White Palace (1990)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 October 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 5,524 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 25 critic

Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) a... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nora Baker
Sol Horowitz
Rachel Chagall ...
Rachel (as Rachel Levin)
Larry Klugman
Edith Baron (as Renee Taylor)
Marv Miller
Barbara Howard ...
Sherri Klugman
Heidi Solomon (as Kim Meyers)
Hildy Brooks ...
Ella Horowitz
Sophie Rosen
K.C. Carr ...


Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) a 43-year-old waitress with a fixation on Marilyn Monroe. The couple gradually fall in love, though age and social differences mean that the path of true love is strewn with problems. Written by Matt <matt@measham.force9.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of a younger man, and a bolder woman.


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The White Castle  »

Box Office


$17,487,531 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First sole American Hollywood production of Mexican director Luis Mandoki which was not a Mexican production. Mandoki's earlier film Gaby: A True Story (1987) had been a US-Mexican co-production. See more »


In the beginning of the movie, when Max drives Nora home from the bar where they met, he makes a 180 turn from the place on the street where he had parked but this is before Nora tells him how to get to where she lives. How could Max have known that he had to turn around from the parking spot to head toward Nora's house? See more »


Max: All I know is that when I'm not with you I'm a total wreck.
Nora: And when you are with me?
Max: I'm a different kind of total wreck.
See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Road to Rhode Island (2000) See more »


Your Reputation
Performed by Shona Laing
Courtesy of Virgin Records Australia Pty Ltd.
Written by Shona Laing
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User Reviews

Toe Curling Passion!
26 June 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

White palace has a great sexual dynamic, clearly Susan Sarandon's character (Nora Baker) is a sexually charged self confident woman who is at least 10 years or so older than James Spader's character (Max Baron). This movie shows how deep attraction and passion can change people's lives (perhaps for the better) and overcome class/personality and age differences.

The first and perhaps most noticeable aspect is one of the hottest and more believable seduction scenes in a movie, where Nora shows a raw animal passion for Max rarely shown in movies (and when it is is shown in an unfavorable light, e.g. Single White Female). Susan Sarandon pulls off this challenging scene with great passion AND dignity.

The May/December romance with the older lady is shown in a healthy light (not like say The Graduate).

But more important than the age dynamic, is the deep attraction between Nora and Max, which goes strongly across traditional cultural differences. Max is a compulsively organized widower, neat and decidedly upper-middle/upper class. Nora is more impulsive, living a less ordered existence and is lower/lower middle class. Max has conditional love for Nora, trying to change her (unintentionally acting judgemental?) by trying to help her out (e.g. buying her cleaning supplies as a "gift"). Nora teaches Max about life, and passion. This movie has a much more interesting love story than say "Pretty Woman".

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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