Slotnick Retirement Home Administrator
Gary Wilmes Walter's Dad
Marcus Antturi Rich Melhoff
Amy Stiller Rich's Friend's Mom
Rosamund Gudmundsdottir Ticket Agent
Stuart Cornfield Greenland Air Passenger
Maariu Olsen Rental Car Agent
Makka Kleist Bartender
Thorhallur Sigurdsson Trawler Captain
Ari Matthiasson Trawler 1st Mate
Hendrikus Schraven Trawler 2nd Mate
Finni Johannsson Trawler 3rd Mate
Eysteinin Gardarsson Zodiac Shark Rescuer
Jose Alcantara Chilean Sailor
Rodrigo Sepulveda Espinosa Chilean Sailor
Seba Alon Chilean Sailor
Miguel Baez-Olavarria Chilean Sailor
Daniel Orellana Chilean Sailor
Antonio Molina Chilean Sailor
Martin Lagos Chilean Sailor
Andres Quezada Chilean Sailor
Valur Snaer Hilmarsson Skateboard Kid #1
Eythor Atli Hilmarsson Skateboard Kid #2
Birgir Jarl Runarsson Skateboard Kid #3
Gunnar Helgason Hotel Keeper
Kai Lennox Phil Melhoff
Conan O'Brien Himself
Andy Richter Himself
Gurdeep Singh Cab Driver
Anthony Desio Mover
Losang Thonden Older Rajqawee
Rinjee Sherpa Younger Rajqawee
Haroon Nawabi Afghan Warlord
Stefan B. Onundarsson Afghan
Mohammed Arif Baser Afghan
Mohammed Pancherri Afghan
Ehsan Nawroz Afghan
Steve Assil Afghan
Ang Babu Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Ang Gelu Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Dawa Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Ngima Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Nuri Chhiri Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Sonam P. Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Phurba Sherpa Soccer Playing Sherpa
Walter T. Mudu TSA Skeleton #1
Liz Mikel TSA Skeleton #2
Brian McFadden TSA Officer #1
Dion Graham TSA Officer #2
Richard DeDomenico Piano Wholesaler
Matt Levin Board Meeting Guy
Radioman News Stand Guy

Technical Credits
Ben Stiller Director,Producer
G. Mac Brown Executive Producer
Rick Chefalas Sound Editor
Steven Conrad Original Story,Screenwriter
Stuart Cornfeld Producer
Leifur B. Dagfinnsson Production Manager
Sarah Dowland Executive Producer
George Drakoulias Musical Direction/Supervision
Stuart Dryburgh Cinematographer
Sarah Edwards Costumes/Costume Designer
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
John Goldwyn Producer
José González Score Composer
Meyer Gottlieb Executive Producer
Craig Haagensen Cinematographer
Greg Hayden Co-producer,Editor
Craig Henighan Sound Mixer
Eggert Ketilsson Art Director
Michael Lerman Asst. Director
Matt Levin Associate Producer
Skip Lievsay Sound Mixer
Jeff Mann Co-producer
Jeff Mann Production Designer
Joseph P. Reidy Asst. Director
Tom Reta Art Director
Ethan Shapanka Associate Producer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Stigur Steinthorsson Set Decoration/Design
Gore Verbinski Executive Producer
Steven Visscher Sound Editor
Kurt Williams Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
1. Scene 1 [2:50]
2. Scene 2 [2:48]
3. Scene 3 [2:54]
4. Scene 4 [2:20]
5. Scene 5 [2:57]
6. Scene 6 [3:55]
7. Scene 7 [2:51]
8. Scene 8 [2:53]
9. Scene 9 [2:57]
10. Scene 10 [3:36]
11. Scene 11 [2:11]
12. Scene 12 [2:41]
13. Scene 13 [3:17]
14. Scene 14 [2:12]
15. Scene 15 [4:19]
16. Scene 16 [3:22]
17. Scene 17 [3:15]
18. Scene 18 [3:06]
19. Scene 19 [2:51]
20. Scene 20 [2:33]
21. Scene 21 [3:08]
22. Scene 22 [1:40]
23. Scene 23 [:37]
24. Scene 24 [3:58]
25. Scene 25 [:09]
26. Scene 26 [1:45]
27. Scene 27 [2:43]
28. Scene 28 [4:24]
29. Scene 29 [4:18]
30. Scene 30 [6:01]
31. Scene 31 [1:31]
32. Scene 32 [3:30]
33. Scene 33 [1:44]
34. Scene 34 [2:44]
35. Scene 35 [1:23]
36. Scene 36 [3:13]


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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful this movie is. It easily makes my list of top 5 best movies ever. I laughed, I cried. I was sad when it was over, because it is such a heartwarming film that I wanted it to go on longer. Many re-adaptations of books & classics go so far off the path that they barely represent the original This one, though brought into the current culture, is a great one. I rarely buy DVDs, but this one I will. Thank you, Mr Stiller (and all the other folks involved) for making this movie.
Ginger416 More than 1 year ago
Interesting and funny. An enjoyable movie showing that life is worth living, but you have take chances sometimes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best movie I have seen in awhile.