Mrs. Winterbourne (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Actress-turned talk show diva-turned actress Ricki Lake returns to the big screen in this romantic melodrama as a luckless, pregnant small-town girl lost in New York City who boards the wrong train and ends up living a fairy tale when she is mistaken for the wife of a fabulously wealthy heir. Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel I Married a Deadman (it has been filmed twice before as No Man of Her Own, starring Barbara Stanwyck and I Married a Shadow), Mrs. Winterbourne is comparable in general tone to the far more successful Sandra Bullock vehicle While You Were Sleeping (1995). Lake plays Connie Doyle, a small-town girl with big-city aspirations. Unfortunately she isn't long in the Big Apple before she hooks up with sleazy Steve DeCunzo (Loren Dean), a soulless user who impregnates and callously dumps the destitute Connie. Anxious to leave New York, she accidentally boards a Boston-bound train and encounters charming Hugh Winterbourne (Brendan Fraser) and his pregnant wife Patricia. Connie admires Patricia's fabulous wedding ring and asks to try it on. Gracious Patricia hands it to the delighted Connie. At that moment the train crashes. Connie awakens in a hospital to discover that many died in the crash, including the Winterbournes. She is still wearing Patricia's ring and this leads her to be mistaken for Patricia, whom the wealthy clan had never met. At first she tries to set them straight, but then she realizes that this family could provide her newborn son with a privileged, cushy life that she could never give on her own and so goes to the posh Winterbourne mansion to live. There she meets the salty, ailing house matriarch, Grace Winterbourne (Shirley MacLaine), a woman who continues to smoke and drink against her doctor's wishes. A former reprobate (she had been a showgirl), Grace proves to be the only playful breeze in an stuffy, snooty family. Romance comes in the form of the late Hugh's twin brother Bill (also played by Fraser), who begins falling. Seeing that she lacks the gentility of a woman of Patricia's standing, he at first suspects her, but as time passes falls hard for good-hearted Connie's rather coarse charms.
PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Shirley MacLaine
as Grace Winterbourne
Ricki Lake
as Connie Doyle
Brendan Fraser
as Bill/Hugh Winterbourne
Loren Dean
as Steve DeCunzo
Peter Gerety
as Father Brian
Jane Krakowski
as Christine
Debra Monk
as Lieutenant Ambrose
Kate Hennig
as Sophie
Susan Haskell
as Patricia Winterbourne
Justin Van Lieshout
as Baby Hughie
Alec Thomlison
as Baby Hughie
Victor Young
as Dr. Hopley
Tony Munch
as Steve's Pal
Nesbitt Blaisdell
as Homeless Man
David Lipman
as Conductor
Jim Feather
as Conductor
Irene Pauzer
as Woman on Train
Johnie Chase
as Detective at Steve's
Craig Eldridge
as Ambrose's Assistant
Jack Mosshammer
as Scuzzy Friend
Santino Buda
as Scuzzy Friend
Marco Kyris
as Scuzzy Friend
Thomas Joyce
as Jeweler
Tom Harvey
as Ty Winthrop
Peter Fleming
as Wedding Planner
Joa Gamelin
as Wedding Gown Designer
Colin Fox
as Wedding Guest
Joan Luchak
as Wedding Guest
Melanie Zuber
as Wedding Guest
Bob McAlpine
as Member of Music Combo
Rob Gusevs
as Member of Music Combo
Shawn Eisenberg
as Member of Music Combo
Glyn Stephens
as Member of Music Combo
Paula Prentiss
as Rude Nurse (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Mrs. Winterbourne

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (11)

For a Cinderella story, it's sorely without magic.

August 3, 2009
Washington Post
Top Critic

The brazen sentimentality at work here -- while effective in the context of what some might call "a chick flick"-- doesn't give the material much weight.

Full Review… | June 19, 2008
Top Critic

Lake is a rather chilly and distinctly unpersuasive presence.

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

A straight romantic comedy that depends on Lake's charm and acting ability to keep it afloat. The result is disaster.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The plot remains joyless in its contrivances.

December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

This film mistakes action for energy, ridiculous circumstances for comedy, and a mismatched male/female pairing for romance.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Winterbourne


Absolutely charming romance. Brendan Fraser, for once, does not deliver an absurd performance. An Shiley MacLaine is wonderful.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Good heart-warming comedy as Ricki Lake looks so beautiful that she lost her own weight since Cry-Baby.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


I really love this film. I dunno why. I think it's because Ricki Lake seems like someone you may actually meet. Cute story..and Shirley MacLaine owns it.

Keysha H
Keysha H

Super Reviewer

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