White Palace (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

White Palace1990

White Palace (1990)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

White Palace Photos

Movie Info

Screenwriters Ted Tally and Alvin Sargent adapted the novel by Glenn Savan into this intelligent drama about a May-December romance where the woman is the senior partner. James Spader is Max Baron, a 27-year-old St. Louis advertising executive who has completely shut himself off from the world in the two years since the auto accident death of his wife. When he meets free-spirited, 43-year-old burger joint waitress Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon), his attraction to the earthy, outspoken woman is immediate and overpowering. The difference in age isn't their only obstacle happiness: Nora's into Marilyn Monroe, drinking beer, and lives in Dogtown, the city's low-rent district, while Max is cultured, sophisticated, and wealthy. Despite their differences, Max and Nora are alike in their suffering and in their deep need for connection, but their charged relationship is put to the emotional test when it becomes clear that Max is hiding his affair with Nora from his upper middle-class, Jewish social circle. White Palace co-stars Renée Taylor, Eileen Brennan, Kathy Bates, Jason Alexander, and Corey Parker.


Susan Sarandon
as Nora Baker
James Spader
as Max Baron
Kathy Bates
as Rosemary
Steven Hill
as Sol Horowitz
Rachel Levin
as Rachel Horowitz
Corey Parker
as Larry Klugman
Renée Taylor
as Edith Baron
Jonathan Penner
as Marv Miller
Barbara Howard
as Sheri Klugman
Hildy Brooks
as Ella Horowitz
Cathy Carr
as Stripper
Mitzi McCall
as Sophie Rosen
Glenn Savan
as White Palace Customer
Lance Harshbarger
as Bachelor Party Man
Vernon Dudas
as Jimmy, the Bartender
Maryann Kopperman
as Reba Pasker
William Oberbeck
as Eddie Lobodiak
John Flack
as Advertising Executive
Michael Arnett
as Country Western Singer
Kim Meyers
as Heidi Solomon
Robert Bourgeois
as Bachelor Party Man
Janet Lofton
as Supermarket Checker
Jordan Stone
as Bachelor Party Man
Jonathan Ames
as Restaurant Customer
View All

Critic Reviews for White Palace

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (11)

"White Palace" is more than a start for director Mandoki, who was sturdily launched with "Gaby"; it's a continued indication of a sure and powerful sensitivity.

June 21, 2020 | Full Review…

Part love story, part comedy of manners, White Palace is a thoroughly entertaining - if quite obviously far fetched - yarn.

June 21, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The film manages to avoid the more interesting problem area of what will happen to the couple once they decide to settle down and live openly together. Both principals, however, are good in their limited roles.

June 18, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

White Palace is more than a romance or a bedroom romp or human comedy. It is a lesson in judgments and values, and a glimpse at emotional roulette.

October 24, 2018 | Full Review…

Spader and Sarandon make White Palace worth seeing, but too often they're fighting the movie's smugness.

September 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Outstanding performances by Susan Sarandon and James Spader, working from a relentlessly witty script, make White Palace one of the best films of its kind since The Graduate (1967).

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for White Palace

Sure it isn't a great movie but I like the unlikely chemistry between Susan Sarandon's character and James Spader's. It works in a really humourous way.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Firstly I will say that I wouldn't have heard or watched this had James Spader not been in it. And I'm pretty biased with Spader movies, because he's James Spader. So that's why it has such a high rating. Romance in any form (except gay romance!) bores the hell out of me, and I never go anywhere near it. I don't like Susan Sarandon either. But, I figured it's got James Spader in it, so even if it's boring as hell, there's James Spader. So, the plot isn't interesting to me, and honestly the whole movie was pretty lame, but as I keep saying: JAMES SPADER. I don't really know what to say about it, but it probably isn't worth watching unless you're majorly obsessed with James Spader like I am.

Lauren Donis
Lauren Donis

Super Reviewer

First off, for all you flixsters who live in the Seattle area, I gotta envy you all being able to read Paula Nechak movie reviews all the time. Team flixster scoring her reviews is wonderful. I've read many synopses on this site, but I have to say that this one about White Palace is the most interesting one I've ever run across.

I definitely agree with Nechak's assessment of the fairytale element of this movie. It's hard to imagine this pair making a permanent match. But it's Hollywood, baby, so what happens . . . happens.

Had to add Sarandon to my favorite actor list right away. Stunning. She always is; she should have been on my list earlier. Eileen Brennan, in a small role, is mesmerizing. Not to mention that this was Spader when he had his stuff. A great movie, especially thanks to Susan Sarandon. Definitely, as Nechak says, Oscar-worthy work. Reminds me so much of Atlantic City.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

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