7.4/10
38,394
183 user 45 critic

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,750 ( 279)
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

According to the press pass that Dolores finds in Selena's purse, she worked for Vanity Fair. 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

Vera Donovan: Don't you just love the Bossa Nova? I found them in New York and simply had to have them.
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Connections

Referenced in Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

What Is Past Is Prologue...
23 May 2004 | by GayIthacanSee all my reviews

Few Stephen King works of fiction translate well to the screen. Horror elements are best left described rather than shown - so that the darkest recesses of our own imaginations can fill in the details. The horror visions of others may or may not affect us the same way - more often than not, they fall short of true terror.

But DOLORES CLAIBORNE is the exception - a masterful condensation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. More compact and deeply psychological than the novel, the film focuses almost exclusively on telling the story (in both present-day AND multiple flashback story lines) of Dolores Claiborne and her daughter, Selena.

Charged with murdering her wealthy but crippled employer, Dolores (Kathy Bates) is reunited with her estranged daughter, Selena (Jennifer Jason-Leigh). Sullen, brilliant, but deeply disturbed by a past that still obviously haunts her, Selena returns to the lonely and isolated Maine fishing village to help her mother face the legal and familial issues raised by the murder accusation.

We learn that Dolores had previously been suspected of killing her abusive and alcoholic husband. The same detective who had been unable to press the case 17 years earlier is now assigned to the new investigation. And as his work proceeds, secrets from the past reveal themselves, through brilliant use of flashbacks.

The acting by all concerned is first rate, with Bates giving probably her finest non-Oscar-nominated performance. Jason-Leigh is spot-on as the psychologically damaged and cynical Selena - more a victim than even she knows. Christopher Plummer is excellent as the detective.

Taylor Hackford's direction is absolutely brilliant - as is the use of color saturation and creative scene blending and transition to move seamlessly between present and past.

This is an outstanding film - well worth the Oscar nominations it received (as well as those it did not!). HIghest rating!


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See full technical specs »

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