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Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995]

54 customer reviews

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Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] + Misery  [1991] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, Judy Parfitt, David Strathairn
  • Directors: Taylor Hackford
  • Writers: Stephen King, Tony Gilroy
  • Producers: Taylor Hackford, Charles Mulvehill, Gina Blumenfeld, Michael Kelly
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Aug. 2000
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004U8NH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,185 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) was accused of killing her abusive husband twenty years ago, but the court's findings were inconclusive and she was allowed to walk free. Now she has been accused of killing her employer, Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt), and this time there is a witness who can place her at the scene of the crime. Things look bad for Dolores, the memory of the first murder seemingly confirming her guilt in the second. But when her daughter Selena (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a successful Manhattan magazine writer, returns to cover the story, the truth about the family's past gradually comes to light.

From Amazon.co.uk

Dark secrets, family torments and two murders swirl around the stoic, hardened figure of Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates in one of her most magnetic screen performances), a housekeeper accused of murdering her employer of 22 years. Then there was that timely accident that took Dolores's husband (David Strathairn) during the solar eclipse of 1975. Yet with all the sombre suffering that follows Dolores like a miasma of pain, none of it compares with the heartache of a relationship she has with her grown daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Although Dolores Claiborne is rife with horror, it is not of the supernatural kind, but rather of the torment only real people can impose on one another. The script, adapted from Stephen King's novel, successfully weaves several plot threads and psychological dilemmas throughout this engrossing tale without diminishing any of them. Director Taylor Hackford not only culls intense performances from his cast, but also brings to life the haunting, autumnal landscape around them. When the film's best-kept secret is finally given up, it occurs under the surreal backdrop of a solar eclipse: a truly sensational piece of cinematography that crowns a movie replete with indelible images and intense emotions. --Rochelle O'Gorman

On the DVD: In Dolores Claiborne, the autumnal landscape of Nova Scotia is as much a principal character as any of the actors. As a result, the film is crucially dependent on the subtleties of the cinematographer's sense of time and place. The superb clarity of the widescreen DVD transfer only enhances the movie's steely cool atmosphere. Director Taylor Hackford gives a detailed and illuminating commentary--elucidating the cast's performance and explaining the careful photography of every scene. Though the commentary is the only extra feature, it adds more real value than most two disc sets can manage. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 29 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD
Who is Dolores ? - a greedy monster and a murderer or an unhappy woman for whom an accident is sometimes a best friend? Kathy Bates received the Oscar for her portrayal of a psychotic nurse in another King's adaptation, "Misery" but I believe that Dolores Claiborne is her best role. She carries the film and I don't think that any other actress could fit the part as well as Bates did which brings the question - maybe King wrote the book with her in mind, who knows? Judy Parfitt is extremely well cast as Vera Donovan, an arrogant ice queen, who was capable of understanding and care for Dolores and her daughter and who knew too well about loneliness and despair. David Strathairn deserves high praise for his Joe St. George, Dolores's abusive husband and Selena's father from hell.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By christopher kaye on 15 April 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anything written by Stephen King deserves the utmost respect - he's a genius imo & Kathy Bates gives an Oscar standard performance in the lead role.
The husband deserved everything he got......
Great film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
A seriously underrated movie.

Direction is first class, photography is brilliant, particularly in the flashbacks where it helps create mood.

The cast is splendid. I agree with most other reviewers that Kathy Bates is on top form, but also look for a star turn from our own Judy Parfitt.

The whole thing has a quality that feels more British than Hollywood. Maybe that is because the setting in Maine is as close to us as it is to California.

I'm afraid to say much about the plot in case you have never seen it, but it is a clever and engaging story.

For the price of a drink, this has to be a must.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 July 2012
Format: DVD
Dolores Claiborne is directed by Taylor Hackford and adapted to screenplay by Tony Gilroy from the novel of the same name written by Stephen King. It stars Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Strathairn, John C. Riley, Christopher Plummer and Judy Parfitt. Music is scored by Danny Elfman and cinematography by Gabriel Beristain.

Plot sees Leigh as Selena St. George, a big-city reporter who travels to her home town island in Maine when her mother is accused of murdering the elderly woman that she was caring for. Her estranged mother, Dolores (Bates), is also widely suspected to have killed her husband and Selena's father some 20 years earlier, even though that was ruled as an accident. As mother and daughter come together, secrets of the past merge with the harshness of the present.

A terrificly well acted and well mounted drama doing justice to a great book, Dolores Claiborne thrusts family trauma to the front of an on going murder investigation. King adaptations are well known for being very hit and miss, but this is certainly one of the better ones, it see a shift from standard horror monsters, to monsters of a different kind, the human ones. Played out to a perpetually dank backdrop of rain, grey skies and a sea devoid of beauty, film unfolds to reveal the sadness of one family's roots, where emotional discord hangs heavy, constantly. The structure is well handled by Hackford, as present day scenes merge into those from the past, giving off a perfectly ghost like feel to the plotting. Plummer's weary detective John Mackey is a bit too underwritten for my liking, and the time afforded the pre-trial debate and inquest is simply not enough to make the required impact once all the revelations come tumbling forward. The latter unforgivable given the film runs at over two hours.

However, slight irks aside, this is still great stuff and if only for the trio of lead lady performances then this is a must see for the drama seeking film fan. 7.5/10
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Feb. 2001
Format: DVD
This must be one of Stephen King's greatest adaptations to the big screen. The cast are superb, there are shocks and surprises galore, and the entire thing just reeks with style. Fabulous. A must-see for any movie fans of any age (within legal restrictions!) Kathy Bates is devine.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Lore on 14 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
There are no extra's on this dvd to speak of (except for a trailer that's entertaining, but not informative) and while I would have really enjoyed some 'making-of' featurettes, they would have been completely superfluous. This is because the Director's Commentary by Taylor Hackford is without doubt the best commentary on a dvd I've ever heard- he has such an enormous passion and pride for the film that it's easy to see how this became such a gem in the history of cinema. The details he recalls from the time he spent on this project and his musings on the many film-making processes involved are both very relevent to the film and utterly involving.

This is one of my top-5 films of all time, but even if it wasn't I don't think I could be anything other than bowled over by this director's vision and enthusiasm, and also vivid and absorbing audio presence. If you choose to purchase this dvd having never before seen 'Dolores Claiborne' I can assure you that you'll definitely want to learn more about its' making (if not, you will be denying yourself a great insight and pleasure). So although you won't be getting a multitude of extra's, if you choose to turn to the commentary page you will at least learn more about this film than probably even the actor's themselves.
As to the film itself- if you havn't seen it before, you've probably been mislead by trailers that have marketed this as horror or murder mystery and while it does contain elements of these genres, with such tour-de-force performances from all key players- this is primarily a great drama.
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