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
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'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, mia adesmefti gymaika  »

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

This film was made and released about twelve years after actress Frances Farmer had passed away. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Mr. Bebe: Come along with me, Fanny.
Frances Farmer: Frances. You know, I'm not the cookbook.
Mr. Bebe: You see, you've got to change that name.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 55th Annual Academy Awards (1983) 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

 
Nature or Nurture
16 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film parallels the Biography Channel's version of Frances Farmer's life and career. Neither gave a definitive answer as to the cause of this actress' problems.

Was it inability to cope with society due to her own high standards of artistic integrity? Or was it a mental flaw that grew more intense as she got older? It was James Jones (in "From Here to Eternity") that wrote: "Maybe in the days of the pioneer, you could go your own way. Pvt. Pruitt, but today you gotta play ball." That obviously implied demonstrating things like compromise, humility, condescension, flexibility, and sundry social graces.

It also implied that one can "be right" and still be very lonely.

Frances apparently chose the wrong profession, if she expected to "be right" so often. She'd have been better off on a farm or ranch, engaged in solo activities rather than the group endeavor of acting.

As it was, she seemed never to have learned to work professionally with colleagues. From her standpoint, she was indeed "right." She constantly exposed the hypocrisy, insincerity and frailty in people and "the system." Yet the price she paid was a loss of what mattered to her: a career that was nourishing and satisfying.

In '82 Jessica Lange followed up her fine Oscar-winning performance as Julie Nichols in "Tootsie" with this incredible portrayal of Farmer in "Frances." The legendary Kim Stanley was her mother and Sam Shepard rendered a perceptive performance as Farmer's close friend.

Not an easy film to sit through, the quality of acting by this trio is exemplary. As much up to date today as when first filmed. Riveting performances by all. --harry-76


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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