6.5/10
3,515
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 »
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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
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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 »
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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

Version of Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love the Way You're Breaking My Heart
Written by Milton Drake and Louis Alter
Performed by Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes
See more »

User Reviews

 
Sarandon is excellent....
13 February 2008 | by MarieGabrielleSee all my reviews

and the pairing of Ralph Fiennes as Bernard Lafferty, her trusted butler and confidante is quite interesting. I have read the biography "Too Rich, the story of Doris Duke", and this film seems by far, more accurate and even amusing (as life often is). If we for example, compare this to the mediocre Lauren Bacall version, which does not portray Lafferty as human, rather as a murderous bottom-feeder. Too extreme, and probably unrealistic.

Yes, Ms. Duke did apparently have a very unusual life, but we see her here, as Sarandon plays here, she also enjoyed and cherished life. We see her working fervently on her orchids, all the foundations she was passionate about, and her general intelligence. She was clearly a brilliant businesswoman, as Lafferty interjects.

This film portrays real people, yes, she had an issue with drinking, as did Lafferty. However there was a tenderness and relationship which seemed to have developed between the two. Overall an interesting commentary with excellent performances and lush cinematography, attention to set decoration. 9/10.


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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 »

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