|Index||7 reviews in total|
Susan Blakely plays '30s actress, Frances Farmer brilliantly in this tragic autobiography which writer Dalene Young has adapted well. Blakely starts when Frances is in her teens and the film tracks her life (of 60+ years) from the budding actress who wins a trip to Moscow and New York and the Group Theatre by writing an essay entitled, "God Is Dead." Her goal was never movies but her mother, played by Lee Grant with great power, pushed her into a career in Hollywood. Frances put up with it but her heart was with the Group (she married Clifford Odets briefly), and her willfulness got her arrested. Then her mother had her committed in an attempt to control her. And Frances wound up in the dark ages of psychiatry in a mental institution in Washington. Her father, played by the great actor,Royal Dano, too meek to stand up to Mrs. Farmer, allowed that Frances remain in the harshest institution even after the docs were ready to let her go home. Blakely's acting won the highest praise. The scenes in the mental institution are fascinating in terms of what the world was like then. This was a three hour special for CBS (the entire prime-time).
I saw this excellent made for TV film when it debuted on CBS in 1983. However, I have not seen it since! It was never (to my knowledge) re-aired on CBS and I have never seen it played on any cable stations (Lifetime, TBS, TNT, etc.) I wish it would be released on DVD or even played on TV instead of sitting on a shelf somewhere. I found this version of Frances Farmers' story to be more detailed, yet less compelling, than the feature film "Frances" but, still good. I read the book "Will There Really Be a Morning?" as well as the book "Shadowlands" I've read all I can find about the life of Frances Framer and I feel this film presented the facts of the story quite well. I remember Susan Blakley's performance was remarkable. I hope to see it again one day or better yet own it!
Trying to reflect an image of a persons life, nothing more or less then it was, is very difficult. Especially when the particular person has lived an extraordinary life. But, 'Will There be Really a Morning' is an exceptional example of how an autobiography should be filmed. The story is simple. A young teenage girl (Frances Farmer, played by Susan Blakely), who grew up in Seattle, turned out to be a very talented actress. She moved to Hollywood (1936), despite the disapproval of her parents, who characterized the glamorous life as Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, which they rejected strongly. Frances was an instant success, she had the right look, the right talk, and the right walk. All the ingredients for living the American dream. But, she paid a prize for that. Not used to the glamour and glitter, and not able to control her life, she became an addict. Eventually, she was sent into a clinic where she got treatments to recover from her addicts and breakdowns (1942). After 11 years she was declared competent, and healthy. She took care of her parents, and after their death she felt that she was finally ready for her own life. Compliments to the cast, who enabled the viewer to experience the tremendous emotional struggles of Frances almost physically. Watching her life in two hours is like a waterfall of emotions pounding into your head, leaving the viewer wondering when she will explode and becomes really psycho, when everybody around her considers her for 11 years wrongly as incompetent, while she knows she's not. As times goes by, the viewers' amazement changes, via anger, into admiration for the way Frances picks up her normal life again. She starts all over again, she has nothing. But, she knows who she is, she has seen the ultimate limit of herself, and with that knowledge you can't get a better start. This movie is not spoiled with the characteristic 'over-acting' (like in 99% of the American movies), and is not waiting for sentimental sympathy of the viewer. Susan Blakely showed us what acting is all about. It's just what it is, nothing more, and nothing less. Will There be Really a Morning can be considered as one of the best films (in its own genre). All the starting actors should be urged to watch this movie, learning what acting really means.
I have already seen the movie starring Jessica Lange and curiously made the same year, in 1983. Both features are powerful, so are the performances. But I wonder why the Leif Erikson's character - former Frances Farmer's husband - is not spoken about in this TV movie. I don't remember if it was in the film with Jessica Lange. And I also wonder why the hell they made two films about the same topic in the very same year. I really don't get why. But after all, who cares, both are very good. I guess there were so many other actresses who deserved to have their lives told about. Hollywood was a real meat chopper for actors and actresses. A pit for broken dreams. Anyway, this kind of story is perfect for TV audiences and not for theater ones, who rather look for fun and entertainment instead of true and realistic face of life. Its darkest side.
Having already seen the movie, "Frances," I was delighted to run onto this TV version. And for a television version, it really comes through with much more complex characterization. The relationship between Frances and her Mother is much richer and more complicated than in "Frances." In "Frances," the mother seems to be the villain right from the beginning. However, in the television version, the mother is portrayed as human but flawed. Although I enjoyed both films, I would say "Frances" is definitely written in true broad Hollywood style whereas "Will There be a Morning?" captures the subtleties of a very intricate and complex relationship between this particular mother and daughter.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Susan Blakely shines in this 1983 made for television production about Frances Farmer based on her auto biography.I watched this movie a couple of nights ago and I was not all that impressed.I have seen "Frances" with Jessica Lange and that movie I rate about the same as this one.The best part of this movie is the cast.Susan Blakely was amazing.Lee Grant and Royal Dano as the parents were excellent too.I have decided that the reason that I am not too crazy about the two versions of the Frances Farmer story is because the subject matter is downright depressing.Excellent acting but way too depressing as a story.I have this movie.
This was a good movie, but the portrayal of Frances Farmer by Actress Jessica Lange was absolutely worthy of an award. That version of her life is truly a film every aspiring actor should see. "Frances" is one of the most powerful movies I have seen and I highly recommend it.
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