7.4/10
36,697
180 user 65 critic

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

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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)
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 ... Det. John Mackey
David Strathairn ... Joe St. George
Eric Bogosian ... Peter
John C. Reilly ... Const. 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

Dolores Claiborne works as a maid for a wealthy woman in remote Maine. When she is indicted for the elderly woman's murder, Dolores' daughter Selena returns from New York, where she has become a big-shot reporter. In the course of working out the details of what has happened, as well as some shady questions from the past and Selena's troubled childhood, many difficult truths are revealed about their family's domestic strife. This is cleverly portrayed with present reality shot in cool blue tones blending seamlessly into flashbacks shot in vivid color. As small town justice relentlessly grinds forward, surprises lie in store for the viewers.... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dolores 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming the scene on the ferry between Dolores and Selena, Jennifer Jason Leigh became seasick. A student from the local high school was pulled out of class to act as a stand-in. See more »

Goofs

The eclipse is dated early in the movie as occurring in 1975. However, according to the NASA Sunsearch database records, there were no solar eclipses (total or annular) on Earth in all of 1975. Additionally, from 1961 to 1980 there were no total eclipses visible in the filming locations. The closest was visible only in the Pacific Northwest in February of 1979. See more »

Quotes

Dolores Claiborne: [to Selena, who is frantically taking pills] How is that going to help?
Selena St. George: Because in ten minutes, I'm gonna be fine.
Dolores Claiborne: Selena...
Selena St. George: JUST GIVE ME TEN MINUTES!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Miracles and Mystery: Creating 'The Green Mile' (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, underrated, Bates is brilliant
24 March 2005 | by fwmurnauSee all my reviews

Somehow this gripping, brilliantly-acted thriller was overlooked and underrated when it was first released in 1995, but it's probably the best movie ever made from a Stephen King story.

Kathy Bates has never been better. Her acting is so strong, deep, and subtle, it's outrageous that she wasn't even nominated for the Academy Award. I think it's because the film was released early in the year and was out of theatres already when the nominations were made. She's better here than about ten Oscar-winning actors I can think of, put together -- a one-woman textbook of how to act for the screen.

Bates won an Oscar for MISERY, but she's better here, because the story and the character are more interesting, complex and challenging. With flawless technique, and great depth of feeling, she delivers one of the finest screen performances of the 1990s.

Okay, the denouement's a bit strained, and there's a sprinkling of stilted, hokey lines (Stephen King was never good at writing believable dialogue, and his addition of forced scatology and cussing doesn't make it any less stilted.) But overall the complicated story, which flashes back and forth over a period of twenty years, is extremely well-told. The constant shifting from past to present is never confusing -- an achievement in itself!

This film never found its audience, somehow, and even some critics missed how good it was. I notice Maltin's book now raves over the film, giving it 3 1/2 stars, the same rating he gives to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The violence here is more psychological than bloody, but DOLORES is every bit as good a thriller as LAMBS, and Bates, quite frankly, can act circles around Jodie Foster.


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