6.4/10
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Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

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Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair.

Director:

Alan Rudolph
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Dorothy Parker
Campbell Scott ... Robert Benchley
Matthew Broderick ... Charles MacArthur
Peter Gallagher ... Alan Campbell
Jennifer Beals ... Gertrude Benchley
Andrew McCarthy ... Eddie Parker
Wallace Shawn ... Horatio Byrd
Martha Plimpton ... Jane Grant
Sam Robards ... Harold Ross
Lili Taylor ... Edna Ferber
James Le Gros ... Deems Taylor (as James LeGros)
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Paula Hunt
Nick Cassavetes ... Robert Sherwood
David Thornton ... George S. Kaufman
Heather Graham ... Mary Kennedy Taylor
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Storyline

Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman ahead of her time. A movie that can't be missed. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,512, 27 November 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,144,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According a number of critics and sources, this picture was somewhat of a companion piece to writer-director Alan Rudolph's earlier film The Moderns (1988). See more »

Quotes

Dorothy Parker: I'll wear my heart on my sleeve like a wet, red stain.
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User Reviews

 
"What a morbid question to ask...you have just won my heart completely."
3 January 2010 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

As rich an evocation of 1920s Manhattan as "Mrs. Parker" is, one keeps wishing it would offer more...or at least surprise us with some splendorous chatter amongst the haves and have-nots of the literary world. Dorothy Parker, married to a morphine-addicted ex-soldier and recently fired as a writer for Vanity Fair, goes through a succession of men and magazine-published "doo-dads" before gaining a reputation as one of the greatest wits to come out of Depression-era New York City. Hollywood beckoned, but did not satisfy her--nor did life in general, which may be why she talked in a world-weary, dry-arch style which gave the impression of a woman with many disappointments in her closet. This is fascinating subject matter for the movies, yet co-writer and director Alan Rudolph barely dramatizes the material at all; he's so closed off from what's happening on the screen, many sequences plod by without any directorial nourishment. Certainly the large and interestingly cast group of actors on display are worth watching, though there are possibly too many real-life personalities rushing by on the screen, everyone nonchalantly vying for time. Parker's goodbye-cruel-war attitude did not back her up in the end and, living until the year 1967, she survived most of her Algonquin Round Table cohorts. The film does not sentimentalize her or put her up on a pedestal, but neither does it help us to understand the tragedienne living beyond the wincing prose and words of woe. Jennifer Jason Leigh's lead portrayal divided the critics in 1994, yet she's definitely on to something special here. With a more incisive treatment, she may have delivered a true triumph. **1/2 from ****


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