7.4/10
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Dolores Claiborne (1995)

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2:17 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Taylor Hackford

Writers:

Stephen King (book), Tony Gilroy (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,830 ( 951)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathy Bates ... Dolores Claiborne
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Selena St. George
Judy Parfitt ... Vera Donovan
Christopher Plummer ... Detective John Mackey
David Strathairn ... Joe St. George
Eric Bogosian ... Peter
John C. Reilly ... Constable Frank Stamshaw
Ellen Muth ... Young Selena
Bob Gunton ... Mr. Pease
Roy Cooper ... Magistrate
Wayne Robson ... Sammy Marchant
Ruth Marshall ... Secretary
Weldon Allen Weldon Allen ... Bartender
Tom Gallant Tom Gallant ... Searcher
Kelly Burnett Kelly Burnett ... Jack Donovan
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Storyline

Instead of heading to Arizona for her next big story in what has been her illustrious career in her relatively young life, New York based investigative journalist Selena St. George heads to her hometown on a small island just off the coast of Jonesport, Maine upon receiving a fax from an anonymous sender that her mother, Dolores Claiborne, is the only suspect in what looks to be the murder of her wealthy employer of twenty-three years, Vera Donovan. Dolores, who reassumed her maiden name following the death of Selena's father, Joe St. George, started working as one of Vera's domestics upon her moving permanently into what used to be the Donovans' summer house after Jack Donovan's passing, Dolores ultimately moving into the Donovan house full time as her caregiver when Vera required 'round the clock care. Dolores' employment, which was solely to save money for Selena's education, was despite miserly and overly particular Vera only paying a pittance. Selena has been estranged from ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes, an accident can be an unhappy woman's best friend See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A reference is made to Shawshank Prison, which was featured in "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994). Bob Gunton (Mr. Pease) played Warden Norton in that film. See more »

Goofs

When Vera is elderly and bedridden, being looked after by Delores, she is shown to have no teeth at all and her voice has a lisp because of this. Between shots, she suddenly has teeth and is even able to bite Delores' arm. See more »

Quotes

Dolores Claiborne: If anyone is going to accuse me of killing my husband, go right ahead and call me Dolores!
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Stephen King Movies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
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User Reviews

 
Expert story-telling+fine acting=good entertainment
7 April 2005 | by debblystSee all my reviews

I first saw "Dolores Claiborne" when it came out in 1995 and have seen it again some 3 or 4 times since, a practice I dedicate only to "certified" masterpieces. At first, I couldn't figure out why I kept revisiting "D.C." when it showed up on cable - it's not a cinematic wonder or a work of art (something it doesn't strive to be, by the way), not even a story that you can say it's really original. But as I became more familiar with the film, I could see why it always pulled me in: it's a triumph of story-telling, of the WAY and PACE the story is revealed in small precise doses much like slowly completing a puzzle, the kind of film you can only let go when the last missing piece (Selena's final flashback) fits into place.

How the story manages to make such initially repulsive characters (all of them!!) develop into sympathetic (or at least pathetic) ones is of course Stephen King's special talent, expertly translated by the fine jobs by the screenwriter, actors and director of "Dolores Claiborne". The cinematography is kind of obvious in its distinct color treatment of past and present, but the entire cast is inspired, including Kathy Bates' best-ever performance (she has stated so herself), especially in the flash-back scenes; delightfully virtuoso Judy Parfitt (you just keep hoping along for more Vera's scenes, and each one of them is a knockout); and reliable pros Christopher Plummer, David Strathairn (such an underrated actor!) and John C. Reilly. Even Jennifer Jason Leigh for once has her irritating mannerisms fit perfectly to build her terribly tormented character.

That's what good story-telling is all about: even if you already know the plot from A to Z, you just want to see once again the way it unfolds, like a good scary fairy tale. "Dolores Claiborne" is not without faults, but it's certainly worth your time, and even more than once.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dolores Claiborne See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,721,920, 26 March 1995

Gross USA:

$24,361,867

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,361,867
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
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