7.4/10
30,221
173 user 56 critic

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

A big-city reporter travels to the small town where her mother has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

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(book), (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Roy Cooper ...
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Weldon Allen ...
Bartender
Tom Gallant ...
Kelly Burnett ...
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Storyline

Dolores Claiborne works as a maid for a wealthy woman in remote Maine. When she is indicted for the elderly woman's murder, Dolores' daughter Selena returns from New York, where she has become a big-shot reporter. In the course of working out the details of what has happened, as well as some shady questions from the past and Selena's troubled childhood, many difficult truths are revealed about their family's domestic strife. This is cleverly portrayed with present reality shot in cool blue tones blending seamlessly into flashbacks shot in vivid color. As small town justice relentlessly grinds forward, surprises lie in store for the viewers.... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

woman | maid | reporter | murder | well | See All (104) »

Taglines:

They were separated by a death...and reunited by a murder. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and domestic abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dolores  »

Box Office

Gross:

$24,361,867 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming the scene on the ferry between Dolores and Selena, Jennifer Jason Leigh became seasick. A student from the local high school was pulled out of class to act as a stand-in. See more »

Goofs

A scene shows Dolores driving the night before a total solar eclipse. The scene shows a full moon, which is impossible since a full moon cannot occur less than 14 days before a total solar eclipse. See more »

Quotes

Kid on street: Look!
Kid on street: Hey Miss Claiborne!
Kid on street: Kill anyone else today?
Dolores Claiborne: Not just yet, when I change my mind I'll know exactly where to start
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ring (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Night in the Afternoon
Written by Hendrik Muerkens
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Kathy Bates Shines
8 May 2004 | by (Tasmania) – See all my reviews

It isn't quite fair to say that 'Dolores Claiborne' is a one-woman show, but let's face it; it's pretty much a virtuoso performance from Kathy Bates. She dominates virtually every scene she's in, shows tremendous range, from tender to sour and bitter, to borderline maniacal, and leaves you wondering who else on Earth could possibly have pulled it off.

That's not to belittle the rest of the cast. The other actors are adequate at very least, and Judy Parfitt puts in a performance as the bedridden Vera Donovan, which is the one time that Bates is slightly overshadowed.

Briefly, a middle-aged, working-class widow (Bates) in a small Maine town (where else, for SK?) is suspected of murdering her rich, elderly employer (Parfitt) in an apparently open and shut case. Christopher Plummer is the nasty lawman who is convinced she also killed her husband years before. Meanwhile, her estranged daughter from New York comes up to cover the story for a newspaper, and... well, you don't really need to know any more details before seeing the movie.

It's adapted from a Stephen King novel, and being a drama rather than a supernatural story, it has a flying headstart, being in the company of 'Green Mile', 'Stand By Me', and 'Shawshank Redemption' rather than 'Christine' or 'Salem's Lot'. Whereas it isn't in the exalted league of those movies, it's miles ahead of most of the horror adaptation of King stories. Take Bates out and it might be rather ordinary, but as it it, Dolores gets a very solid 7.0 from me.


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