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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  14 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 117,757 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 381 user | 133 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.



(book), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Georgina (as Clea Duvall)
Drucie McDaniel ...
Alison Claire ...


Susanna is rushed to the hospital. Afterwards she discusses this with a psychiatrist. She had been having some delusions. She had also been having an affair with the husband of her parents' friend. The doctor suggests that combining a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of vodka was a suicide attempt. This she denies. He recommends a short period of rest at Claymoore. Claymoore is a private mental hospital full of noisy, crazy people. Georgina is a pathological liar. Polly has been badly scarred by fire. Daisy won't eat in the presence of other people. Lisa is a sociopath, the biggest exasperation for the staff - like Nurse Valerie - and the biggest influence on the other girls in the hospital. Lisa has a history of escapes, so gaining access to personal medical files is not a problem... Susanna's boyfriend Toby is concerned that she seems too comfortable living with her institutionalized friends... Written by David Woodfield

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on a true story See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and content relating to drugs, sexuality and suicide | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inocencia interrumpida  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$95,399 (USA) (24 December 1999)


$28,871,190 (USA) (28 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Angelina Jolie avoided any communication with Winona Ryder when making this movie claiming that if she saw anything human about Winona Ryder, she wouldn't have been able to act out the sociopath character of Lisa Rowe as effectively. See more »


The girls in the hospital are shown watching The Wizard of Oz during the daytime. In the 1960s, The Wizard of Oz was only broadcast once a year around Easter and only during the evening. Since this movie takes place before the availability of the VCR there's no way they could have been watching this movie during the day, but, since recording devices of the type did exist at that time, and since the original work was not a linear story, it could be that they could simply have it in a different format. See more »


[first lines]
Susanna: [narrating] Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60s. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
See more »


Referenced in Supernatural: Sam, Interrupted (2010) See more »


Moon River
Written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer
Performed by The 101 Strings Orchestra (as 101 Strings)
Courtesy of Madacy Entertainment
Under license from Madacy Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great Movie!
25 January 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

The most striking and yet most frustrating part of `Girl, Interrupted' is that everybody that's been 19 years old can relate to Susanna, the main character. Based on her memoir, the film portrays Susanna Kaysen's short stay in a famous mental hospital, supposedly to cure her `borderline personality disorder.' Set in the late 1960's, Winona Ryder effectively portrays Kaysen.

In a tradition reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, the audience knows there is nothing actually wrong with Kaysen, except that she is a typical teenager, and refuses to conform to the life her parents want for her. However, after spending some time with her ward mates and numerous doctors, she starts to believe that she is insane, but can't understand why or what exactly is wrong with her. At one point, she asks a sympathetic nurse (played by Whoopi Goldberg) how she is expected to be cured if she doesn't even understand her illness. Throughout the film, writer James Mangold's exploration of Kaysen's changing emotions and attempts to understand her `illness' is captivating.

However, even more fascinating than Kaysen herself were the supporting characters. Perhaps the most striking of these characters though, is Lisa, played by Angelina Jolie. Jolie completely immerses herself in the role, and gives a moving, intriguing and haunting performance as Susanna's best friend at the hospital. Although Ryder does an excellent job portraying the earnestness and confusion of her character, Jolie is the true star of this movie.

Adapted from Kaysen's memoir, the film works well to bring Kaysen's' words to life. The parts that were altered for the screenplay made sense, allowing the story to translate well to the screen. Additionally, the length of the film allowed for more depth and details to be explored, which sometimes left out of Kaysen's short novel. Thus, the film helped add onto and bring more understanding to characters which were introduced in the novel.

92 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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