5 user 1 critic

A Woman of Independent Means 

Bess Steed marries her childhood sweetheart in the early part of the 20th century and begins a life in the high society of Dallas, Texas. As time goes by, things do not work out as she ... See full summary »

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video





Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Cooler Climate (TV Movie 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Iris is broke after her divorce and takes a job working as a housekeeper for a wealthy woman named Paula. When Paula and her husband separate, an unlikely friendship blossoms between the women.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Sally Field, Judy Davis, Winston Rekert
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Not until three years after the death of her husband Jolly, Kay dares to move back into their former house, persuaded by her new fiancé Rupert. But soon her worst expectations come true, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Sally Field, James Caan, Jeff Bridges
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In central Texas in the 1930s, a widow, with two small children, tries to run her small 40-acre farm with the help of two disparate people.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris
Two Weeks (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In this bittersweet comedy, four adult siblings gather at their dying mother's house in North Carolina for what they expect to be a quick, last goodbye. Instead, they find themselves trapped-- together -- for two weeks.

Director: Steve Stockman
Stars: Sally Field, Ben Chaplin, Julianne Nicholson
All the Way Home (TV Movie 1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A wife and mother in 1915 Tennessee copes with the loss of her husband and the necessity of raising their children alone.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Sally Field, William Hurt, Ned Beatty


Series cast summary:
 Eleanor, as an adult 3 episodes, 1995
Andrew Lowery ...
 Drew, as an adult 3 episodes, 1995
 Mother Steed 3 episodes, 1995
 Andrew Alcott 3 episodes, 1995
Joshua Miller
 Walter Burton 3 episodes, 1995
Christianne Mays ...
Julie Mayfield ...
Randy Moore ...
Brooke Hailey ...
Mark Walters ...
Cynthia Dorn ...
 Marthareen 3 episodes, 1995
Richard Dillard ...
 Richard Prince 3 episodes, 1995
Jill Parker-Jones ...
 Exa Banks 3 episodes, 1995
 Howard Blackstone 3 episodes, 1995
Christina Stojanovich ...
 Eleanor #1 3 episodes, 1995
Trevor Meeks ...
 Robin #1 3 episodes, 1995
Emmy Barker ...
 Eleanor #2 3 episodes, 1995
Matthew Loehr ...
 Robin #2 3 episodes, 1995
Marietta Marich ...
Rutherford Cravens ...
 Marvin Hamilton 3 episodes, 1995
 Old Nanny 3 episodes, 1995
Emily Courtney ...
Malachi Melville ...
 Young Nurse 3 episodes, 1995
Kristin Birch ...
 Hotel Maid 3 episodes, 1995
Donald Lawson ...
 Newspaper Editor 3 episodes, 1995
Jessica Drake ...
 Pregnant Woman 3 episodes, 1995
Pam Dougherty ...
 Second Jessamine Sister 3 episodes, 1995
Gena Sleete ...
 Mrs. Maxwell 3 episodes, 1995
Cliff Stephens ...
 Car Salesman 3 episodes, 1995
 St. Louis Bellhop 3 episodes, 1995
 Mrs. Fleck 3 episodes, 1995
Morgan Redmond ...
 Man in English Garden 3 episodes, 1995
 Eleanor's Doctor 3 episodes, 1995
 Robert Steed 3 episodes, 1995
 Sam Garner 3 episodes, 1995


Bess Steed marries her childhood sweetheart in the early part of the 20th century and begins a life in the high society of Dallas, Texas. As time goes by, things do not work out as she expects. Her husband dies of influenza, and she finds that she must pick up and carry along with her life. She proves to be a strong, commited, and loving individual who attracts new loves into her life and finds that she can take good care of the old ones. Despite further tragedy in losing her oldest son, and a second marriage that is not all that she expects it to be she continues to survive as independently as she has discovered the courage to do so. Written by CD

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements





Release Date:

19 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bess  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The main character has three children: two boys, Robin and Drew, and then a daughter, Eleanor. As the children grow older the daughter seems to become the middle child and Drew the youngest. See more »


Featured in The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This was a pleasant surprise
29 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

The only unfortunate part of the movie was that I missed the ending. What a bummer. Sally Field was wonderful throughout the movie. As a wife, mother, friend, lover, and daughter-in-law, she performed well. She is so believable and it was really interesting to see what life and culture was like in the past. When she referred to the conventions of life and how stifling they were at the time, she inspired me to "look outside the box". She was a true friend, even when her unexpected match-making resulted in her losing her lover. The last part I was able to see was after the picnic with Sam and the children when she gave in a kissed him. I would love to know where I could get a copy of the movie.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page