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Bernard and Doris (2006)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,303 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 14 critic

The story of the twilight years of tobacco billionairness Doris Duke and her relationship with her gay butler, to whom she left her entire fortune.

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Title: Bernard and Doris (2006)

Bernard and Doris (2006) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 25 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
First Butler
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Security Guard
...
Chef
...
Marilyn Torres ...
Nick Rolfe ...
Ben
...
...
Board Member
Thomas J. McGrath ...
Board Member
Gene Parseghian ...
Board Member
Henry S. Schleiff ...
Board Member (as Henry Schleiff)
Calvin Trillin ...
Board Member
Kunnath P. Namboodiri ...
Swami
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Storyline

Sympathetic look loosely based on the relationship between tobacco heiress, Doris Duke (1912-1993) - think Duke University - and her shy butler, Bernard Lafferty. The icy and mercurial Duke fires her butler for serving a chilled cantaloupe; the agency sends Lafferty, formerly household staff to Liz Taylor and to Peggy Lee. He's an alcoholic, fresh out of rehab. He gradually becomes Duke's gay alter ego as she romps through life sleeping with young men, making shrewd decisions quickly, managing her fortune and orchids as Lafferty manages her New Jersey estate. With a wine cellar to die for, Bernard falls off the wagon. Can he pull himself together when Doris needs him? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

17 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bernard and Doris  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Susan Sarandon owns the dog who plays Doris' pet. The dog's name is Penny, a Pomeranian Maltese. See more »

Goofs

"She said it was important. 'Perhaps I will get the feeling back ..." It's the same body of a newspaper article for two different articles. Around 23 minutes into movie. One article had headline of Doris Duke attending opening with Leonard Bernstein. The second headline was her buying a Boeing 737 for $25 million. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doris Duke: Ugh! What is this?
First Butler: Cantaloupe, ma'am.
See more »

Connections

References Lawrence of Arabia (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love the Way You're Breaking My Heart
Written by Milton Drake and Louis Alter
Performed by Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Balaban, high production standards,
9 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I wasn't sold on the idea of watching a film about a rich weirdo and the lawsuits that entail, post-mortem, ala "LIFETIME" nightly movies. I wanted to see Ralph work with Susan, but I still wouldn't have watched unless I researched the production of "Bernard and Doris". I saw Bob Balaban is directing.

I've never seen Bob Balaban's work as director. I've enjoyed all of Bob's acting credits which I've seen, particularly his improvisational skills in recent SCTV/Spinal Tap-quality films. I figure Bob knows the HW weirdness like nobody else due to his insightful improvisations. He gets it.

Therefore, he could do it, and bring it in below budget.

Great direction: Lighting and cinematography were far better than recent films I paid money for. I haven't seen Ralph perform this well since QUIZ SHOW, but he brought his talents to what was clearly a communal table of talent.

Susan Sarandon does very well, and the Susan/Ralph team works. The script works, and sells the story.

Balaban seems to have done much more with far less than this film portends to be, even for an HBO FILM.


17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Worst.accent.ever Des-26
Sarandon wildly miscast yappyfan
Was Everyone As Bored As I Was? bettorre
This movie misrepresents the facts drp-6
No mention of adult adopted daughter yappyfan
Susan Sarandon as elderly Doris Duke???? Joshf84
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