Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle

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Overview

Jennifer Jason Leigh offers an acclaimed performance as humorist Dorothy Parker, who together with such 1920s luminaries as Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman, was a charter member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table. The story is related in flashback form, as Mrs. Parker, in Hollywood to cowrite the 1937 feature A Star is Born with her second husband Alan Campbell Peter Gallagher, recalls her glory days as an Algonquinite. A great deal of attention is afforded Parker's vituperative bon...
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Overview

Jennifer Jason Leigh offers an acclaimed performance as humorist Dorothy Parker, who together with such 1920s luminaries as Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman, was a charter member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table. The story is related in flashback form, as Mrs. Parker, in Hollywood to cowrite the 1937 feature A Star is Born with her second husband Alan Campbell Peter Gallagher, recalls her glory days as an Algonquinite. A great deal of attention is afforded Parker's vituperative bon mots, her alcoholism, her self-destructiveness, her suicide attempts, and her affairs with such literary contemporaries as Charles MacArthur an uncharacteristically unsympathetic Matthew Broderick and Robert E. Sherwood Nick Cassavetes. The one person Parker truly seems to care about is humorist Robert Benchley Campbell Scott, who prefers to keep their friendship platonic. Director Alan Rudolph attempts to convey the ambience of the 1920s by having dozens of that decade's luminaries appear in fleeting cameos, from Will Rogers Keith Carradine to Harpo Marx. Also featured in Mrs. Parker are Tom McGowan as the waspish Alexander Woollcott and Andrew McCarthy as Dorothy's near-invisible first husband, Eddie Parker.
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Special Features

Brand-new digital 16x9 widescreen transfer; Audio commentary by director Alan Rudolph; New video interview with award-winning composer Mark Isham; "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The infamous Dorothy Parker," a documentary about the life of Dorothy Parker; Theatrical trailer & TV spot
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
Jennifer Jason Leigh turns in a fascinatingly odd performance in this depressing but lovingly crafted film about the acerbic Dorothy Parker. Tracing her life in flashbacks, the film wisely focuses on the halcyon days of the Algonquin Round Table, where New York's top writers drank, laughed, and traded virulently witty put-downs. In these sequences, director Alan Rudolph presents a keenly observed look at the incestuous and ultimately destructive nature of the tightly-knit group, as the fun times soon turn to betrayal, alcoholism, and attempted suicide. The cast is wonderful, with surprisingly good turns from Matthew Broderick and Andrew McCarthy, among others, but some of the film's artistic conceits and its downbeat tone may turn off potential viewers. Its effect depends primarily on whether you buy Leigh's interpretation of her role, which is unusual to say the least. If you do, you'll find this quirky, offbeat picture to be richly rewarding despite its uneven pace.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/5/2006
  • UPC: 014381208627
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 2:05:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Jason Leigh Dorothy Parker
Matthew Broderick Charles MacArthur
Campbell Scott Robert Benchley
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 LeGros Deems Taylor
Gwyneth Paltrow Paula Hunt
Nick Cassavetes Robert Sherwood
David Thornton George S. Kaufman
Heather Graham Mary Kennedy Taylor
Tom McGowan Alexander Woollcott
Chip Zien Franklin P. Adams
Gary Basaraba Heywood Broun
Stephen Baldwin Roger Spalding
Matt Malloy Marc Connelly
Rebecca Miller Neysa McMein
Jake Johannsen John Peter Toohey
Amelia Campbell Mary Brandon Sherwood
David Gow Donald Ogden Stewart
Leni Parker Beatrice Kaufman
J.M. Henry Harpo Marx
Stanley Tucci Fred Hunter
Mina Badie Joanie Gerard
Randy Lowell Alvan Barach
Keith Carradine Will Rogers
John Cusack
Leonard Parker
Jane Adams Ruth Hale
Peter Benchley Frank Crowninshield
Jon Favreau Elmer Rice
Gabriel Gascon Georges Attends
Technical Credits
Alan Rudolph Director, Screenwriter
Robert Altman Producer
Renee April Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Bushnell Executive Producer
Frances Calder Set Decoration/Design
Randy Sue Coburn Screenwriter
Ira Deutchman Executive Producer
Suzy Elmiger Editor
James Fox Art Director
Jacques Godbout Special Effects
John Hay Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Isham Score Composer
Jan Kiesser Cinematographer
James Mclindon Associate Producer
Richard Nichol Musical Direction/Supervision, Sound/Sound Designer
Allan Nicholls Asst. Director
François Séguin Production Designer
Micheline Trepanier Makeup
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
1. Main Title; Hollywood, 1937 [7:08]
2. A Colorful Past [2:58]
3. Married Life [5:31]
4. Hotel Algonquin [9:59]
5. A Gathering of Friends [8:58]
6. Another Round Table [3:15]
7. The Vicious Circle [4:26]
8. Benchley on Stage [5:36]
9. Drinking Buddies [4:38]
10. The Glow of Love [7:22]
11. Dorothy's Surprise [10:48]
12. Friends [2:46]
13. A Serious Question [4:41]
14. Social Outing [8:29]
15. Working on a Play [6:03]
16. Hollywood, 1945 [6:53]
17. New Year's Eve [3:53]
18. Analyzing the Situation [5:31]
19. End Credits [5:15]
1. "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The Infamous Dorothy Parker": Introduction [3:07]
2. "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The Infamous Dorothy Parker": The Early Days [6:01]
3. "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The Infamous Dorothy Parker": The Algonquin Years (1919-1929) [20:15]
4. "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The Infamous Dorothy Parker": The Hollywood Years (1933...) [8:25]
5. "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The Infamous Dorothy Parker": Excuse My Dust [8:56]
6. "Would You Kindly Direct Me to Hell?: The Infamous Dorothy Parker": End Credits [1:07]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
   Feature Start
   Scene Selections
   Audio Commentary by Director Alan Rudolph
      Audio Commentary by Director Alan Rudolph: On
      Audio Commentary by Director Alan Rudolph: Off
   Special Features
      Play All
      Trailer
      TV Spot
      Interview with Composer Mark Isham
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    sinfully drawn in

    Dorothy Parker was a line crosser of her time. She didn't care to know what should be said but rathered to say what she knew she wanted to say. A rocky love life and crazy social circle made her dry wit pierce the social times. She was truly a woman of her own making and kept an eclectic group of aquaintances who kept her going. A movie definitely worth a watch.. .a few times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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