7.4/10
29,804
172 user 55 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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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)

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ON DISC
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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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

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Language:

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dolores  »

Box Office

Gross:

$24,361,867 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is an alternate coroner's inquest scene at the end of the film. Director Taylor Hackford said it was re-shot with the scene featured in the film because the first version "wasn't as clear". Scenes from the alternate inquest scene are shown throughout the film's trailer. See more »

Goofs

The expression on Dolores's face when she sees Vera at the bottom of the stairs after her fall, between the first and second flashback. See more »

Quotes

Dolores Claiborne: Go ahead, Joe! All I ask is that you do it quick, and don't let Selena see the mess when it's over!
[Whispers]
Dolores Claiborne: You wanna run me down, go ahead. You can be as mean and hurtful as you want, but this is the last time you will ever hit me! You do it again, one of us is goin' to the boneyard!
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Connections

Referenced in Storm of the Century (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, underrated, Bates is brilliant
24 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Somehow this gripping, brilliantly-acted thriller was overlooked and underrated when it was first released in 1995, but it's probably the best movie ever made from a Stephen King story.

Kathy Bates has never been better. Her acting is so strong, deep, and subtle, it's outrageous that she wasn't even nominated for the Academy Award. I think it's because the film was released early in the year and was out of theatres already when the nominations were made. She's better here than about ten Oscar-winning actors I can think of, put together -- a one-woman textbook of how to act for the screen.

Bates won an Oscar for MISERY, but she's better here, because the story and the character are more interesting, complex and challenging. With flawless technique, and great depth of feeling, she delivers one of the finest screen performances of the 1990s.

Okay, the denouement's a bit strained, and there's a sprinkling of stilted, hokey lines (Stephen King was never good at writing believable dialogue, and his addition of forced scatology and cussing doesn't make it any less stilted.) But overall the complicated story, which flashes back and forth over a period of twenty years, is extremely well-told. The constant shifting from past to present is never confusing -- an achievement in itself!

This film never found its audience, somehow, and even some critics missed how good it was. I notice Maltin's book now raves over the film, giving it 3 1/2 stars, the same rating he gives to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The violence here is more psychological than bloody, but DOLORES is every bit as good a thriller as LAMBS, and Bates, quite frankly, can act circles around Jodie Foster.


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