Driving Miss Daisy

  • Directors: Bruce Beresford
  • Producers: Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D Zanuck
  • Writers: Alfred Uhry
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, Esther Rolle

It is 1948 and Mrs. (“Miss”) Daisy Werthan, a 72-year-old widow, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, alone except for an African American housemaid named Idella. After a driving mishap where her Chrysler automobile is totaled, Miss Daisy’s son Boolie tells her she will have to get a chauffeur because no insurance company will insure her. She refuses, but Boolie is determined to find her one. Meanwhile, she is stuck at home and is unable to run errands or visit friends.

Boolie finds a man named Hoke Colburn, who had driven for a local judge until he died, and he decided to remain in the area rather than accompany the widow when she moved away.

Miss Daisy at first refuses to let Hoke drive her, going so far as to walk to the local Piggly Wiggly. It is revealed that her reluctance to be driven around is because she is embarrassed. People might think she is either too old to drive, or so well off that she can afford a driver.

Daisy comes to accept Hoke and the fact that she needs him to drive her around. Miss Daisy finds out that Hoke cannot read, so she teaches him how to read. Over the years Hoke drives Daisy in a succession of vehicles including a Hudson Commodore and a series of Cadillacs. When it became time to trade in the car for a new vehicle, Hoke often purchases the previous car and uses it as his personal vehicle.

Two years later, in 1973, the family home is sold, and Hoke has given up driving. Hoke is now 85 and Miss Daisy is 97. Boolie and Hoke meet at Miss Daisy’s house one final time before the new owner takes possession, and they drive over to the retirement home to visit Miss Daisy. The movie ends on Thanksgiving with Hoke feeding Miss Daisy a piece of pie.

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