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Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle is a 1994 film scripted by writer/director Alan Rudolph and former Washington Star reporter Randy Sue Coburn. Directed by Rudolph, it starred Jennifer Jason Leigh as the writer Dorothy Parker and depicted the members of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers, actors and critics who met almost every weekday from 1919 to 1929, at Manhattan's Algonquin Hotel. The film was an Official Selection at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d'Or. The film was a critical but not a commercial success. Peter Benchley, who played editor Frank Crowninshield, is the grandson of Robert Benchley, the humorist who once worked underneath Crowninshield. Actor Wallace Shawn is the son of William Shawn, the longtime editor of The New Yorker. Director Alan Rudolph was fascinated with the Algonquin Round Table as a child when he discovered Gluyas Williams' illustrations in a collection of Robert Benchley's essays. After making The Moderns, a film about American expatriates in 1920s Paris, Rudolph wanted to tackle a fact-based drama set in the same era.