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White Palace [DVD] [1991]

Part of our Four DVDs for £10 offer*

Susan Sarandon , James Spader , Luis Mandoki    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: £4.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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White Palace [DVD] [1991] + Secretary [2002] [DVD] + 9.1/2 Weeks [1985] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander, Kathy Bates, Eileen Brennan
  • Directors: Luis Mandoki
  • Writers: Alvin Sargent, Glenn Savan, Ted Tally
  • Producers: Amy Robinson, Bill Finnegan, Griffin Dunne, Mark Rosenberg
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Aug 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000UM0OO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,617 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Glenn Savan's depressing and self-loathing novel about a 27-year-old upper-class Jewish widower mired in self-pity after his beloved wife dies, and who finds love and sexual rebirth with a trailer-trash older woman, was brought to the big screen by the competent director Luis Mandoki (When a Man Loves a Woman, Message in a Bottle). But the savage irony in Savan's book has been face-lifted by screenwriters Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs) and Alvin Sargent (Ordinary People) into something else entirely: what passes for low-rent "slumming" in Hollywood means hiring sexy Susan Sarandon to play Nora Baker, the poor, uneducated 43-year-old waitress in a White Palace burger joint who strikes up an unlikely relationship with sad Max Baron (James Spader). Widower Max attends a bachelor party for best pal Neil (Jason Alexander) and discovers that the local White Palace has stiffed the boys a whopping six burgers. Max barges into the joint, bent on getting his money back, and meets a testy Nora, who is bemused at the young man's insolence. While driving home, Max stops abruptly at a bar for a drink. Inside, Nora is nursing a vodka and takes a shine to the tuxedo-clad, handsome, and morose younger man. He gives her a lift, she seduces him, and the rest of the movie examines how two such opposites in manners and morals can find happiness. The only common bond they have is great sex and a private tragedy. White Palace nudges at the dark journey and the smashing of illusion that was at the heart of the novel, but there is still a fairy-tale element to the film that negates the earthy essence that distinguished the book. In Mandoki's vision, White Palace is about overcoming class, family, and outside opinion to find true love. In Savan's book, Max wastes into decline while Nora ultimately thrives in the quest for truth, redemption, and self-forgiveness. She becomes his salvation only after he stops hating himself. But mainstream Hollywood shuns making "protagonists" so mad, bad, or sad, and as such, too much glitter is tossed on Spader, while Sarandon, as usual, is the only one who seems to embody and understand her character's angst. She deserved her Oscar for Nora, not the nun in Dead Man Walking. --Paula Nechak

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), German ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Italian ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Spanish ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Arabic ( Subtitles ), Danish ( Subtitles ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), Finnish ( Subtitles ), French ( Subtitles ), German ( Subtitles ), Hebrew ( Subtitles ), Italian ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Portuguese ( Subtitles ), Russian ( Subtitles ), Swedish ( Subtitles ), Turkish ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN, SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Screenwriters Ted Tally and Alvin Sargent adapted the novel by Glenn Savan into this intelligent comedy-drama about a May-December romance where the woman is the senior partner. James Spader is Max Baron, a 27-year-old St. Louis advertising executive who has completely shut himself off from the world in the two years since the auto accident death of his wife. When he meets free-spirited, 43-year-old burger joint waitress Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon), his attraction to the earthy, outspoken woman is immediate and overpowering. The difference in age isn't their only obstacle happiness: Nora's into Marilyn Monroe, drinking beer, and lives in Dogtown, the city's low-rent district, while Max is cultured, sophisticated, and wealthy. Despite their differences, Max and Nora are alike in their suffering and in their deep need for connection, but their charged relationship is put to the emotional test when it becomes clear that Max is hiding his affair with Nora from his upper middle-class, Jewish social circle. White Palace co-stars Renée Taylor, Eileen Brennan, Kathy Bates, Jason Alexander, and Corey Parker.
SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Golden Globes, ...White Palace

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Hot Passion 27 Feb 2007
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is unusual - it succeeds in being both romantic and extremely erotic. Its also a very enjoyable film for both women and men -for women because unusually the man is much younger than the woman; and what man could fail to find Susan Sarandon extremely easy on the eye. A cynical part of me always says at the end of the film "I give them six months till the novelty of the sex wears off and he leaves"; but still it remains a totally watchable film with a classic line by Susan Sarandon when she opens the door to the eager James Spader - simply "I'm 43". So what Susan, go for it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good entertainment, bit of a surprise. 7 April 2011
I got this for my partner along with the paperback. I thought it was going to be a load of girlie girlie nonsense. Yes, it has that in abundance, but to my surprise it was very watcable and very entertaining. Put it this way, I did not fall asleep once!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warm- Hearted Ramantic Movie 11 April 2011
White Palace (1990)

Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) is a 43 years old waitress working at a hamburger joint called "The White Palace" and Max Baron (James Spader) is a successful 27 years old advertising executive. The film shows how they accidentally meet and how their relationship develops. I had, however, a rather strange feeling, as the film went on, that the relationship was doomed: As individuals, they both had to carry their own emotional baggage and, beside the relatively unimportant age difference, they led distinctively contrasting lifestyles, and had very different backgrounds. For me the movie would have made a more realistic sense, had it ended differently. But the film ending is pure Hollywood.

The director, Luis Mandoki, did a decent job in adapting Glenn Savan's novel to the screen, while the two leads were rather good. Sarandon was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (1991), but won the London Critics Circle Film Award (1992) for her portrayal of Nora. The Movie grossed $ 17,487,531 in the US.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Celebration of relationships 4 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film runs you through all the reasons why some relationships should not work and in so doing makes you examine prejudice from different angles. It is an adult film and, as such, can also deal with sex in a relationship and how important that is. Having set all that boring stuff aside it is very enjoyable and well worth watching.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure gold! 20 Jan 2006
To any fan of James Spader a justification for watching this movie would be completely unecessary. One of Spader's finest performances as grieving Max, who finds love and happiness again in the most unlikely of places. For anyone new to Spader's work, this film is a touching story of a relationship which breaks the mould and defies convention, with an excellent cast and good supporting music and writing. It's a film guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Oldie 14 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am sometimes reminded of films I watched years ago so am then happy to find them on Amazon so I can watch them again. I remembered the storyline of this well and remember back when I first watched it I also purchased the book it was based on although the film doesn't follow the book to the letter as the book didn't have a happy ending!

I like both Susan and James as actors. Their onscreen chemistry in this film is believable. James' character Max, lost his wife at a young age. He's Jewish. He meets Sarandon's character Nora in a bar and she gets him drunk. He goes home with her and they have sex but there isn't much of a connection because he's thinking of his late wife. However, he returns again so she makes him aware of her age (she's 43, he's 27). At first it seems like he's just using her for sex but a relationship develops between them and he learns that Nora has also experienced loss in her life. They are complete opposites but somehow they connect.

Nora begins to realise that Max is keeping her a secret from his friends and family so when she confronts him he lets her meet them which is a cringeworthy encounter! Watching this again, it didn't seem dated. Although I'm sure when I first watched it, it was an 18 Certificate but how times have changed as the sex scenes now seem tame and it's a 15 certificate!

Enjoyable romantic film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Older Women Marrying Younger Men Can Work Well. 10 Jun 2014
By H. A. Weedon VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
White Palace is a convincingly acted, well directed film that accurately portrays the the more often than realised occurrence of a younger man falling in love with an older woman. A famous case of this kind of thing happening was the marriage of the famous Eighteenth Century Doctor Samuel Johnson when he was 25 to Elisabeth Porter who, at 46, was 21 years older than he was. It was a love match and they were very happy together. Johnson, who affectionately called her 'Tetty', was very sad when she died and never had any interest in marrying anyone else.

This film wins because it doesn't try to gloss over anything. The case of a younger man (James Spader) distressed had losing his wife is accurately portrayed as is the lead up to his meeting the older woman convincingly acted by Susan Sarandon. Not only is she at least 15 years older than him, she is also not up to the level of his social strata. Realising this, she tries to disappear, but he eventually finds her again and love triumphs.

We may well ask: all very well, but will it last? Well, of course, we don't need to know that. What we do know is that this kind of match certainly does last for some couples. If it lasted for Samuel Johnson, it can last for others. Anyway, it's a lovely, well made, well acted film. I've had my copy of it for some time now and I've watched it several times. It's the kind of film that inspires us to always strive to overcome problems and do better with our lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Total fiasco DVD with garbled unaudible sound track. Should not have been available.
Published 9 days ago by George E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent movie - wrapping and delivery good
Published 11 days ago by Maxine Clarke
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much.
Old film, medioca storyline. Ok in parts, something you could watch on the tele.

Susan Sarandon makes this film. Easy to watch.
Published 12 days ago by film fan 66
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait and see
Not watched it yet forgot about it brought on a whime can't comment yet but keeps coming up should be good let u know later
Published 3 months ago by K. Blundell
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
It's going to be difficult to put enough words into the comments section but if you were thinking of buying it I would think again
Published 6 months ago by Norman E. Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see film
White Palace has everything on it! You will laugh, cry and cheer for the lives of the characters on this film. It touches on serious life situations in a warm and very sincere way. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Evilin Suamir de Souza e Silva
4.0 out of 5 stars a provocative drama
white palace strengths are the two leads in james spader and susan sarandon, both are splendid in what is a provocative drama with the ending that made me laugh.
Published 6 months ago by matthew smith
5.0 out of 5 stars white palace
it's lovely to know that you can find happiness in the arms of someone else when the relationship that your in hits rock bottom and when you think you couldn't find love somewhere... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Miss Jenny M Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent acting, good story
Bought this copy as a gift for a friend as I really enjoyed my own copy. Good acting. Lots of questions about what people want from life and how much immediate society influences... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jaysview
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favourite films
this is a film for any one who is romantic.....its racy but done really well....both actors are superb in their roles
Published 13 months ago by lovebeauty
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