7.4/10
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60 user 20 critic
The story of Frances Farmer's meteoric rise to fame in Hollywood and the tragic turn her life took when she was blacklisted.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ernest Farmer
...
Hitchhiker
...
Studio Stylist
James Brodhead ...
Desk Sergeant
...
Lady at Roosevelt Hotel (as J.J. Chaback)
...
Harold Clurman
Rod Colbin ...
Sentencing Judge
Daniel Chodos ...
'No Escape' director
Donald Craig ...
Ralph Edwards
Sarah Cunningham ...
Alma Styles
...
'Flowing Gold' Director
...
Clifford Odets
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Storyline

Frances Farmer, a precocious Seattle teenager, takes unpopular social and political positions, to the mixed reactions of her parents. Frances becomes an actress and has some strong success in New York, but her refusal to bend her convictions and her outspoken (but sometimes naive) political expressiveness cause her difficulties, especially after she accepts a Hollywood contract. Torn between new-found success and intense feelings that she does not deserve the riches and fame she gains from the phoniness of Hollywood, Frances butts heads with studio executives and with her own mother, who revels in Frances's fame but provides Frances no emotional support. When drunken fights and arrests derail her career, Frances is sent to a psychiatric hospital with the acquiescence of her mother. What follows is a nightmare of poor treatment and psychological trauma, augmented by the increasing determination of Frances's mother to control her daughter's life. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her story is shocking, disturbing, compelling... and true. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1983 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Frances, μια αδέσμευτη γυναίκα  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,624, 26 December 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scenes which made more sense of Farmer's breakdown and her relationship with her mother were dropped in favor of keeping the romance with Harry York intact. See more »

Goofs

The clapper board for "Flowing Gold" shows Paramount as production company. "Flowing Gold" was produced by Warner Bros. See more »

Quotes

Arresting Sergeant: Your name?
Frances Farmer: You jerks drag me down here in the middle of the night and you don't know who the hell I am?
Arresting Sergeant: Your name lady?
Frances Farmer: Frances Elena Farmer. Want me to spell it?
Arresting Sergeant: And your address?
Frances Farmer: Put me down as a vag, vagrant, vagabond. What is this, a joke? It's a joke? Assault and battery? Huh? I barely touched that bitch.
Arresting Sergeant: Occupation?
Frances Farmer: Cocksucker.
See more »

Connections

Featured in No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Music by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Irving Mills
Arranged and Performed by Mood Indigo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Madness as a result of being haunted by the media because you are honest.
16 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

'Frances' is a highly touching reconstruction of the life of fifties actress Frances Farmer, from Seattle. Jessica Lange did a miraculous job in playing Frances, with paranoia in her rolling eyes, which -I must admit- makes her look like a madwoman indeed. The movie shows how someone can be completely destroyed by misunderstandings, enlarged by a ridiculous amount of media attention. The most beautiful part is that, where Frances returns to Seattle, now a star. The people who used to scorn her, are now kissing her butt to gain her sympathy. She stands still in the middle of the hallway, and with all eyes on her she starts to scream they are hypocrites. After that, she is of course again considered crazy, like before. Even when she only wants to be left alone, she is haunted and harassed by those who feel called upon 'helping her'. This, combined with a rather sensitive and unstable character, makes her paranoid and finally leads to her destruction.

I first heard about Frances Farmer through an interview with Kurt Cobain, who admired her courage and was experiencing the same as she had. Courtney got married in one of her dresses and even though their baby wasn't named after her but after a male Frances, they both thought of her later. Cobain also wrote a song about her, 'Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle', which appeared on the second Nirvana studio album 'In Utero'.


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