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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

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

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Based on a true story See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inocencia interrumpida  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$28,871,190 (USA) (28 April 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wynona Rider'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, Wynona was arrested for stealing bags in a department store. See more »

Goofs

Susanna's hair when Valerie throws her into the bathtub, appears almost combed back off of her face, then forward seconds later. The amount of water on her face also changes. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Tomorrow People: Girl, Interrupted (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Time Has Come Today
Written by Willie Chambers and Joseph Chambers
Performed by The Chambers Brothers
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


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