White Palace

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
James Spader and Susan Sarandon have similar pairs of wide, soulful eyes, which make them look like they could be brother and sister rather than May-December lovers. Either way, something about it gives them a chemistry that's unmistakable in the romantic drama White Palace, whose title stands both for the burger joint where Sarandon's character works and the isolated yuppie fortress in which Spader lives (literally) and keeps his emotions imprisoned (figuratively). Luis Mandoki's film is a sparingly funny, mostly serious contemplation of the pain of loss, as well as accompanying fears of the abandonment that may punish the decision to lower one's emotional guard. Spader and Sarandon are just right for their roles, simultaneously tough and vulnerable, never quite trusting their happiness. Those that surround them are a little less fleshed out -- Eileen Brennan is a tad too saintly and spiritual as Sarandon's older sister, while Spader's nattering Jewish friends approach the realm of cruel stereotypes. Still, a clear impression emerges of the difficulty of maintaining a relationship when the two principals are separated by 16 years and very different cultural and educational backgrounds. The abuses of Sarandon's older character are realistically complex and painful. The ending seems like it might belong in a different movie, populated by more carefree characters, but Mandoki's direction is mostly subtle and humane, making for an intelligent film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/2005
  • UPC: 025192695520
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 5,222

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Sarandon Nora Baker
James Spader Max Baron
Jason Alexander Neil Horowitz
Kathy Bates Rosemary Powers
Eileen Brennan Judy
Steven Hill Sol Horowitz
Rachel Levin Rachel Horowitz
Corey Parker Larry Klugman
Renée Taylor Edith Baron
Jonathan Penner Mary Miller
Barbara Howard Sheri Klugman
Michael Arnett Country Western Singer
Cathy Carr Stripper
Griffin Dunne
Spiros Focas
Lance Harshbarger Bachelor Party Man
Robert Plunket Director
Joseph Roseblum Rabbi
Kim Meyers Heidi Solomon
Hildy Brooks Ella Horowitz
Mitzi McCall Sophie Rosen
Glenn Savan White Palace Customer
Fannie Belle Lebby Marcia
Vernon Dudas Jimmy, the Bartender
Maria Pitillo Janey
Maryann Kopperman Reba Parker
Jeremy Piven Kahn
Robert Bourgeois Bachelor Party Man
Jordan Stone Bachelor Party Man
William Oberbeck Eddie Lobodiak
John Flack Advertising Executive
Wilma Myracle Helen
Janet Lofton Supermarket Checker
Patrick S. Harrigan Mr. Goodman
Jonathan Ames Restaurant Customer
Bart Braverman
Joan Crosby
Greg Finley
Javier Grajeda
Rosanna Huffman
Harvey Jason
David McCharen
Jan Rabson
Gary Schwartz
Suzanne Stone
Judi M. Durand
Barbara Iley
Paige Pollack
Technical Credits
Luis Mandoki Director
Mack Chapman Special Effects
Griffin Dunne Co-producer
George Fenton Score Composer
Bill Finnegan Co-producer
Lisa Fischer Set Decoration/Design
Gary Hymes Stunts
Lisa Jensen Costumes/Costume Designer
Lajos Koltai Cinematographer
Carol Littleton Editor
Ike Mizen Stunts
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Sydney Pollack Producer
Amy Robinson Co-producer
Mark Rosenberg Co-producer
Alvin Sargent Screenwriter
Ronnie Spector Makeup
Jerry Spicer Stunts
John Wright Stevens Art Director
Ted Tally Screenwriter
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