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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who is Dolores ?
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...
Published on 29 Sept. 2007 by Jay

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Kathy Bates plays a great part. Brilliant actress. Enjoyed the film, but the books much better.
Published 7 months ago by Mr. S. Mckenzie


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who is Dolores ?, 29 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb story & acting, 15 April 2010
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This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto., 14 July 2012
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, 17 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, classy, entertainment, 3 Aug. 2007
By 
David R. Bishop "Bishbaby" (Plymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece in every sense of the word, 14 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (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. While Kathy Bates (in the unforgettable title role) steals the show, Jenifer Jason Leigh is a magnetic presence and Christopher Plummer both solid and intense and all are appropriatley bitter from the various and disturbing traumas they experience.
As the director informs us in his commentary- this film secured zero oscar nominations, recieved no awards and most surprisingly- very little praise or even recognition upon its release- watch and enjoy and realise the travesty!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than Misery!, 6 May 2012
By 
N. Kilbey "losalamos" (Wantage, Oxon, UK) - See all my reviews
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What enables Stephen King to write so many great stories? Whatever it is let us be thankful, let us also be thankful that so many of his stories are transferred so brilliantly to film. Dolores Claiborne is no exception, I really believe that this is better than Misery (and I thought that was a great film). There is something more thoughtful and sensitive about this one. The performances are riveting, recently Oscared Christopher Plummer as the upholder of truth and justice is magnificent, David Strathairn makes your skin crawl and Jennifer Jason leigh is a china doll, tough as nails on the outside but an emotional wreck on the inside. However Kathy Bates takes the biscuit, defiant, sad, strong, Sassy, sensitive, caring but ultimately unable to protect the one thing in life most important to her, her daughter Salena.

This is not a barrel of laughs, it is gritty, harsh and complex. Everything a great story and film should be!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEEPLY MOVING AND A VERY STRONG CAST . . ., 11 July 2014
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne (DVD)
This film caught my eye because Jennifer Jason Leigh was in and I love her in many films and I was not disappointed. On and even more of a plus sign the great Kathy Bates was in it as Dolores Claiborne a woman accused of killing her employer, a hard sometimes vicious woman Vera (Judy Parfitt.). With the police (Christopher Plummer) .The movie adapted from Stephen Kings book, was amazingly moving and could it could have almost been written with Kathy in mind. Jennifer stars as Selena her estranged daughter as she comes to her mothers side. Flash backs of when they were a young family to the present. Overall I give it 5 stars - fabulous . x x x
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Under-Rated Film, 28 Sept. 2002
By 
S. Hacking (Watford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Dolores Claiborne has to be one of the most satisfying experiences on film since The Shawshank Redemption. Taylor Hackford expertly mixes past and present flashback/forward with use of clever lighting and colour - and sometimes lack of colour. The acting throughout is first rate - Kathy Bates as the persecuted Dolores, Jennifer Jason Leigh as the tortured drug and alcohol abusing daughter, Christopher Plummer gloats as the policeman determined to see Dolores sent to jail. One you definately will want to watch time and time again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute and Total Gem., 11 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
It's a practically flawless film.
See it. Do.
Very rarely do I heap such praise: all aspects of this film make it an absolute and total gem. Rare too that nearly ALL the main actors give such stunning perfomances that I find it difficult to say which, if any, is the best: perhaps Kathy Bates, but only by a fine margin. Keen storytelling/brilliant use of flashback/genuine mystery/difficult subject matter/danger/the flaws of human nature...so much more: a veritable whole host of other aspects make this one unmissable
Repeat: SEE IT.
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Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995]
Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995] by Taylor Hackford (DVD - 2000)
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