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
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
...
'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, mia adesmefti gymaika  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,000,000 (USA)
 »

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

One of five cinema movie collaborations [to date, June 2015] of actors Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange. The films include Frances (1982), Country (1984), Far North (1988), Crimes of the Heart (1986) and Don't Come Knocking (2005). See more »

Goofs

When Frances is at the party and is warned that she's being "bugged" by the Feds, a boom mic is clearly visible over her head. 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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Soundtracks

Piano Sonata in A major, K.331
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Chet Swiatkowsky
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User Reviews

 
Wonderful performance from female star, a sad romance
1 August 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is an important film, and I am compelled to write a few lines to attract other viewers to see it. Sensitive music by John Barry to set the mood, yes it is a love story really, I enjoyed seeing Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, they work well together. What can you say about the talent of Jessica Lange? I could not take my eyes off her. Impeccable acting. She is so stunningly lovely,as was the Frances Farmer of the story, they are much alike both breathtakingly beautiful. No other actress could have played this part in 1982. A non conformist ahead of her time, today Frances would be almost normal, the Frances Farmer story is sad and infuriating,such a waste... the child pressured by her mother to be everything the mother wanted for herself, to be a Hollywood star, the ineffectual father who could have stepped in to determine a less shattering future for their daughter. How often do we see that the wrong kind of parental influence on their children can lead to disastrous results? I found Frances courageous and admirable in the face of evil and adversity. The sadness felt by the wonderfully supportive Harry York (played by Sam Shepard) toward the end of the movie brings tears to the eyes, she has forgotten how to love, but she has survived... only to die alone in 1970. Breaks my heart. True to life, caring and detailed movie. Best actress for Jessica Lange, in my view, I noticed her in King Kong and I knew she was going to make it big. Highest marks and comments from malcotoro, Toronto, Canada


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