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Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean (1990)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  23 September 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 149 users  
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Spanning years of both Harry and Leona Helmsley's cutthroat control of their eponymonous empire, this made-for-TV movie chronicles both the high and low points of the couple's life together.



(teleplay), (book)
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Title: Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean (TV Movie 1990)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Harry Helmsley
Paul Summerton
Raymond Singer ...
Jay Panzirer
Joseph Lubin
Marcia Diamond ...
Leona's Mother
Patricia Collins ...
Gale Garnett ...
Ken James
Marilyn Norrito
Eric Donkin ...
Marvin Goldhar ...
Leona's Attorney
Ransdell Pierson ...


Spanning years of both Harry and Leona Helmsley's cutthroat control of their eponymonous empire, this made-for-TV movie chronicles both the high and low points of the couple's life together.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Queen of Mean  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stanley: Now when the jury comes in I want you to remain composed regardless, understood? And after the verdict's been read...
Leona Helmsley: They don't know me. They don't know who I am am. They don't know what I am. They don't know what I've dome. And they're going to come in and pass judgment on me?
Stanley: That's the system.
Leona Helmsley: Well it stinks.
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User Reviews

"The only Palace in the world where the Queen stands guard!"
16 October 2009 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Randsell Pearson's fact-based book provides the basis for this gossipy, though well-cast television-movie chronicling the stormiest business years in the life of wealthy New York City hotelier Harry Helmsley and his eventual wife Leona, who took a particular delight in running roughshod over "the little people". There's no attempt made to delve into Leona's complicated psyche (why did she seemingly hate everyone who stood in an 'inferior' position to her power...and why did she apparently terminate friendships with those trusted few who only wanted her to see the truth of her actions?). Still, if the film is just a well-dressed tattler (and a thin one at 94 minutes), it isn't campy and is served well by Suzanne Pleshette's strong performance as "The Queen of Mean". Matching her are Lloyd Bridges as Harry (who occasionally got fed up with his wife's possessiveness), Joe Regalbuto as confidante Paul Summerton, and Raymond Singer as Leona's son Jay (who actually tried to bilk his stepfather's subsidiary without being noticed). The movie doesn't pretend to be art--and the final summation was probably already dated by the time the picture aired--but it certainly keeps its audience entertained.

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