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
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 14,872

Cast & Crew

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