Walking Across Egypt
Theatrical release poster
Directed byArthur Allan Seidelman
Screenplay byPaul Tamasy
Based onWalking Across Egypt
by Clyde Edgerton
Produced byMadeline Bell
StarringEllen Burstyn
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Mark Hamill
Edward Herrmann
Dana Ivey
Harve Presnell
Gwen Verdon
with Gail O'Grady
and Judge Reinhold
CinematographyAmelia Vincent
Edited byBert Glatstein
Jonathan P. Shaw
Music byMarco Beltrami
Mitchum Entertainment
Distributed byKeystone Entertainment
Release date
  • December 17, 1999 (1999-12-17)
  • United States (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4.5 million

Walking Across Egypt is a 1999 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and written by Paul Tamasy, based on Clyde Edgerton's novel of the same name. The film stars Ellen Burstyn, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Mark Hamill, Gail O'Grady, Judge Reinhold, and Pat Corley.


The film follows the life of Mattie Rigsbee (Burstyn), an elderly woman who believes in strong religious convictions. The film explores the lonely qualities of life for senior citizens after their children leave as adults. Reinhold and O'Grady play Mattie's children, who live in a deep southern town.

Mattie soon finds a likable friend in the local dogcatcher, Lamar Benfield (Hamill). Through this relationship, she meets the dogcatcher's nephew, a troubled juvenile delinquent orphan, Wesley (Taylor Thomas), currently serving time in juvenile detention for a recent car theft. Mattie finds that this young man is missing direction and believes that with a little insight on Christianity, he can straighten up and fly right.



Walking Across Egypt was filmed in the Florida cities of: Ocoee (including the Ocoee Christian Church), Clermont, Windermere, Orlando, and St. Cloud.[citation needed]


Robert Koehler from Variety said of the film, "The best in forgiving Christian values is at the heart of well-intentioned but weakly conceived Walking Across Egypt. By far, the most distinguishing factor is Ellen Burstyn's independent-minded Southern widower Mattie,[...] but that won't be enough to stop this from going directly to family-oriented cable."[1] Despite this, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes has given it an 89% according to audience ratings.[2]


  1. ^ Koehler, Robert (Feb 13, 2000). "Walking Across Egypt – Variety". Variety. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Walking Across Egypt at Rotten Tomatoes