Dolores Claiborne is an American psychological thriller film, which premiered on March 24, 1995. The film is directed by Taylor Hackford and is based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The psychological thriller drama centers on the strained relationship between a mother and daughter, largely told through flashbacks, after her daughter arrives in her remote hometown on an island in Maine where her mother has been framed for the murder of the elderly woman to whom she had long been a caregiver and companion. Time named the film one of Stephen King’s 10 Best Film Adaptations in 2013.
The film stars Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer and David Strathairn. They play Dolores Claiborne, Selena St. George, Detective John Mackey and Joe St. George respectively. Five years earlier, Bates had also starred in another major King film adaptation known as “Misery”, making it his second.
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The story of Dolores Claiborne revolves around Dolores Claiborne, as her name suggests. The story takes place in 1995 while she works as a servant on Little Tall Island in Maine. After a struggle with her elderly and partially paralyzed employer, the old lady falls down the stairs and Dolores trashes the kitchen. However, she is caught by a postman, who sees her standing over Vera, the old lady, with a rolling pin, apparently intent on killing her. The police open a murder investigation after Vera’s death. Dolores’ daughter Selena St. George struggles with depression and drug addiction and is a successful journalist living in New York City. Despite her doubts, Selena returns home to support her mother, when the whole town is convinced that she is a murderer who also murdered her husband, Joe St. George, 18 years ago.
Detective John Mackey is determined to lock Dolores up for life, as he was also the lead detective in the case of her husband’s murder. Selena hasn’t seen her mother for 15 years because she also thinks her mother killed her father. One night in 1975, Dolores threatened to kill Joe with a hatchet if he hurt her again because he was a violent alcoholic. Selena was only 13 at the time and unaware of her father’s abuse and Dolores went to work for Vera to save money for her daughter’s education. Dolores went to withdraw money from the bank so that she and Selena could escape. However, when Dolores discovered that Joe had stolen the money from Selena’s savings account, the plan was scrapped.
Dolores claims that Vera begged her to put her out of her misery and threw herself down the stairs. However, Mackey refuses to believe Dolores as Vera left her entire fortune to her in a will written eight years ago, which convinces Selena that her mother is also guilty. Dolores also tells her daughter that Joe was sexually abusing Selena. And Selena ends up leaving Dolores to fend for herself when she storms out after a heated argument because she has always furiously denied any abuse. In a flashback to 1975, Dolores breaks down and confesses Joe’s abuse to Vera, who remained typically cold until she mentioned he was molesting Selena. Vera then implies that she killed her late husband Jack, who died in a car accident in Maryland, and she designed it to look like an accident after she became uncharacteristically sympathetic.
Dolores was later convinced to take control of her situation after Vera’s confession formed a bond between them. Vera then ostensibly gives Dolores the rest of the day as a total solar eclipse approaches, and she insinuates that she expects Dolores to use the free time to get rid of Joe. After Dolores and Selena argue about the abuse, Selena leaves and goes to work. Meanwhile, Joe comes home from work and Dolores offers him a scotch to celebrate the eclipse. Dolores then leaves him to die as he plunges to the bottom of the stone of an old well after provoking him to attack her and fall into it as she reveals she knows he stole the account from Selena and assaulted her daughter when he got drunk.
As Dolores had planned her departure, Selena hears the whole story on a tape left for her by her mother. Selena suddenly discovers a repressed memory of her father forcing her to give him a handjob while on the ferry. After realizing everything, she rushes to Dolores. Selena arrives and tells Mackey that Vera and Dolores loved each other, despite an often rocky relationship, and that he is only doing this because of his vendetta against Dolores and that he has no admissible evidence when he pleads. to be sent to a grand jury to try to indict Dolores for murder. Mackey then reluctantly drops the charges. Before Selena returns to New York, she and her mother reconcile on the ferry dock.
Where is “Dolores Claiborne” filmed?
Dolores Claiborne was filmed in Nova Scotia, Canada. Specifically in Lunenburg, NS, Mahone Bay, Chester, Stonehurst and Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada. Vera Donovan’s home was in Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada. The ferry scenes were filmed on Long Island and Brier Island, Nova Scotia. The interiors of St. George’s House were sets built inside a vacant Lunenburg paper mill. The eclipse scenes were filmed at Arcadia University in Wolfville. The St. George house site was on Blue Rocks and the courthouse was filmed in Mahone Bay. The entire movie is shot in Nova Scotia, in all these different locations. Canada is a beautiful place that is used for filming many TV shows and movies.
As the cast and crew, apparently in the hundreds, spent two days filming scenes for the big-budget American film, a wave of excitement surrounded Digby’s neck and the islands. The Digby area was seen in a small portion of the film based on horror writer Stephen King’s novel, and most of the footage is shot in Lunenburg County. Then-Councillor Caroline Norwood said the money earned from the shooting would go to the provincial government. The Joshua Slocum, the ferry that ran from Freeport to Westport, was the $30,000 prop used to film the scenes involving the big stars. Several residents were approached at restaurants and asked if they were interested in acting as extras in the film.
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