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Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs Doubtfire.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Randi Mayem Singer
  • Leslie Dixon
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Editing by Raja Gosnell
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) November 24, 1993 (1993-11-24)
Running time 120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Money made $441.3 million

Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Chris Columbus and written by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon, based on the 1987 novel, Madame Doubtfire, by Anne Fine. Robin Williams, who also served as a producer, stars with Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein and Robert Prosky. It follows a recently divorced actor who disguises himself as an elderly female housekeeper to be able to interact with his children. The film addresses themes of divorce, separation, and the effect that they have on a family.

The film was released in the United States by 20th Century Fox on November 24, 1993. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Williams was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

The film grossed $441.3 million on a $25 million budget, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1993. Although the film received mixed reviews on release, its reception and popularity have since improved considerably, being placed 67th in the American Film Institute's "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" list and 40th on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies of All Time" list. The original music score was composed by Howard Shore.


Daniel Hillard, a freelance voice actor living in San Francisco, is a devoted father to his three children — 14-year-old Lydia, 12-year-old Chris, and 5-year-old Natalie — although his work-obsessed interior designer wife, Miranda, considers him immature and unreliable. After quitting his job following a disagreement over a morally questionable script featuring a children's cartoon in which a character smokes a cigarette, Daniel returns home to throw Chris a chaotic birthday party, despite Miranda's objections due to Chris's poor grades. In the ensuing argument, Miranda admits that she wants a divorce. She is granted sole custody of the children, with Daniel having visitation rights every Saturday due to his unemployed and homeless status; shared custody is contingent on Daniel finding a steady job and suitable residence within three months.

Daniel secures an apartment and a job as a shipping clerk at a TV station. When he learns that Miranda is seeking a housekeeper, Daniel secretly alters her classified ad form, then calls her using his voice acting skills to pose as a series of undesirable applicants before finally calling as "Euphegenia Doubtfire", an elderly British nanny with strong credentials. Impressed, Miranda invites Mrs. Doubtfire for an interview. Daniel's brother, Frank, a makeup artist, and his partner, Jack, help Daniel appear as an old woman through the use of makeup and prosthetics.

Miranda hires Mrs. Doubtfire following a successful interview. The children initially struggle under her authority, but soon come around and thrive, while Miranda becomes more easygoing and closer with the kids. Daniel further improves himself as well, becoming more responsible, learning several household skills, and earning Miranda's respect. However, Miranda puts more trust in Mrs. Doubtfire than in Daniel, and cannot bring herself to dismiss her. Miranda also begins seeing an old boyfriend, Stu, much to Daniel's chagrin.

One day, the station's CEO, Jonathan Lundy, sees Daniel playing with props on the set of a recently canceled children's show. Impressed by his voice acting, humor, and imagination, Lundy invites Daniel to dinner to discuss plans for a new show. The meeting turns out to be at the same place and time as a planned birthday dinner for Miranda, to which Mrs. Doubtfire is invited. Daniel spends the night changing in and out of the Mrs. Doubtfire costume so that he can attend both events. Daniel accidentally returns to Lundy in costume, but he explains it by claiming that Mrs. Doubtfire is his idea for the new show's host. After learning of Stu's pepper allergy, Daniel sneaks into the kitchen and seasons Stu's food with powdered cayenne. When Stu begins choking, Daniel guiltily administers the Heimlich maneuver, which causes the prosthetic mask to slip off and expose his identity. Horrified and outraged, Miranda leaves with the kids.

At their next custody hearing, Daniel points out that he has met the judge's requirements ahead of schedule, and explains that his actions were done out of love for his children and begs to still be allowed to see them. The judge, finding his behavior disturbing and unorthodox, dismisses his words as another ruse, grants Miranda full custody of the kids, and further restricts Daniel's rights to supervised visits. This devastates Daniel, the children, and even Miranda, who realizes that her bitterness toward Daniel has been hurting the whole family. Without Mrs. Doubtfire, Miranda and the kids become miserable, acknowledging how much she improved their lives. They discover that Mrs. Doubtfire is hosting the new children's show, Euphegenia's House, which becomes a nationwide hit.

One day, Miranda visits Daniel on set and admits that things were better when he was involved with the family. She arranges joint custody, allowing Daniel to take the kids daily after school. As Daniel leaves for the day with the kids, Miranda watches an episode of Euphegenia's House, in which Mrs. Doubtfire answers a letter from a young girl whose parents have separated, telling her that no matter what arrangements that families have, love will prevail.



Blake Lively unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Natalie Hillard.

Warren Beatty was Anne Fine’s first choice for the role of Daniel Hillard / Mrs. Doubtfire.

Tim Allen was offered the roles of Daniel Hillard and Stu, but turned both of them down.


The film was released in the United States on November 24, 1993, and was rated PG-13.

Canceled sequel

In 2001, Bonnie Hunt began to develop Mrs. Doubtfire 2. Anne Fine had not written a follow-up to Alias Madame Doubtfire, and writing for the sequel did not begin until 2003. Robin Williams was set to return in disguise as the eponymous Mrs. Doubtfire. Rewriting began in 2006 because Williams was unhappy with the plot in the new script. The film had been anticipated for release in late 2007, but following further script problems, the sequel was scrapped in December 2006.

In April 2014, a sequel was announced to be in development at 20th Century Fox. Williams and Columbus were expected to return, and Elf screenwriter, David Berenbaum, was hired to write the script. However, Mara Wilson, who played Natalie Hillard in the original film, expressed no interest in returning for the sequel. Following Williams's death in August 2014, plans for a sequel were put on hold, then again canceled.

In August 2014, shortly after Robin Williams's death, it was revealed that Williams had grown weary working on film sets because it tended to take him away from his family for extended periods of time, and he signed on for the sequel "purely out of necessity". In August 2015, Chris Columbus revealed that the sequel came to be after someone came up with a very interesting idea, and that his conversation with Williams about the subject was the last time he ever talked to the actor. In December 2021, Columbus stated that a sequel is impossible without Robin Williams's involvement.

Stage adaptation

Theatrical producer Kevin McCollum spoke in 2013 about the film's musical prospects, noting that the plot was "tailored for Broadway audiences". Following a 2015 plan going on hiatus, McCollum assembled a different creative team in 2018: Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick composing the score, with John O'Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick writing the book, and Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks directing. The musical, Mrs. Doubtfire, premiered in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theatre on December 13, 2019. The production transferred to Broadway, with previews beginning March 9, 2020, at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. All Broadway productions were suspended three days later due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eventually, Mrs. Doubtfire resumed previews on October 21, 2021, and officially opened on December 5, 2021.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Mrs. Doubtfire para niños

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