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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


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  »


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
See  »

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: Ilsa, the Wicked Warden (2014) See more »


Angel of the Morning
Written by Chip Taylor
Performed by Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

That Girl
23 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

"Borderline personality disorder" is one of those phrases that says more about the people who invented it than it does about the patient it's supposed to describe. When Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) the 18-year old heroine of "Girl Interrupted" enters Claymoore hospital, a psychiatric facility outside Boston, she is diagnosed with the syndrome - but in fact, all she's done is made a hapless suicide attempt and acted slack and mopey and lost in her sober daydreams. Her personality isn't borderline -- it's self-pitying and indulgent. Fortunately, the film understands this. Set in 1967, and adapted from Kaysen's memoir of her two-year experience as an adolescent in the throes of a middle-class crack up, "Girl Interrupted" is shrewd, tough and lively - a junior-league "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" that never makes the mistake of portraying its protagonist as a victim-naif. She's more like the original poster child for Prozac Nation: a girl who'd rather interrupt her own life, even if it means going a little crazy, than grow up.

Susanna is thrown in with a turbulent gallery of disturbed young women. They range from a girl who tried to burn her own face off to one who won't eat anything but chicken from her father's deli (she stores the carcasses under the bed). Most of the patients are harmless, but Lisa (Angelina Jolie) a heartless, charismatic sociopath, delights in her destructive power. Jolie brings the kind of combustible sexuality to the screen that our movies, in the age of Meg Ryan have been missing for too long. As Susanna and Lisa become comrades, then enemies, Susanna becomes like a space cadet fighting a secret war with herself, and through Lisa she plays out that war. The film allows Ryder to trace Susanna's gradual emergence from her "borderline" state as she confronts the cruel truth of mental illness.

Directed with satisfying authority by James Mangold, "Girl Interrupted" is really about the thorny neurotic underside of a contemporary young woman's struggle to leave childhood behind. By the end, you feel that Ryder, at long last, has done that as an actress.

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