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Stanley & Iris (1990)

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. But 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

Plot Keywords:

car | automobile | love | cook | widow | See All (27) »

Taglines:

Two ordinary people. One extraordinary love story. 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

Final theatrical feature film directed by Martin Ritt. See more »

Goofs

The final shot of that sequence supposedly takes place at Post and Washington Streets, but a street sign partly out of focus in the background is clearly different from either of those. See more »

Quotes

Iris King: Stanley, are you proposing to me?
Stanley Cox: [smiles knowingly] I suppose I am.
Iris King: You know what you're taking on? There were seven visits to the doctor last year, five to the dentist, and winter coats, summer coats, tennis shoes. We're a noisy family, Stanley. We've got a lot of arguments, baby crying, a lot of TV. You sure you wanna take this on?
Stanley Cox: [stops the car and smiles] I'm here.
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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