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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of numerous collaborations of director Alan Rudolph and actor Keith Carradine. See more »

Quotes

Dorothy Parker: I'll wear my heart on my sleeve like a wet, red stain.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Dark Side of Fame...
26 June 2000 | by PeachHamBeachSee all my reviews

I found this movie totally enjoyable from start to finish. Maybe because Jennifer Jason Leigh is one of the most superb actresses of our time (and of course ignored!!!). Or maybe because I love period pieces with lavish attention to detail in the costumes and production designing. Or maybe because I am always entertained by true stories of humanity. I think in this movie's case, it is all three. This is another portrait of the dark side of fame. Leigh did a wonderful job being Mrs. Dorothy Parker, a 1920s poet and magazine writer who drank (during prohibition New York) and caroused with a large, mouthy group of professionals in the writing and stage business. It's easy for anyone to relate to the lonliness Mrs. Parker feels in this boisterous "circle" of shallow, back-stabbing people. In spite of her gift for smooth, haunting, beautiful poetry (much of it recited in this movie), Mrs. Parker is not happy or fulfilled. Rather she is misunderstood, isolated and self-depreciating. She ends up losing a job over salary disputes, losing her husband to alcohol, and falling deeply and hopelessly in love with the married Charles McArthur (Matthew Broderick), who impregnates and betrays her. Mrs. Parker's only comfort in life is the friendship she has with Bob Benchley (an excellent Campbell Scott). Leigh, speaking with a facinating accent, brings sadness and cynicism to Mrs Parker with perfection.


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