A big-city reporter travels to the small town where her mother has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

  • HDSD
  • Mar 24, 1995
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Christopher PlummerActor

    Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born in Toronto, Ontario. He is the only child of Isabella Mary (Abbott), a secretary to the Dean of Sciences at McGill University, and John Orme Plummer, who sold securities and stocks. He is a great-grandson of John Abbott, who was Canada's third Prime Minister (from 1891 to 1892), and a great-great-great-grandson of Anglican clergyman John Bethune. He has Scottish, English, and Anglo-Irish ancestry. Plummer was raised in Senneville, Quebec, by Montreal. Until the 2009 Academy Awards were announced, it could be said about Plummer that he was the finest actor of the post-World War II period to fail to get an Academy Award. In that, he was following in the footsteps of the late great John Barrymore, whom Plummer so memorably portrayed on Broadway in a one-man show that brought him his second Tony Award. In 2010, Plummer finally got an Oscar nod for his portrayal of another legend, Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station (2009). Two years later, the first paragraph of his obituary was written when the 82-year-old Plummer became the oldest person in Academy history to win an Oscar. He won for playing a senior citizen who comes out as gay after the death of his wife in the movie Beginners (2010). As he clutched his statuette, the debonaire thespian addressed it thusly: "You're only two years older than me darling, where have you been all of my life?" Plummer then told the audience that at birth, "I was already rehearsing my Academy acceptance speech, but it was so long ago mercifully for you I've forgotten it." The Academy Award was a long time in coming and richly deserved. Aside from the youngest member of the Barrymore siblings (which counted Oscar-winners Ethel Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore in their number), Christopher Plummer is the premier Shakespearean actor to come out of North America in the 20th century. He was particularly memorable as Hamlet, Iago and Lear, though his Macbeth opposite Glenda Jackson was -- and this was no surprise to him due to the famous curse attached to the "Scottish Play" -- a failure. Plummer also has given many fine portrayals on film, particularly as he grew older and settled down into a comfortable marriage with his third wife Elaine. He thanked her from the stage during the 2012 Oscar telecast, quipping that she "deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life." Like another great stage actor, Richard Burton, the younger Plummer failed to connect with the screen in a way that would make him a star. Dynamic on stage, the charisma failed to transfer through the lens onto celluloid. Burton's early film career, when he was a contract player at 20th Century-Fox, failed to ignite despite his garnering two Oscar nominations early on. He did not become a superstar until the mid-1960s, after hooking up with Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra (1963). It was Liz whom he credited with teaching him how to act on film. Christopher Plummer never succeeded as a leading man in films. Perhaps if he had been born earlier, and acted in the studio system of Hollywood's golden age, he could have been carefully groomed for stardom. As it was, he shared the English stage actors' disdain -- and he was equally at home in London as he was on the boards of Broadway or on-stage in his native Canada -- for the movies, which did not help him in that medium, as he has confessed. As he aged, Plummer excelled at character roles. He was always a good villain, this man who garnered kudos playing Lucifer on Broadway in Archibald Macleish's Pulitzer Prize-winning "J.B.". Though he likely always be remembered as "Captain Von Trapp" in the atomic bomb-strength blockbuster The Sound of Music (1965) (a film he publicly despised until softening his stance in his autobiography "In Spite of Me" (2008)), his later film work includes such outstanding performances as the best cinema Sherlock Holmes -- other than Basil Rathbone -- in Murder by Decree (1979), the chilling villain in The Silent Partner (1978), his iconoclastic Mike Wallace in The Insider (1999), the empathetic psychiatrist in A Beautiful Mind (2001), and as Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station (2009). It was this last role that finally brought him recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, when he was nominated as Best Actor in a supporting role. Plummer remains one of the most respected and honored actors performing in the English language. He has won two Emmy Awards out of six nominations stretching 46 years from 1959 and 2005, and one Genie Award in five nominations from 1980 to 2004. For his stage work, Plummer has racked up two Tony Awards on six nominations, the first in 1974 as Best Actor (Musical) for the title role in "Cyrano" and the second in 1997, as Best Actor (Play), in "Barrymore". Surprisingly, he did not win (though he was nominated) for his masterful 2004 performance of "King Lear", which he originated at the Stratford Festival in Ontario and brought down to Broadway for a sold-out run. His other Tony nominations show the wide range of his talent, from a 1959 nod for the Elia Kazan-directed production of Macleish's "J.B." to recognition in 1994 for Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land", with a 1982 Best Actor (Play) nomination for his "Iago" in William Shakespeare's "Othello". He continues to be a very in-demand character actor in prestigious motion pictures. If he were English rather than Canadian, he would have been knighted long ago. (In 1968, he was awarded Companion of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor and one which required the approval of the sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.) If he lived in the company town of Los Angeles rather than in Connecticut, he likely would have several more Oscar nominations before winning his first for "The Last Station". As it is, as attested to in his witty and well-written autobiography, Christopher Plummer has been amply rewarded in life. In 1970, Plummer - a self-confessed 43-year-old "bottle baby" - married his third wife, dancer Elaine Taylor, who helped wean him off his dependency on alcohol. They live happily with their dogs on a 30-acre estate in Weston, Connecticut. Although he spends the majority of his time in the United States, he remains a Canadian citizen. His daughter, with actress Tammy Grimes, is actress Amanda Plummer.
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  • Kathy BatesActor

    Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as Irish, Scottish, and German, ancestry, and one of her ancestors, an Irish emigrant to New Orleans, once served as President Andrew Jackson's doctor. Kathy discovered acting appearing in high school plays and studied drama at Southern Methodist University, graduating in 1969. With her mind firmly set, she moved to New York City in 1970 and paid her dues by working everything from a cash register to taking lunch orders. Things started moving quickly up the ladder after giving a tour-de-force performance alongside Christopher Walken at Buffalo's Studio Arena Theatre in Lanford Wilson's world premiere of "Lemon Sky" in 1970, but she also had a foreshadowing of the heartbreak to come after the successful show relocated to New York's off-Broadway Playhouse Theatre without her and Walken wound up winning a Drama Desk award. By the mid-to-late 1970s, Kathy was treading the boards frequently as a rising young actress of the New York and regional theater scene. She appeared in "Casserole" and "A Quality of Mercy" (both 1975) before earning exceptional reviews for her role of Joanne in "Vanities". She took her first Broadway curtain call in 1980's "Goodbye Fidel," which lasted only six performances. She then went directly into replacement mode when she joined the cast of the already-established and highly successful "Fifth of July" in 1981. Kathy made a false start in films with Taking Off (1971), in which she was billed as "Bobo Bates". She didn't film again until Straight Time (1978), starring Dustin Hoffman, and that part was not substantial enough to cause a stir. Things turned hopeful, however, when Kathy and the rest of the female ensemble were given the chance to play their respective Broadway parts in the film version of Robert Altman's Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982). It was a juicy role for Kathy and film audiences finally started noticing the now 34-year-old. Still and all, it was the New York stage that continued to earn Kathy awards and acclaim. She was pure textbook to any actor studying how to disappear into a role. Her characters ranged from free and life-affirming to downright pitiable. Despite winning a Tony Award nomination and Outer Critic's Circle Award for her stark, touchingly sad portrait of a suicidal daughter in 1983's "'night, Mother" and the Obie and Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for her powerhouse job as a romantic misfit in "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune," Kathy had no box-office pull and was hardly a strong consideration when the roles finally went to film. Kathy Bates was forever losing out when her award-winning stage characters transferred to the screen. First Sissy Spacek took on her potent role as the suicidal Jessie Cates in 'night, Mother (1986), then Michelle Pfeiffer seized the moment to play her dumpy lover character in Frankie and Johnny (1991). It would take Oscar glory to finally rectify the injustice. It was her fanatical turn as the drab, chunky, porcine-looking psychopath Annie Wilkes, who kidnaps her favorite author (James Caan) and subjects him to a series of horrific tortures, that finally turned the tide for her in Hollywood. With the 1990 shocker Misery (1990), based on the popular Stephen King novel, Bates and Caan were pure box office magic. Moreover, Kathy captured the "Best Actress" Oscar and Golden Globe award, a first in that genre (horror) for that category. To add to her happiness she married Tony Campisi, also an actor, in 1991. Quality film scripts now started coming her way and the 1990s proved to be a rich and rewarding time for her. First, she and another older "overnight" film star, fellow Oscar winner Jessica Tandy, starred together in the modern portion of the beautifully nuanced, flashback period piece Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). She then outdid herself as the detached and depressed housekeeper accused of murdering her abusive husband (David Strathairn) in Dolores Claiborne (1995). Surprisingly, she was left out of the Oscar race for these two excellent performances. Not so, however, for her flashy political advisor Libby Holden in the movie Primary Colors (1998) and her quirky, liberal mom in About Schmidt (2002), receiving "Best Supporting Actress" nominations for both. She also turned in a somewhat brief but potent turn as Gertrude Stein in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011). Kathy has continued to work prolifically on TV as a multiple Emmy winner and nominee. She has also taken to directing a couple of TV-movies on the sly. She was nominated for a DGA award after helming an episode of "Six Feet Under," in which she also had a recurring role. While some of her more recent movie parts have been unworthy of her talents, she has more than made up for it on TV playing everything from cruel-minded caricatures (Little Orphan Annie's Miss Hannigan) to common, decent every day folk in mini-movies. More recently she has done some eye-catching, offbeat turns on regular series such as The Office (2005), Harry's Law (2011) and especially American Horror Story (2011) for which she won an Emmy as Ethel Darling. Divorced from her husband since 1997, Kathy has been the Executive Committee Chair of the Actors Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.
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  • Jennifer Jason LeighActor

    Jennifer Jason Leigh was born Jennifer Lee Morrow in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of writer Barbara Turner and actor Vic Morrow. Her father was of Russian Jewish descent and her mother was of Austrian Jewish ancestry. She is the sister of Carrie Ann Morrow and half-sister of actress Mina Badie. Jennifer's parents divorced when she was two. Jennifer worked in her first film at the age of nine, in a nonspeaking role for the film Death of a Stranger (The Spy Who Never Was (1976)). At 14 she attended summer acting workshops given by Lee Strasberg and landed a role in the Disney TV movie The Young Runaways (1978), and received her Screen Actors Guild membership in an episode of the TV series Baretta (1975) when she was 16. Jennifer performed in several TV movies and dropped out of Pacific Palisades High School six weeks short of graduation for her major role in the film Eyes of a Stranger (1981). Her first major success came as the female lead in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Jennifer was married to writer/director Noah Baumbach from 2005 to 2013, and the two have a son.
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  • Judy ParfittActor

  • John C. ReillyActor

    Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played an eclectic host of rich characters to great effect over the years, from seedy ne'er-do-wells, to lovable, good-natured schlepps. The fifth of six children, John Christopher Reilly was born in Chicago, to a father of mostly Irish descent, and a Lithuanian-American mother, and was brought up on Chicago's tough Southwest territory. His father, also named John, ran an industrial linen supply company business. On the amateur stage from age eight, Reilly trained at the Goodman School of Drama and eventually became a member of Chicago's renowned Steppenwolf Theatre. His film break came with a small role in the Vietnam War drama Casualties of War (1989), wherein Brian De Palma liked his work so much during the early stages that he recast him in a major role by the start of shooting as a soldier bent on rape. Reilly gained momentum throughout the 1990s and showed his dazzling stretch of talent in such films as Days of Thunder (1990), Shadows and Fog (1991), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and The River Wild (1994). He became a major stock player in director Paul Thomas Anderson's films, while finding some of his best roles in Hard Eight (1996) as a compulsive gambler, Boogie Nights (1997) in which he played a narcissistic porn star, and in Magnolia (1999) as a compassionate policeman. He went on to earn further critical points for his role of the soldier sent to the front lines in Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line (1998). On stage, Reilly has wowed audiences in "The Grapes of Wrath" on Broadway, "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Othello" at Steppenwolf, and earned an Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony nomination for "True West" alongside another impeccable character player Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reilly finally received the film recognition he deserved in 2002 with a slew of choice, high-profile parts in The Hours (2002), The Good Girl (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), and especially Chicago (2002) as the put-upon husband, Amos Hart, who is played for a patsy by murderous wife Roxie (Renée Zellweger). For this last part, he received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Since then his stock has risen considerably, and he has further widened his cinematic repertoire, appearing in everything from dramatic roles - We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), The Aviator (2004) and Carnage (2011) - to broader comic turns - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), Cyrus (2010) and Cedar Rapids (2011). Most recently, he has voiced the lead in Disney's animated smash Wreck-It Ralph (2012). Reilly is married to producer Alison Dickey.
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  • Bob GuntonActor

    Bob Gunton is an American actor, primarily known for portraying strict and authoritarian characters in popular films. His better known roles include chief George Earle in "Demolition Man" (1993), prison warden Samuel Norton in "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994), medical school dean Dr. Walcott in "Patch Adams" (1998), and politician Cyrus Vance in "Argo" (2012). In 1945, Gunton was born Santa Monica, California. His parents were labor union executive Robert Patrick Gunton Sr. and his wife Rose Marie Banovetz. Gunton was raised in California and attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. His college years were spent in the Paulist Seminary St Peter's College, in Baltimore, Maryland, and the University of California, Irvine. Gunton joined the United States Army in 1969, when 24-years-old. He served until 1971. He served as a radio telephone operator with the 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He was assigned to the Fire Support Base Ripcord during the Vietnam War. When the base was evacuated during a siege by North Vietnamese Army (NVA), Gunton manage to retrieve important radios that were in danger of falling in enemy hands. He was awarded with a Bronze Star commendation for his deed. Gunton was primarily known for theatrical roles in the late 1970s and 1980s. He played Raoul in the Broadway musical "King of Hearts" (1978). For this role he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. The award was instead won by rival actor Ken Jennings (1947-). From 1979 to 1983, Gunton played the role of President of Argentina Juan Perón (1895-1974, term 1946-1955, 1973-1974) in "Evita". He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. In 1980, Gunton played in the play How I Got That Story. He won both the Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Male Performer and the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor. He was also nominated Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play. From 1985 to 1985, Gunton played the King in the musical "Big River". The musical was an adaptation of the novel "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884) by Mark Twain. For this role Gunton was again nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. From 1987 to 1990, Gunton played protagonist Sweeney Todd in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street". He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. While critically acclaimed for this role, Gunton won none of these awards. In the 1990s, Gunton started focusing more on film roles. More often playing antagonists than heroes or supporting characters,. In 2007, Gunton joined the main cast of the popular action drama television series "24", playing politician Ethan Kanin. He played the role until the end of the series in 2010. In 2015, Gunton joined the main cast of the superhero series "Daredevil". He played the super-villain Leland Owlsley (codenamed "the Owl in the comics). By 2020 Gunton was 74-years-old. He has never retired, and continues to appear regularly in film and television.
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