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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...
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Harry York
Bart Burns ...
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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:

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  »

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

One of two Hollywood biopics of actresses from Old Hollywood made and released around 1981-1982. This film was about Frances Farmer whereas the other movie Mommie Dearest (1981) was about Joan Crawford. See more »

Goofs

Among the framed portraits of actresses under contract to Paramount Pictures hanging on Mr. Bebe's office walls is one of Joan Crawford. But Crawford was an MGM contract player at the time portrayed in the scene and never worked for Paramount. See more »

Quotes

Harry York: Frances, you're crazy.
Frances Farmer: [softly] Don't tell anybody.
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Connections

Featured in No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos (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
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User Reviews

 
A disturbing and gripping character study.
6 December 1998 | by (Ottawa, ON, Canada) – See all my reviews

When you see a glamorous movie star on the silver screen, you immediately picture them having a glamorous life with no flaws or problems whatsoever. The film "Frances" proves that that is definitely not true.

Jessica Lange is excellent as Frances Farmer, the movie star from the 1930s who constantly wants to live life her own way. She becomes a big star until all the weight of being a star (publicity, bossy agents, the media) falls down hard on her, causing her to have a nervous breakdown. Eventually, she is wrongfully declared criminally insane and thrown into a mental institution.

The movie is glitzy and glamourous at one point, and turns disturbing and realistically gritty at the next. Lange gives her best performance here, which was nominated for an Oscar. In the end we realize that she wasn't crazy, she was just trying to be herself. It makes the viewer sympathize with movie stars, for the stuff they have to be put through. A fascinating movie.


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