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Purchase Dolores Claiborne (1995) Movie Online and Download - Taylor Hackford 🎥
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Taylor Hackford
Kathy Bates as Dolores Claiborne
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Selena St. George
Judy Parfitt as Vera Donovan
Christopher Plummer as Det. John Mackey
David Strathairn as Joe St. George
Eric Bogosian as Peter
John C. Reilly as Const. Frank Stamshaw
Ellen Muth as Young Selena
Bob Gunton as Mr. Pease
Roy Cooper as Magistrate
Wayne Robson as Sammy Marchant
Ruth Marshall as Secretary
Weldon Allen as Bartender
Tom Gallant as Searcher
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....
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Well-acted, decent movie, but the book is too good
Kathy Bates does an amazing job of portraying one of Stephen King's most powerful characters, and the supporting actors are also quite good. Hackford uses color really well to employ flashbacks quite efficiently. Ultimately however, if you've read the book, you'll probably find the script lacking a lot of elements, namely Dolores' two sons, that provide a lot of depth to the novel. And while the elements that ARE covered in the film are done so very well, the book is just far too good to have been turned into a movie. Personally, It's one of my favorite books. See the movie if you want, but please, READ THE BOOK FIRST!!!

Well worth a watch...Bates great again....
Okay, where do I start here? I like Stephen King (I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it - even though the fact that I read it on a sunny beach will colour my recollections). I like Kathy Bates and John C. Reilly. And I really like Jennifer Jason Leigh. Things are looking good for this movie so. And it delivered in almost every aspect. Almost. The film relays the story of a tough woman trying to get through her bad marriage, abusive husband (both to his wife and his daughter) and her penchant for being suspected of murder not once but twice in her lifetime.

Dolores (Bates) is accused of murdering the wealthy woman she works for as a maid. When her daughter Selena (Leigh) finds out that her mother is accused of this crime, she returns home from New York. Not exactly to support her Mom - she is a reporter looking for a story. The fact that Dolores was a suspect in her husband's demise some 19 years earlier hasn't helped her in this particular case or in her life in general.

The problem with most King adaps - is they can come across as trite and simplistic and what works on a page does not translate to the screen. There are exceptions of course - The Shining, The Dead Zone (terrific film), The Green Mile and of course The Shawshank Redemption. But for every Shawshank there is a 'Riding the Bullet' or a 'Maximum Overdrive'. Dolores Claiburne fits in the middle of these extremes.

The story is good, the acting is good and the direction is good (I particularly liked the way that the flashback scenes are in vivid, bright colours whereas the scenes set in the present are in cold, blue tones).

Bates is another Annie Wilkes type character here and she handles it just as well. She truly is a great actress and her portrayal of being a tough cookie with a strong heart was totally believable. Leigh is as intense as she always is. Her usual good looks washed away by the cold colours used by the lens to correctly depict her character as a washed-up, drugs-laden, hard drinking, lonely, bitter, sullen young woman. She has been eaten up by all sorts of insecurities buried so deep that even she has forgotten them over the years. Yet, in some way she still blames her mother. For Leigh (a beautiful woman IMHO) to allow herself to be shot in this way - pale face, lank hair, bad skin, chain-smoking - is testament to her commitment to the project. i.e. TOTAL. Strathairn is excellent as the evil husband - a truly unsavoury part. Plummer too, is good as the dogged, not-to-be-denied detective. As is Parfitt as the bitchy - yet ultimately generous - Vera.

The only gripe I have with the whole movie is the ending. The inquest seems tacked on, too short and not at all believable. And the last scene as Selena departs on the ferry is an anti-climax of the highest order.

Other than that - well worth a watch....7/10.
Kathy Bates great again
On an island in Maine, housekeeper Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) is detained after her employer Vera Donovan falls to her death. The mailman stops Dolores before she smashes Vera's head in with a rolling pin. In NYC, Dolores' journalist daughter Selena St. George (Jennifer Jason Leigh) receives a mysterious fax with a news report about the incident. She returns to her hometown to help her mother. Dolores' abusive drunken husband Joe St. George (David Strathairn) is revealed in flashbacks.

Kathy Bates is great once again in another adaptation of a Stephen King psychological thriller. There is nothing supernatural except for Bates' acting abilities. If there is a problem, it's a bit too long with so few thrilling moments. The reveals are terrific. Strathairn is a great villain. It would be better if the movie is tighter.
Don't be mistaken by the seemingly ordinary story
If there is one thing I always fear, than it must be movies about bad marriages, an abusive husband, child abuse ... How often do you get a good movie with such subjects. Not very often, because most of the time these are awful TV-movies that seem to be written at a rate of at least one an hour. Always following the same concept, always trying to make the poor viewer cry his eyes out while saying that that poor woman / child didn't deserve to be treated that bad. Now don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not saying that it should be tolerated. Men who do such awful things can't be punished hard enough, but the movies that are made about this subjects are complete crap most of the time.

"Dolores Claiborne" tells the story of a woman who is accused of murdering the wealthy woman she worked for as a maid in Maine. When her daughter Selena finds out that her mother is accused of this crime, she immediately returns home from New York, leaving her job as an important reporter behind for a while. But she doesn't return to support her mother as you might expect. No, she's almost certain that she did it and she seems to try to get a good story out of it. But gradually she finds out what really happened and in the meantime some awful things about Selena's troubled childhood, the awful family life,... come floating at the surface again.

I know that I said in the beginning of this review that most movies with such a subject are plain crap, but there are always expectations to every rule and "Dolores Claiborne" certainly is one of those exceptions. It was written by Stephen King and it shows. The man knows how to build up suspense and certainly can give you an uneasy feeling while reading his books or watching one of 'his' movies. And "Dolores Claiborne" has a lot more depth than you might expect at first. The only thing is that they have managed to disguise it, not giving away too much information at a time. Only at the end of the movie you'll fully understand what has happened and what the reason was for both women to react the way they did.

What I also liked, next to the story, was the way everything is shot. All the scenes in the present are shot in those cool blue tones, but these blend seamlessly into the flashbacks that were shot in vivid colors. This gives an extra touch to the story that certainly works. You know exactly what is the present and what is the past, but those colors also add a lot to the drama.

But the way a movie was shot alone doesn't make it good of course. That's what good actors who do some excellent things are for. And that's also exactly what you'll get from Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer... Jennifer Jason Leigh is nice as the daughter, but it's Kathy Bates and Christopher Plummer who give away the best performances in my opinion. Bates is stunning as the tormented woman who's personality seems so strong, while in reality she is a broken soul who wishes for nothing much but to die as soon as possible, so all her misery can end. And I also loved Plummer as Detective John Mackey who's hate against Dolores is so big, because she is the only spot on an almost spotless career. He has solved all his cases except for one and he'll not rest until he can send Dolores to jail.

All in all this is a very good and suspenseful movie that never tries to become a tearjerker, despite the heavy subject. It offers some great acting, nice photography and a good story. That's about all I can wish for in a movie and I give it at least a 7.5/10, maybe even an 8/10.
Great performances from two great actresses
While this isn't a film I'd watch often because of the subject matter it is none the less a brilliant film starring two great actresses on top form. There may not be vast amounts of action but that doesn't stop it being an exciting thriller which is fairly disturbing in places.

The film opens with two women struggling at the top of a flight of stairs, we can't see what is going on, just hear it. One of them falls and the other comes down the stairs, goes to the kitchen and gets a rolling pin, she stands over the fallen woman with the rolling pin over her head when the postman enters. This woman is the eponymous Dolores Claibourne played by the excellent Kathy Bates. The police suspect that Dolores has murdered her employer but don't have enough evidence to hold her. Somebody in the town sends a fax of the local newspaper report to Dolores' estranged daughter Selena, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is working as a reporter in New York, when she gets this she returns to Maine.

What follows is a gripping story which not only includes the present case but the death of Selena's father many years before. The police officer who investigated the earlier case was certain that Dolores had murdered her abusive husband but couldn't prove it, now investigating the second death he is determined that he will convict her. Much of the story is shown in flashback to when Selena was a child before her father died.

The acting to top notch throughout, not just the two leading ladies; David Strathairn as the abusive husband, Ellen Muth as the young Selena and Christopher Plummer as the detective stand out in particular. The juxtaposition of the grey and wet present with the bright and sunny flashback scenes means we are never in any doubt about which time period we are watching even when both periods are on the screen at the same time.
For the three women who act like bitches to survive!
It all starts with Dolores (Bates) wields a rolling pin and tries to finish the life of Vera (Parfitt), a decrepit lady in wheelchair, so the first thing jumped into my mind is, is this MISERY (1990, 8/10) part II, another Stephen King's creepy thriller starring Kathy Bates?

Yes, the movie will blow you away, yet in a very divergent way, DOLORES CLAIBORNE is a majestically hatched harangue to the male-dominant society with a pungent tint of misandry, and miraculously, as a male audience, I am not repelled at all, because a trio of actresses thoroughly win me over with their powerhouse rendition, they all act like a bitch to survive in the inequitable world, the undertone oozes with bone-chilling malignity which as if we are reaping our own consequences to disparage the worth of womanhood.

Director Taylor Hackford (Mr. Helen Mirren) maximizes the juicy script (adapted by Tony Gilroy with superb grasp on verbal tit-for-tat) with contrast palettes (seamlessly segue between bleak present and balmy past) to channel us into two unsolved death cases. 15 years later, Selena (Leigh), a young reporter in New York, reluctantly revisits her mother Dolores in remote Maine, who is accused of murdering the aforementioned Vera, a rich widow and the longtime employer of Dolores, who works as a maid in her house for over 20 years. Local detective John Mackey (Plummer) keeps his suspicious eyes on Dolores and steps up offensively, while the friction between the mother-daughter pair exacerbates since there is an irreconcilable one-sided estrangement (Selena to Dolores) or even hatred standing between them.

Soon what really troubles all these people comes to light, it is many many years ago during an eclipse day, Dolores' domestic abusive husband Joe (Strathairn, heinous, smug, but dangerously sexy) accidentally (or not?) fell to his death near their home, and Dolores gets away with it (and thus ruined Mackey's perfect career record), but the truth is never that simple, the justification and motivation behind a premeditated murder is converted to a self-defensive protection, it is a familial harassment with a much dark and more reprehensible secret, but the repercussions haunt and torture the pair for so many years although the maltreater bit the bullet long ago.

Firstly Kathy Bates is robbed for an Oscar nomination say the very least, compellingly affectionate and decisively bold as a desperate mother who will do anything to offer a better prospect for her daughter, a selfless love which she asks no recompense, even though Selena completely cuts her out of her life, she is just contented to collect her newspaper articles and be as proud as a mother can be. Bates is simply a nonesuch to be a big-screen diva with her killing bearing fluctuating between a vulnerable housewife and redoubtable matron.

Jennifer Jason Leigh, the most under-appreciated actress among her coeval, strikes as an unthankful and wayward stuck-up hipster at first, but she slowly unwinds her wound with aching perseverance and she is pretty amazing too, we are all fully aware there must be a reason behind all the bickering and rebuffs, then we discover her deepest trauma which she wholly obliterates, it hits like a big bang, and she generates wonderful luster of compassion no lesser than Bates.

The biggest surprise is the lesser-known theater actress Judy Parfitt, a bona-fide scene-stealer, plumb pivotal to the sinuous storyline, who registers unsettling incarnations during two different time frames, the younger Vera who is haughty and fastidious on the appearance, far-seeing and astute underneath; then the elder Vera, paralyzed and miserable, death is her only salvation and she wants to culminate it in her own way for the last time. Although the

She is my current win for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS of 1995 while Leigh comes strong as the third. Last but not the least, Christopher Plummer never fail to attain the limelight with his incisive gaze and lucid utterance, even the character is not particularly interesting.

DOLORES CLAIBORNE radiates phenomenal visual potency by juxtaposing the eclipse marvel with the accentuated action set piece, only when the sun is blocked by the moon, as if it symbolizes, that's the time the cold-blooded retribution can be consummated with heightened sentient venting! A truly remarkable movie and let's not diminish the merit of the perfectly aligned score by Danny Elfman.
A mature vision of psychological horror
A superb effort on all accounts, "Dolores Claiborne" is the kind of horror movie intended for adult audiences despite a lack of gushing blood and bodies stuffed into woodchippers. The decades of suffering endured by the title character is illustrated deftly through the performance of Bates and through subtle touches (the monotone colors her present-day life are presented in, for one). The psychological (and physical) abuse Dolores Claiborne receives wears on her noticeably, creating a sympathy for her without being overly manipulative. In a nutshell, send the kiddies out to the theater to see the latest "Scream" clone, and rent "Dolores Claiborne" for the adults...that should make everyone happy.
Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.
A talented group of filmmakers take a particularly interesting Stephen King novel, one that basically amounts to one long monologue by the main character, and fleshes it out quite well, giving each of the main characters their own chance to shine. It's a long but heavily engrossing story of damaged people affected deeply by the past and living in a dreary present, and a story of the fractured relationship between a long estranged mother and daughter with differing memories of long ago events. Eventually truths are revealed and they are able to finally able to make some sort of attempt at coping.

Kathy Bates, who'd performed so superbly and memorably as the villainess in the previous King adaptation "Misery", here plays a more sympathetic person, the title woman who's had to put up with a lot of garbage during her life. In the present day she stands accused of murdering her longtime employer, Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt). This brings Dolores's bitter daughter Selena (Jennifer Jason Leigh) home for the first time in a while. Selena still hasn't forgiven Dolores for the past, and a weary old detective bearing a grudge (Christopher Plummer) is determined that this time he will prove Dolores to be a killer.

Set on a fictional Maine island dubbed Little Tall Island, this was filmed in Canadas' province of Nova Scotia (which is close enough to Maine geographically), and there's plenty of atmosphere to be enjoyed in the presentation. The films' biggest visual hook is the way that director Taylor Hackford and director of photography Gabriel Beristain differentiate points in time, by having the '75 period be bright and sunny and well lit to having lots of overcast skies and a somber mood to permeate the '93 scenes.

The tale itself is one of Kings' best, and it receives respectful treatment from Hackford and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who with the assistance of some very good actors create a rich gallery of personalities. Bates, Leigh, and Plummer are all wonderful; David Strathairn is very much slime personified as the worthless husband / father, Parfitt is a delight as the rich society type with more heart than she likes to reveal, Ellen Muth is touching as the teen aged version of Selena, and John C. Reilly is likable as well meaning constable Frank Stamshaw.

Everything is further enhanced by a haunting and emotional score composed by Danny Elfman and good visual effects; the climactic solar eclipse is well realized on film.

Those King fans disappointed with the quality of some of the films based on his work need only check out or revisit this resonant gem. Dolores is one of those great King characters whom you know you'll remember.

Eight out of 10.
Kathy Bates is wonderful as usual, but it is hard to believe David Strathairn was her bully husband and Meryl Streep's wimpy husband in "The River Wild!"
Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh are a mother and daughter team in "Dolores Claiborne" traumatized by the past and present. Dolores Claiborne aka Dolores St. George is a long-time resident of Little Tall Island in Maine. JJL is her daughter, Selena a troubled journalist. She is played by Ellen Muth as a teenager. Dolores works for this horrid rich woman named Vera Donavan (Judy Parfitt)who is very particular about how the chores around her huge mansion are done (i.e., mildew is grounds for firing, "6 pins, Dolores!"--for when Dolores hangs the laundry on the lines in front of the house.

Dolores has no relief at home. Joe St. George, her alcoholic, brutal husband talks in a strong Maine accent with a slur to his speech. He abuses her by smacking her with a piece of wood. Dolores can't take it anymore and smashes him in the face with a vase. Selena sees this and her mother tells her to go to bed. Dolores defends herself with an ax and neither of them want to use it on the other.

Dolores's misery doesn't end. After years of being Vera's housekeeper, she is demoted to being the woman's nurse. Vera is stroke ridden and she falls down the stairs. Vera begs Dolores to finish her off with a rolling pin and the mailman comes by thinking Dolores killed Vera. Detective Mackey played by the always great Christopher Plummer and an officer played by John C. Reilly come to Vera's house and put everything in plastic bags to keep the evidence intact.

Pretty soon, Selena comes over because of a fax about the alleged murder she receives in New York City where she lives now. Selena is a prescription-drug abusing, chain smoking, troubled journalist who is quite bitter and wants nothing to do with her mother and past life on the island. Soon, it is revealed that Joe St. George was probably murdered by Dolores during a solar eclipse in the 1970s. Dolores found out he was stealing money from their daughter's bank account and that is not the real catalyst for Dolores's rage. She finds out from her their daughter that the father has been molesting Selena. Dolores makes Joe chase her across the lawn and he falls to his death in a hole in the yard the two of them didn't know about. Vera's death was also an accident because she fell down the stairs after a physical altercation with Dolores.

All of the performers were excellent in this movie about trauma and coming to terms with the past. Dolores is played to perfection by Kathy Bates and JJL as Selena is also very good! Christopher Plummer as Detective Mackey is determined to see justice done and John C. Reilly in a dramatic role is a surprise as well. I was amazed by David Strathairn as Joe St. George. One year earlier he was Meryl Streep's wimpy, studious husband in "The River Wild" and now he is a complete total opposite as Joe St. George. It takes a lot of range for an actor to play a role that is a total 180 degrees from what he played earlier!
Performances Avoided by Oscars?
Dolores Claiborne (1995): Dir: Taylor Hackford / Cast: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, David Strathairn, Judy Parfitt: Compelling thriller about endurable secrets. Kathy Bates stars as Dolores Claiborne who is in police custody for the murder of her boss. She claims to be innocent even though she was witnessed holding a rolling pin over the victim's head. Her daughter Selena arrives home due to an anonymous fax. Christopher Plummer portrays the lawyer out to prove Claiborne guilty. Their hatred dates back to the 1963 eclipse when he was unable to prove that she murdered her abusive husband. Director Taylor Hackford does a remarkable job going from past to present using lighting. Powerful performance by Bates whose past harbours scars but her future contains hope with a confession to her daughter to unearth buried pain. Jennifer Jason Leigh is flawless as her daughter Selena who uses pills to block out scars yet come to grips when she is her mother's last line of defence. Plummer is outstanding as the cynical lawyer whose only loss is to Claiborne but can he risk losing again? David Strathairn is vile as Claiborne's abusive liquor guzzling husband whose death is questionable moral. Judy Parfitt plays Claiborne's boss Vera Donovan whose presence is icy yet steers Claiborne to her ultimate option. Powerful and compelling film regarding carefully hidden sins. Score: 8 / 10
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