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Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

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Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair.

Director:

Alan Rudolph
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Dorothy Parker
Campbell Scott ... Robert Benchley
Matthew Broderick ... Charles MacArthur
Peter Gallagher ... Alan Campbell
Jennifer Beals ... Gertrude Benchley
Andrew McCarthy ... Eddie Parker
Wallace Shawn ... Horatio Byrd
Martha Plimpton ... Jane Grant
Sam Robards ... Harold Ross
Lili Taylor ... Edna Ferber
James Le Gros ... Deems Taylor (as James LeGros)
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Paula Hunt
Nick Cassavetes ... Robert Sherwood
David Thornton ... George S. Kaufman
Heather Graham ... Mary Kennedy Taylor
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Storyline

Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

New York in the 1920's. The only place to be was the Algonquin, and the only person to know was Dorothy Parker. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,512, 27 November 1994

Gross USA:

$2,144,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This motion picture's opening title card reads: "Hollywood, 1937". See more »

Quotes

Dorothy Parker: Razors pain you, rivers are damp, acids stain you, drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful, nooses give, gas smells awful; you might as well live.
See more »

Connections

References Flight to Nowhere (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dorothy Parker: read her, don't watch her
25 December 2004 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

I am a fan of many of the writers who flit in and out of this movie, but I confess I don't know much about their personal lives and habits (except perhaps for Benchley, and Thurber who is only barely mentioned in this film). This film gives the viewer a good sense of what it must have been like to be part of the wildly creative crew that surrounded the legendary Algonquin Round Table, but a very confused picture of Dorothy Parker's life. Only someone who already knows her story, and can keep her various husbands and lovers in order, can piece this mish-mash together. And none of the performers are strong enough to seem like anything more than walk-ons dressed as famous people. (The "gang" scenes work because of the fast pacing; the movie drags when we spend time with the individuals.) According to comments recorded here, Miss Leigh is doing a good vocal impression of Dorothy Parker. Maybe so (I've never heard Parker), but Leigh's delivery is so totally annoying that it's enough to drive the AUDIENCE to suicide. Is she trying to do Hepburn on downers? Sometimes her mannered accent veers toward Transylvanian.

Throughout the movie, Parker herself denigrates her little "doodad" poems, but that's all the film offers us of her creative output. We never really find out about the contents of her books and plays, and how she ended up in Hollywood (and what she wrote there). After a few of her doggerel verses, they become trite. I began to wonder if people think these poems are funny because they know they're SUPPOSED to be funny.

I'm sure there's probably a good movie in Mrs. Parker's life, but I don't think this is it.


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