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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

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Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.



4,406 ( 27)
22 wins & 70 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bartender (as Adam Thompson)
Man in Home #2
Cult Member
Louisa Braden Johnson ...
Cult Member
Cult Member
Man in Home #1


Martha has run away from an abusive hippie-like cult where she was living as Marcy May for two years. She turns to her sister and brother-in-law who take her in and want to help her. The problem is Martha is having a hard time separating dreams from reality and when haunting memories of her past keep resurfacing, she may need more help than anyone is able to give her. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

21 December 2011 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La fuga di Martha  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,651, 23 October 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,981,638, 5 February 2012
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sean Durkin offered the role directly to Sarah Paulson, being a fan on her work on Studio 60. See more »


During Martha's breakdown in the party scene, the bow on her white dress is hanging loose when she is being corralled into the bedroom by Lucy and Ted. In the next shot, the bow is done up again. See more »


[first lines]
Watts: [as Martha runs away] Marcy! Marcy May! Where ya goin'?
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Featured in Maltin on Movies: Project X (2012) See more »


Marcy's Song
Written by Jackson C. Frank
Performed by John Hawkes
Courtesy of Jim Abbott
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Weird, but in a Good Way
29 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

Elizabeth Olsen's acting in Martha Marcy May Marlene is really fantastic (it may or may not be her first feature film, not sure which she did first this or Silent House). Her acting combined with the background we get make it easy to see how someone could be drawn into a cult - and stay for so long despite the abusiveness.

The interactions between Martha, her sister and her brother-in-law are downright strange at times but not in a 'hunh?' way at all. They're strange in a way that actually makes perfect sense for the characters and the experiences they've had.

I was really disappointed by the very, very, very end of the film - but I liked the other 100 or so minutes enough that I can forgive it (or forget about it). That and I really can't wait to see Elizabeth Olsen in something else.

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