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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

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



(book), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1,063 ( 36)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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


Unable to cope with reality and the difficulty that comes with it, 18 year old Susanna, is admitted to a mental institution in order to overcome her disorder. However, she has trouble understanding her disorder and therefore finds it difficult to tame, especially when she meets the suggestive and unpredictable Lisa. Written by Toni

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little 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  »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,399, 26 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$28,912,646, 31 December 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,350,205, 31 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Winona Ryder's first lines in this movie are: "Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash?". Ironically, two years later, Winona was arrested for stealing bags in a department store. See more »


Susanna often writes quotes from other characters in her journal. In one scene, we see her write the quote "If you lived here you'd be home by now", but this quote is not said by Daisy until later in the movie. 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 The Cinema Snob: Video Violence 2 (2010) See more »


Written by Tony Hatch
Performed by Petula Clark
Courtesy of BMG France
Also sung by Winona Ryder (uncredited) and Angelina Jolie (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brief critique-- 9/10 Excellent drama and lyric insight
27 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

I came to the film with low expectations. I was simply stunned by how good it was.

Angelina Jolie is an absolutely PHENOMENAL actress. Her performance alone is worth watching the movie for. But unlike show-stoppers like Marissa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinnie," merely shines the brightest light in a luminescent cast.

The cinematography was innovative, but not distractingly so-- "Girl Interupted" shines primarily for its dramatic power, not as a mind-blowing work of art. It will not explode your vision of the mundane world in the same way that "American Beauty" might, but it will certainly probe you to question your way of seeing the world-- at least psychologically.

Winona Ryder challenged my preconception of her, and proved herself as more than a pretty-girl. Her performance was convincing as Suzanna, a confused high-school graduate who is eloquent and insightful on paper yet unable to a rticulate her own desperate melancholy.

The movie takes place primarily in the women's ward of a mental institution and follows the dynamic friendship between Lisa (Jolie's character) and Suzanna. Lisa is a kinetic, dynamic personality who cuts right to the "truth" of things. Her "truth" knows no boundaries and she is a controlling person prone to violence. Her piercing insights about people and social recklessness led to her to be institutionalized as a sociopath.

This is not a depressing film. Rather, it is suprisingly life-affirming. Not cloying, not sacherine, but not inpenetrably dark, either. Anyone seeking an angst-ridden portrayal of abuses in mental institutions should check out Jack Nicholson's "One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest."

This film has little of the violent anger of that old classic. Yet it does echo some of the ebulience, the defiance of authority and embracing of freedom at sometimes incalculable cost.

Performances by Whoppie Goldberg (in a serious and nuanced role) and Vanessa Redgrave were excellent, as expected.

With the exception of a few holywood gimmicks, predictable cuts and music, this is a nearly flawless film. Dead-on dramatically, and excellently scripted and based on an eloquent true-story by Suzana Keisen, this movie offers a glimpse of one intensely personal experience of truth. Without the quotation marks, dark cynicism, or pretensions that revelation so frequently entails.

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