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Dolores Claiborne (1999)

Kathy Bates , Jennifer Jason Leigh , Taylor Hackford  |  R |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)

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Dolores Claiborne + Misery + Stephen King's It
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly
  • Directors: Taylor Hackford
  • Writers: Tony Gilroy
  • Producers: Taylor Hackford, Charles Mulvehill
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630523650X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,158 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dolores Claiborne" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh. The unsolved murder of a small-town New England man once again disrupts the lives of his troubled daughter and her mother-still the number-one murder suspect. 1995/color/131 min/R/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING -- SHOULD HAVE WON OSCARS! February 18, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
WOW...I won't go into any more detail than the previous reviewers did, as they have summed up my feelings too on this remarkable, underappreciated and underrated movie. Oscars should have gone to director Taylor Hackford, the cinematographer, Danny Elfman's haunting score, and the acting, oh my. Of course, Kathy Bates is overwhelming; Jennifer Jason Leigh has never been better; Christopher Plummer certainly sheds his "Sound of Music" persona; Judy Parfit is unbelievably effective as bitchy Vera, but her portrayal is so dimensional that we come to care for her; Ms. Parfit's scene with the pig musicbox playing "Happy Days Are Here Again" is brilliant. Also superb is Ellen Muth, who plays the young Selena, and John Reilly as the sheriff, who stands up to Plummer's state detective. Of course, one can't overlook David Straitharn as Dolores' cruel and abusive husband. His performance is so convincing that I don't think I'll like him in anything! My only regret is I didn't see this one earlier. Can we go back and do the 1995 Oscars over??
I loved this movie!!!! Stephen King should rank this and "The Green Mile" as his crowning adapted movies!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undiscovered classic June 2, 2000
Nothing in the title of the film, or the premise, allows the watcher to be prepared for the virtual punch his powerhouse movie gives us. Led by much-deserving Oscar winner Kathy Bates and a sullen and moody Jennifer Jason Leigh, the cast brings to life several characters trapped in a story of denial, repression, and ultimately, the strength that women must have to endure life.
This film has been overlooked by many people, including myself, for many reasons. Kathy Bates in another Stephen King story seemed to repetitive from her amazing performance in "Misery". But fair warning, she is not Nurse Annie here, but a completely amazing and hard woman who deals with the trauma in her life head on. I also didn't appreciate the magical artistry of this film until buying the DVD and listening to Taylor Hackford give his wordy and brilliant commentary to the film.
I'm very glad to have purchased this DVD, and I feel you will as well!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A finely crafted film indeed... January 3, 2000
Let me admit this: I have never read the book and I probably never will, as I am not much of a Stephen King fan. Therefore I may not have the same view on this film, as those of you who have.
Dolores Claiborne, as a movie, is surprisingly well made. I have no doubt that this is Taylor Hackford's best film yet. I am especially impressed with the visual effects he used, during the flashbacks. He paints a vivid picture of the world of Dolores Claiborne: A world of sorrow and pain. He pulls the audience into this world and never lets go. Thus, he brings us through Dolores'life and make us feel her pain.
Another great thing about this film, is the acting. Kathy Bate's is as usual brilliant. CAN she even mess up a single line? Jennifer Jason Leigh plays as she is supposed to;nothing more, nothing less. Which in itself should be considered a superb performance. And I was also really pleased by the remarkable performance of Judy Parfitt, the actress who plays Vera. Truly a great portrayl of a women who is as hurt and angry as Dolores. The scene in which she reveals her deepest, darkest secret to Dolores (you who have seen the film will know what I am talking about) is truly one of the best scenes from a movie the last 20 years! She should have gotten an Oscar! Plummer, as detective Mackey is also extremely good. Especially in the finale of the film. Very intense!
However, I feel there is one element of this film that so far has been largely overlooked by the other reviewers: Danny Elfman's superb score. Indeed, this score should be considered one of the finest EVER. Right up there with Herrmann's PSYCHO and Steiner's KING KONG. And I seriously mean that.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bates is Best! March 21, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Geez,this is undoubtedly one of the best modern films I have ever seen, and I am one picky bugger. Bates outdoes herself as Claiborne, surpassing her role as Wilkes in "Misery". Critics have said Bates was trying to cash in on the success of Misery by playing Dolores Claiborne,what are they thinking. This film and its characters have so much depth and detail it just can't be compared to another work. The direction and cinematography are hauntingly beautiful,a mood is set in this film rarely tapped into just by the scenery. Set in Maine, the dark and moody tale by the ocean suits the script, spooky. This is a much overlooked and underappreciated film which I would rank Masterpiece. It intriques the viewer and sends chills without gore. Just a good old plain fashion murder mystery, Hollywood should sit up and take note off this work, that a film can be superior without special effects, all it needs is a good script and Kathy Bates...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Kathy Bates. We all know who she is. She starred in the classic movie misery as a mentally distured nurse and fan of her favorite writer whom she rescues and then he is help captive in her home. But Dolores Claiborne is different. It's a story about a maid

(bates) who is accused of murder for the second time, first it was her husband, then her employer (Vira Donovon) who she had worked for for many years and then became her caregiver. It's a myserty/drama and a very enjoyable film even though there are some dark moments when Dolores is having flashbacks of her alcoholic abusive husband, and her daughter who she tried to protect. Vira Donovon makes the movie special because not only is her acting oscar worthy but her character is very likeable even though she appears to be a rich bitch at the beginning, but as you get to know her character you realize she's a good person, but just doesn't take crap from anyone. So is dolores claiborne, and it's really about women. How women are treated and these two women became such good friends because not only were they alike, but they had some similar problems. It's about friendship, female bonding, and what can i say GIRLPOWER! Being tough, but doing what's right. Being a good person but learning from your mistakes. Looking out for yourself, but help others every once and a while. And never judge a book by it's cover. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays selena st george, dolores's daughter who has emotional problems and is unstable but we all find out why. This movie is underated. Maybe many of you think it's about hating men, but not really. It just focus's on women and their strength and weaknesses, and sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Dolore's husband is suppose to be an unpleasant character and you can't help but not like him at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good drama. Kathy Bates is very hood
Published 7 days ago by Mary M Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Night with the wife
Excellent movie, we loved it!
Published 9 days ago by Tim Fugate
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
kathy bates rocks this movie all star performance
Published 12 days ago by TIGHTLINES
4.0 out of 5 stars Kathy Bates nails it! ~ A Subtle King story Well Told !!! A-
A great tale, very well unfolded in cinema. Filmaking craft was mature. Use of color and shooting styles was better than normal for King productions. Read more
Published 19 days ago by hawkeye
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another one of Kathy Bates great movies. Such a great actress.
Published 1 month ago by Debby S. Verrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film.
Published 1 month ago by Andrea Sheridan
5.0 out of 5 stars and again at her best with Jennifer Jason Leigh in this noir-ish piece
Kathy Bates in another Stephen King film, and again at her best with Jennifer Jason Leigh in this noir-ish piece.
Published 1 month ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation
One of my favorite movies. Powerful performances and very true to King's novel.
Published 1 month ago by Rachel Turnage
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Jason Kaluhiwa
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Moving. MUST WATCH
If you haven't lived through or seen another go through domestic violence or suffer the effects of sexual child abuse, this is a movie that definitely gives you insight and how its... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Saul Salcedo
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