American producer/director Taylor Hackford was hired by a Los Angeles TV station after his two-year hitch in the Peace Corps. On his own, he created New Visions Productions, which he eventually merged into the New Century Company before giving up producing to concentrate on directing. He won an Academy Award in 1978 for Teenage Father, a short-subject elaboration of a TV news story on which he’d previously worked. Hackford’s first feature was The Idolmaker (1980), a jaundiced recreation of the “Philadelphia school” of ‘50s rock & roll; he later returned to the rarefied world of vintage rock in his Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba and his revelatory documentary Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll (both 1987). He also directed Dolores Claiborne (1995), the Al Pacino vehicle The Devil’s Advocate (1997), and edited the boxing documentary When We Were Kings (1996). Though Hackford has toted up some impressive credits over his career, few… read more
Haven't read the novel so my opinion is only based on what I've seen: terrific movie! Bates and Leigh both are excellent in their roles and Parfitt's Vera Donovan strikes me as one of the best "female power" symbols I've seen in movies... There's a mix of beautiful and horrific things: like a mother's love for her child and the sexual advances of the father. Dolores Claiborne is a sad woman but an honorable warrior!
King's novel has a consistently distinct voice, economical plot development and an affecting portrayal of domestic brutality. Hackford's film lacks in all the areas that the novel excelled. He stages his characters in strained, unconvincing ways and the performances suffer as a result. The screenplay is clogged with unnecessary sub plots and an intrusive framing device, consequently detracting from its power.