Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (Mrs. Parker and the Round Table) (1994)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The life of acclaimed writer Dorothy Parker and her involvement with the legendary Algonquin round-table is chronicled in this bio-pic. Parker was best known for her theatrical and literary reviews, her acidic poetry, and her screenplays. Her most famous screenplay, A Star is Born, is a Hollywood classic. She is the first American female critic to be taken seriously by the New York writers. She was considered the star of the round-table. The film contrasts her personal and creative lives with her social life. The two are quite disparate as in the latter she was a gay, witty, bon vivant. In the former she was wracked with insecurity and disappointment especially in her relationships. Much of the story focuses upon her platonic friendship with humorist and critic, Robert Benchely who was always there to support her after the destruction of her two marriages, and a failed love affair with newspaperman Charles MacArthur. The formation of the round table is depicted. Parker's tragic decline into a boozy old woman is also chronicled.
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Written By:
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Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Dorothy Parker
Campbell Scott
as Robert Benchley
Matthew Broderick
as Charles MacArthur
Andrew McCarthy
as Eddie Parker
Peter Gallagher
as Alan Campbell
Jennifer Beals
as Gertrude Benchley
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Paula Hunt
Sam Robards
as Harold Ross
Tom McGowan
as Alexander Woolcott
Nick Cassavetes
as Robert Sherwood
Wallace Shawn
as Horatio Byrd
Martha Plimpton
as Jane Grant
David Thornton
as George S. Kaufman
Lili Taylor
as Edna Ferber
Stephen Baldwin
as Roger Spalding
James LeGros
as Deems Taylor
Keith Carradine
as Will Rogers
Jane Adams (II)
as Ruth Hale
Gary Basaraba
as Heywood Broun
Rebecca Miller
as Neysa McMein
Matt Malloy
as Marc Connelly
Peter Benchley
as Frank Crowninshield
Mina Badie
as Joanie Gerard
Amelia Campbell
as Mary Brandon Sherwood
Jon Favreau
as Elmer Rice
J.M. Henry
as Harpo Marx
Gabriel Gascon
as Georges Attends
Malcolm Gets
as F. Scott Fitzgerald
David Gow
as Donald Ogden Stewart
Heather Graham
as Mary Kennedy
Jean-Michael Henry
as Harpo Marx
Jake Johannsen
as John Peter Toohey
Randy Lowell
as Alvan Barach
Leni Parker
as Beatrice Kaufman
Chip Zien
as Franklin P. Adams
Stanley Tucci
as Fred Hunter
Cyndi Lauper
as Picnic Guest (uncredited)
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (Mrs. Parker and the Round Table)

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (9)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A highly absorbing but naggingly patchy look at the acerbic writer Dorothy Parker and her cohorts at the legendary Algonquin Round Table.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Absolutely superb.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

"Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" has its flaws, but it also has a heartfelt grasp of what set Dorothy Parker apart from her fellow revelers and makes her so emblematic a figure even today.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (Mrs. Parker and the Round Table)

A unconventional biopic featuring an even more unconventional performance by Leigh. It may not give you a great sense of specific facts or details about the members of The Algonquin Round Table, but the film does capture their moods and feelings . . . filled with wit, genius, self-loathing and bitter loneliness.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer


A movie a bout a life that really needs to be told, sadly this movie focuses on the torrid affairs like some grocery store rag and when Leigh speaks you really need subtitles which are cruelly not missing. Leigh stretches her voice so far her voice is monotone with little intonation to elude to her inner state.

Bill Cavros
Bill Cavros

Super Reviewer


Good enough to watch a second go.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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