6.3/10
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Stanley & Iris (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 9 February 1990 (USA)
A struggling widow falls in love with an illiterate short-order cook whom she teaches to read and write in her kitchen each night.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

Pat Barker (novel), Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Fonda ... Iris King
Robert De Niro ... Stanley Cox
Swoosie Kurtz ... Sharon
Martha Plimpton ... Kelly King
Harley Cross ... Richard King
Jamey Sheridan ... Joe
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ... Leonides Cox (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Zohra Lampert ... Elaine
Loretta Devine ... Bertha
Julie Garfield Julie Garfield ... Belinda
Karen Ludwig ... Melissa
Kathy Kinney ... Bernice
Laurel Lyle Laurel Lyle ... Muriel
Mary Testa ... Joanne
Katherine Cortez ... Jan
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Storyline

Stanley Cox is an illiterate short-order cook who has never taken a chance at love. Iris King is a newly widowed factory worker who has vowed never to love again. Still grieving eight months after her husband's death, she lives from paycheck to paycheck and raises two children. To make ends meet, she rents out space to her sister and brother-in-law who have financial and marital problems as well. Her daughter seeks escape through the company of boys resulting in an out of wedlock pregnancy, which makes matters worse. However, as their friendship slowly blossoms and Iris helps Stanley learn to read, his strong yet gentle kindness helps mend her broken heart. And where two lonely strangers stood trapped within the past, Stanley and Iris can now begin a new chapter of their lives - together. Written by MGM/UA Home Video

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not all prisons have walls. Not all prisoners wear uniforms. Not all escapes make headlines. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Letters See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,820,015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Source novelist Pat Barker has allegedly stated that this theatrical feature film bears little resemblance to her source novel. Her original novel was set in Britain, and not the United States. Iris King (Robert De Niro) is one of several women whose lives the book portrays, and Stanley Cox (Jane Fonda) does not feature. See more »

Goofs

The first time we see Iris' house, there is an air conditioner in the upper left window. The next time we see the house, the air conditioner has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Cox: [to Iris] Three people in bed are one too many for me.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful blue collar romance highlights problem of illiteracy
19 March 2006 | by roghacheSee all my reviews

This may not be a memorable classic, but it is a touching romance with an important theme that stresses the importance of literacy in modern society and the devastating career and life consequences for any unfortunate individual lacking this vital skill.

The story revolves around Iris, a widow who becomes acquainted with a fellow employee at her factory job, an illiterate cafeteria worker named Stanley. Iris discovers that Stanley is unable to read, and after he loses his job, she gives him reading lessons at home in her kitchen. Of course, as you might predict, the two, although initially wary of involvement, develop feelings for each other...

Jane Fonda competently plays Iris, a woman with problems of her own, coping with a job lacking prospects, two teenage children (one pregnant), an unemployed sister and her abusive husband. However, Robert DeNiro is of course brilliant in his endearing portrayal of the intelligent and resourceful, but illiterate, Stanley, bringing a dignity to the role that commands respect. They aren't your typical charming young yuppie couple, as generally depicted in on screen romances, but an ordinary working class, middle aged pair with pretty down to earth struggles.

I won't give the ending away, but it's a lovely, heartwarming romance and a personal look into the troubling issue of adult illiteracy, albeit from the perspective of a fictional character.


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