7.4/10
36,136
179 user 64 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)
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Popularity
4,206 ( 129)
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 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

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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

Kathy Bates' favorite movie role of her career. See more »

Goofs

When Selena is driving away from the house she discovers a mini-tape Dolores stuck to her laptop, when she takes it off it's suddenly a regular cassette tape that she can play in her car. See more »

Quotes

Selena St. George: Eighteen years ago, my father drank a bottle of scotch and fell down a well. Detective Mackey didn't think it was an accident, which is... why we're here today.
Det. John Mackey: And what do you think, Selena?
Selena St. George: I think I owe you an apology. I called you a son of a bitch. You said you thought we were a lot alike, and you were right. We both spent the past 18 years prosecuting this woman. We came out here- I know I did- believing she was guilty. We forgot this case is about Vera Donovan. Not my father.
Det. John Mackey: And what if ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Storm of the Century (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Night in the Afternoon
Written by Hendrik Muerkens
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Kathy Bates Shines
8 May 2004 | by LupercaliSee all my reviews

It isn't quite fair to say that 'Dolores Claiborne' is a one-woman show, but let's face it; it's pretty much a virtuoso performance from Kathy Bates. She dominates virtually every scene she's in, shows tremendous range, from tender to sour and bitter, to borderline maniacal, and leaves you wondering who else on Earth could possibly have pulled it off.

That's not to belittle the rest of the cast. The other actors are adequate at very least, and Judy Parfitt puts in a performance as the bedridden Vera Donovan, which is the one time that Bates is slightly overshadowed.

Briefly, a middle-aged, working-class widow (Bates) in a small Maine town (where else, for SK?) is suspected of murdering her rich, elderly employer (Parfitt) in an apparently open and shut case. Christopher Plummer is the nasty lawman who is convinced she also killed her husband years before. Meanwhile, her estranged daughter from New York comes up to cover the story for a newspaper, and... well, you don't really need to know any more details before seeing the movie.

It's adapted from a Stephen King novel, and being a drama rather than a supernatural story, it has a flying headstart, being in the company of 'Green Mile', 'Stand By Me', and 'Shawshank Redemption' rather than 'Christine' or 'Salem's Lot'. Whereas it isn't in the exalted league of those movies, it's miles ahead of most of the horror adaptation of King stories. Take Bates out and it might be rather ordinary, but as it it, Dolores gets a very solid 7.0 from me.


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