Dottie Gets Spanked

Director: Todd Haynes

Film Info

  • Year: 1994
  • Film Format: 16mm
  • Origin: USA
  • Runtime: 30
  • Color
Another dazzling suburban phantasm from writer-director Todd Haynes, DOTTIE GETS SPANKED (made post-POISON and pre-SAFE) is a stylized, bittersweet nod to his childhood fascination with I Love Lucy. Deep in the heart of pre-hippie 1960s America, young artistically-inclined Steven Gale is obsessed with Dottie Frank, wacky star of the eponymous hit sitcom The Dottie Show. While his mother gently encourages the boy's fixation, his father grows increasingly frustrated by his son's apparently "sissified" interests. This provocative, heartfelt mini-feature anticipates Haynes’™ Oscar-nominated FAR FROM HEAVEN with its excavation of placid mid-century surfaces and deeply-buried emotions.

See also Poison

Todd Haynes

One of the most important contemporary American filmmakers, Oscar-nominated writer-director Todd Haynes first became known for his 1987 short film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, which used Barbie dolls as actors to trace the singer’s demise from anorexia, and has gone on to become an underground cult classic. Haynes made an even bigger splash with his first feature, Poison (1991), which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and attracted nationwide controversy when it was denounced by right-wing minister Donald Wildmon. Haynes’ next film was Dottie Gets Spanked, a short film which The Village Voice hailed as “A Pop Art vision of ‘50s suburbia.” His second feature, Safe (1994), was named Best Film of the Year by leading critics at The Boston Globe, Film Comment, and Interview Magazine, among others. The Village Voice went even further, naming it the best film of the 90s. Safe also marked the first of Haynes’ collaborations with widely celebrated actress Julianne Moore.

Haynes’ third feature was the potent rock drama Velvet Goldmine (1997), starring Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Christian Bale and Toni Collette. The New York Times described Goldmine as “dazzlingly surreal,” and the Cannes Film Festival honored the film with an award for Best Artistic Contribution. Far From Heaven (2002) Haynes’ fourth feature was the single best-reviewed film of 2002. Starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert, it swept critics awards across the country, including the New York Film Critics circle. Far From Heaven was recognized with four Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Moore and a screenwriting nomination for Haynes. Haynes’ most recent film I’m Not There debuted in 2007 with an all-star cast of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard Gere and Julianne Moore. The film earned Blanchett a Golden Globe, an Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award nomination, and was featured on countless critics’ Top 10 lists worldwide. Haynes is currently in production on Mildred Pierce, a new mini-series for HBO starring Kate Winslet. It is scheduled to debut in the spring of 2011.

Steven Gale Evan Bonifant
Lorraine Gale Barbara Garrick
Dottie Frank Julie Halston
Steven’s Father Robert Pall
Sharon’s Mother Harriet Harris
TV Show Guide Irving Metzman
Sharon Ashley Chapman
Darcy Rhea Silver-Smith
Kim Gina Gallagher
Dick Gordon Adam Arkin

Written and Directed by Todd Haynes
Produced by Christine Vachon & Lauren Zalaznick
Director of Photography Maryse Alberti
Edited by James Lyons
Music by James Bennett
Production Design Thérèse DePrez
Costume Design Eugenie Bafaloukos
Make-up/Hair Design Chris Laurence
Associate Producer Craig Paull
Casting Steve Jacobs