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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  14 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 116,075 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 380 user | 133 critic | 32 from

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 7 wins & 9 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


The crazy thing is, you're not crazy. 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?


The book and film Girl, Interrupted take their title from the painting "Girl Interrupted at her Music" by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. See more »


When Lisa is ordering a sundae at the ice cream counter, she asks for "sprinkles", which are known as "jimmies" in the Boston area. 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 »


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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Quite Likeable!
24 April 2002 | by (New Delhi, India) – See all my reviews

In more ways than one, 'Girl Interrupted' is very similar to 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest'. To begin with both the films are set in mental institutions and chronicle life as it unfolds amidst those bland, white walls. Characters in both the film are acutely lifelike. But owing perhaps to it being a true story, 'Girl Interrupted' has characters that are much easier to identify with than McMurphy's brigade. Set in the 60's, the film is an account of the times spent in the Mental Institution by an eighteen year girl, Susanna Kaysen, a character portrayed with astonishing brilliance by the versatile Winona Ryder.

Susanna is a victim of neurosis, great expectations, confusion, an uncertain future and the sundry other problems an average teenager's life are pounded with. For all her brilliance, Susanna has the undeniable gift of the cynic and the pessimist, who still hasn't made up her mind about life's meaning and is upset about it. She has the nagging feeling that her character is incomplete and gets caught in the depressing vortex of tendencies that earn her the title of, what we're later told, a border line personality. An almost successful but unintentional suicide attempt lands her in the footsteps of Claymoore, a mental instituition. In the confined borders of the instituition, Susanna is surprised to discover how well she identifies with the pain and flaws of fellow inmates. Here, the atmosphere is sans any prejudice or cliches. Here, everyone is a victim one way or the other. Far from the deplorable world outside the instituition, susanna feels that she's finally home. And it is this atmosphere that slowly gives way to the realisation of her actual needs, her character and her purpose.

In the first half of the film, the director employs an interesting technique of fusing two different scenes and establishing a coherence that not only takes the story forward but at the same time tells us what is already past. Apart from Susanna and maybe Lisa, few characters are generously sketched. This, although, doesn't allow the loosening of the plot's grip on you. Furthermore, the institution is projected in a more agreeable light and the resultant sympathy for the characters ( unlike 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest') does not coincide with an abhorrence towards the angle of treatment. The movie does lead the viewer to understand the plight of the inmates, but not with the object of establishing the reasons that led to their condition. Rather it concentrates on the way these girls face their fate, day in and day out. It also highlights the way the girls identify with each others problems, hopes and desires in a fashion that alternates between being poignant and amusing.

Perhaps the most distinct factor about the movie is the exemplary performances put up by a cast that mostly comprises of females. I haven't seen a film that could hold its own without a single male lead, as good as this movie does. Winona Ryder is very convincing as Susanna. Angelina Jolie delivers so well that I am having a hard time getting over the fact that she agreed to Lara Croft. Whoopi Goldberg is good but her role is regrettably restricted. Constrained performances by all the actresses make this film worthy of being watched. It is funny, sad, mischievous and optimistic all at the same time.

Watch it if you can for it is very unlikely that you would get disappointed. Like I said it is quite likeable!

41 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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