7.2/10
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41 user 2 critic

The Burning Bed (1984)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | TV Movie 8 October 1984
An abused battered wife has had enough of husband beating up on her. Everywhere she turns for help, there's not much anyone will do. After he rapes her one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it asleep.

Director:

Writers:

(teleplay), (book)
Reviews
Popularity
4,260 ( 45)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Francine Hughes
...
Mickey Hughes (as Paul LeMat)
...
Aryon Greydanus
...
Flossie Hughes
...
Gaby
Christa Denton ...
Christy age 12
...
Berlin Hughes (as James Callahan)
...
District Attorney
David Friedman ...
Jimmy age 10
...
Wimpy Hughes
...
Police Witness
...
Virg
Dixie K. Wade ...
Hazel Moran
Heather Rich ...
Christy age 6
Justin Gocke ...
Jimmy age 4
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Storyline

Abused battered wife has had enough of husband beating up on her. Everywhere she turns for help, there's not much anyone will do. After he rapes one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it while asleep. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He didn't know how to stop it... she did.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das brennende Bett  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of Francine Hughes, who was accused of murdering her husband on March 9, 1977 in Dansville, Michigan. She was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, and her case created a legal precedent for how domestic violence cases were to be handled in the future. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, we see Francine get beaten brutally in the face. But when she is arrested a day later, there are hardly any bruises on her face at all. See more »

Quotes

Hazel Moran: If you make a hard bed, you have to lay in it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1984 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A Very Powerful Film
10 October 2004 | by (America) – See all my reviews

I have seen this movie many times and still it has an effect on me. I have read the book and I can say that the movie does stick closely to the book regarding the events in Francine's life. Of course, they can not fit 12 years of abuse into a 2 hour film and so there are many events that are not included in the movie. Also another major fact missing from the movie is the children. In real life Mickey and Francine had four children, in the movie, there is only three. Why I think that happened is on the night that Francine did kill Mickey, her third child (son Dana) was not at home and at a friend's house. When she drove to the police station, she only had three of the children in the car with her.

Francine's mother did herself suffer from violence (but not to the extent of Francine's abuse) Her mother didn't approve of the abuse but only that Francine had to at least try and live with it. Francine had literally no where to go. She had four children with Mickey and no matter where she went, he would found her. As someone pointed out, Mickey was the only man who abuse his wife in his family. There were three other brothers in the Hughes household and not one of them, hit their wife. In fact, Mickey's mother was a very strong women and his father didn't abuse his mother either. His family were always there to help Francine and they were the ones that she would go to during the early years. Towards the end, they were getting old themselves and couldn't handle Mickey's violence and told her, not to come running to them anymore. The mother did a complete turn around at the court case and said that Mickey never abused Francine at all.

Just to make the ending a bit more understanding. When Francine came home from school that day on 7th March 1977. She took the children to go shopping. When they came back from the shopping, that is when the abuse started. Mickey didn't like what Francine had brought and it started from that. He then was telling her that she would have to quit school and she wouldn't agree. He started to beat her and nearly strangled her. He made her burn her books. Francine went out to burn the books and when she came back into the house, he asked her again, are you going to quit school and she replied. No Mickey, I am still going. That is when all the abuse, really started. The children called the police. The police came and had a talk with Mickey. It was after they left and half an hour later when Francine and the kids were sitting to have dinner, that is when Mickey came back into the kitchen and started to beat Francine again. He then made her have sex with him. It was after all of that and when he finally went to sleep, that is when Francine lost it and burned the bed.

A must read book, to truly understand the movie but also saying that, the movie does stick to the book, as best as it could.


24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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