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:
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Harry York
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Hitchhiker
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Studio Stylist
James Brodhead ...
Desk Sergeant
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Lady at Roosevelt Hotel (as J.J. Chaback)
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Harold Clurman
Rod Colbin ...
Sentencing Judge
Daniel Chodos ...
'No Escape' director
Donald Craig ...
Ralph Edwards
Sarah Cunningham ...
Alma Styles
Lee de Broux ...
'Flowing Gold' Director
...
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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:

Beautiful. Talented. Intelligent. Courageous. She Was Frances Farmer. She Should've Been The Silver Screen's Greatest Star. 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  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harry York, a largely fictional character played by Sam Shepard, was based on a political radical named Stewart Jacobson who claimed to have been Frances Farmer's lover. People who were close to Farmer claimed he had never even met her. See more »

Goofs

The recreated movie marquee for "Come and Get It" incorrectly spells Joel McCrea's name as McCrae. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

I Found a Million Dollar Baby (In a Five & Ten Cent Store)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mort Dixon and Billy Rose
Arranged and Performed by Mood Indigo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great performances but largely false
3 September 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Jessica Lange and Kim Stanley give remarkable performances in "Frances," but if you are looking for anything resembling the truth about this gifted actress, this is *not* the film to see--in fact, unfortunately, no factual account of Frances' life has yet been presented on either the movie or TV screen, with the possible exception of A&E's excellent Biography episode about her.

The film completely fictionalizes and sensationalizes several aspects of Frances' life, inventing characters out of whole-cloth and completely misrepresenting her institutionalization, including spuriously alleging she was lobotomized. There is ample documentary evidence proving Frances never underwent this horrible procedure; you can read the facts in my web article "Shedding Light on Shadowland," which is linked under the miscellaneous sites section on IMDb's Frances Farmer page (or do a Google for "Shedding Light on Shadowland").

In the recent DVD release, director Graeme Clifford can be heard commenting, in what is surely the understatement of the decade, "We didn't want to be nickel and diming the audience to death with facts." The *real* story of Frances Farmer is far more fascinating than this sad exercise in Hollywood "fictionalizing."


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