6.5/10
3,463
26 user 17 critic

Bernard and Doris (2006)

The story of the twilight years of tobacco billionairess Doris Duke and her relationship with her gay butler, to whom she left her entire fortune.

Director:

Bob Balaban

Writer:

Hugh Costello
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 29 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him ... See full summary »

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Cate Blanchett, Ciarán Hinds
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A soldier recounts his relationship with a famous political prisoner attempting to overthrow their country's authoritarian government.

Director: Robert Edwards
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander
Onegin (1999)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the opulent St. Petersburg of the Empire period, Eugene Onegin is a jaded but dashing aristocrat - a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and, finally,... See full summary »

Director: Martha Fiennes
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler, Toby Stephens
Two Women (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A headstrong young woman is married to land baron. Her feelings for her son's tutor becomes a complex web of unrequited love.

Director: Vera Glagoleva
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Sylvie Testud, Aleksandr Baluev
Chromophobia (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A bourgeois family slowly comes apart at the seams.

Director: Martha Fiennes
Stars: Ben Chaplin, Penélope Cruz, Ralph Fiennes
The Duchess (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A chronicle of the life of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Director: Saul Dibb
Stars: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper
Vendetta (TV Movie 1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Based on a true tale of power, corruption and murder, Christopher Walken stars in the story of the largest lynching in American history...

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Christopher Walken, Luke Askew, Clancy Brown
My Zinc Bed (TV Movie 2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A recovering alcoholic becomes involved with his boss's wife, a former cocaine addict.

Director: Anthony Page
Stars: Uma Thurman, Jonathan Pryce, Paddy Considine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Joseph, a former professional musician who has withdrawn into a quiet life after the death of his wife. Remaining mostly isolated, he stays at home, playing his violin in the evenings for ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Balaban
Stars: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Olivia d'Abo, Lionel Stander
Capturing Mary (TV Movie 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young man ushers an older woman into a dark exploration of her past - back to the time when, as a young girl, she met a stranger who affected her life forever.

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Maggie Smith, Ruth Wilson, David Walliams
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave
Hemingway & Gellhorn (TV Movie 2012)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A drama centered on the romance between Ernest Hemingway and World War II correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the only woman who ever asked for a divorce from the writer.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, David Strathairn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Sarandon ... Doris Duke
Ralph Fiennes ... Bernard Lafferty
Peter Asher ... First Butler
Don Harvey ... Security Guard
Chris Bauer ... Chef
Monique Gabriela Curnen ... Paloma
Marilyn Torres Marilyn Torres ... Nancy
Nick Rolfe Nick Rolfe ... Ben
James Rebhorn ... Waldo Taft
Dominick Dunne ... Board Member
Thomas J. McGrath Thomas J. McGrath ... Board Member
Gene Parseghian Gene Parseghian ... Board Member
Henry Schleiff Henry Schleiff ... Board Member
Calvin Trillin ... Board Member
Kunnath P. Namboodiri Kunnath P. Namboodiri ... Swami
Edit

Storyline

Sympathetic look loosely based on the relationship between tobacco heiress, Doris Duke (1912-1993) - think Duke University - and her shy butler, Bernard Lafferty. The icy and mercurial Duke fires her butler for serving a chilled cantaloupe; the agency sends Lafferty, formerly household staff to Liz Taylor and to Peggy Lee. He's an alcoholic, fresh out of rehab. He gradually becomes Duke's gay alter ego as she romps through life sleeping with young men, making shrewd decisions quickly, managing her fortune and orchids as Lafferty manages her New Jersey estate. With a wine cellar to die for, Bernard falls off the wagon. Can he pull himself together when Doris needs him? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bernard e Doris - O Mordomo e a Milionária See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Famed true-crime author, journalist and mover within exclusive society and socialite circles, the late Dominick Dunne, makes a cameo appearance as a member of Doris Duke's advisory board. See more »

Goofs

When Doris is reading her will, she identifies her city of residence as Somerville, New Jersey. Duke Farms, the site of Duke's residence, is actually in neighboring Hillsborough, New Jersey. Duke Farm now operates as a nature preserve and public park. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doris Duke: Ugh! What is this?
First Butler: Cantaloupe, ma'am.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Somebody Nobody Loves
Written by Sy Miller (as Seymour Miller)
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Extraordinary Relationship Between a Billionairess and Her Butler
4 September 2011 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

Bob Balaban has made and contributed to an array of interesting films as writer, director and actor. His directorial venture focuses on the relationship of billionairess Doris Duke and her loyal butler Bernard Lafferty. Hugh Costello's writing is solid. The characterization seems accurate enough (at least based on what I've read about Duke and Lafferty). Both are portrayed as strong yet vulnerable humans. Duke did live an unusual life that involved alcohol and casual sex but she enjoyed the freedom of life and travelling. She lived with passion and believed strongly in causes to set up foundations. She was also an excellent businesswoman and loved her plants, especially her orchids. And, this film captures that brilliantly and one can see why a shy Bernard who also shared the same weakness with alcohol would be so taken by a woman like Doris Duke. She can be a difficult woman, especially to those working for her but her appealing sense of liveliness, passion and devotion was admirable and Bernard appreciated that. The tenderness and care in their relationship is portrayed beautifully. Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes are stupendous. Both have effectively captured the essence and strength of their characters delivering strong performances. In addition, the cinematography and art direction are brilliant. Overall, Balaban and Costello have presented an interesting perspective and an intriguing account of a fascinating woman and her relationship with her butler.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed