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Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Details


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 Parker 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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:November 23, 1994


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Alan Rudolph Best Director 1994 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Alan Rudolph Best Screenplay 1994 Nominee
National Society of Film Critics Jennifer Jason Leigh Best Actress 1994 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jennifer Jason Leigh Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1994 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Jennifer Jason Leigh Best Actress 1994 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Robert Altman Best Picture 1994 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Campbell Scott Best Actor 1994 Nominee


Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Dorothy Parker
Matthew Broderick
as Charles MacArthur
Campbell Scott
as Robert Benchley
Peter Gallagher
as Alan Campbell
Jennifer Beals
as Gertrude Benchley
Andrew McCarthy
as Eddie Parker
Wallace Shawn
as Horatio Byrd
Martha Plimpton
as Jane Grant
Sam Robards
as Harold Ross
Lili Taylor
as Edna Ferber
James LeGros
as Deems Taylor
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Paula Hunt
Nick Cassavetes
as Robert Sherwood
David Thornton
as George S. Kaufman
Heather Graham
as Mary Kennedy Taylor
Tom McGowan
as Alexander Woollcott
Chip Zien
as Franklin P. Adams
Gary Basaraba
as Heywood Broun
Stephen Baldwin
as Roger Spalding
Matt Malloy
as Marc Connelly
Rebecca Miller
as Neysa McMein
Jake Johannsen
as John Peter Toohey
Amelia Campbell
as Mary Brandon Sherwood
David Gow
as Donald Ogden Stewart
Leni Parker
as Beatrice Kaufman
Stanley Tucci
as Fred Hunter
Mina Badie
as Joanie Gerard
Randy Lowell
as Alvan Barach
Keith Carradine
as Will Rogers
John Cusack
Leonard Parker
Jane Adams
as Ruth Hale
Jon Favreau
as Elmer Rice
Gabriel Gascon
as Georges Attends
Jon Favreau
as Elmer Rice
Jane Adams
as Ruth Hale


Alan Rudolph
Robert Altman
Alan Rudolph
Jan Kiesser
Richard Nichol
Musical Direction/Supervision
Mark Isham
Composer (Music Score)
Suzy Elmiger
François Séguin
Production Designer
James Mclindon
Associate Producer
Scott Bushnell
Executive Producer
Ira Deutchman
Executive Producer
Frances Calder
Set Designer
Renee April
Costume Designer
Richard Nichol
Sound/Sound Designer
Jacques Godbout
Special Effects
Allan Nicholls
First Assistant Director
Micheline Trepanier