7.4/10
6,967
63 user 23 critic

Frances (1982)

The story of Frances Farmer's meteoric rise to fame in Hollywood and the tragic turn her life took when she was blacklisted.

Director:

Graeme Clifford

Writers:

Eric Bergren, Christopher De Vore (as Christopher Devore) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Lange ... Frances Farmer
Sam Shepard ... Harry York
Kim Stanley ... Lillian Farmer
Bart Burns ... Ernest Farmer
Christopher Pennock ... Dick Steele
James Karen ... Judge Hillier
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ... Lobotomy Doctor
Sarah Cunningham ... Alma Styles
Allan Rich ... Mr. Bebe
Woodrow Parfrey ... Dr. Doyle
Rod Pilloud ... Martoni Kaminski
Patricia Larson Patricia Larson ... Mrs. Hillier
Jordan Charney ... Harold Clurman
Keone Young ... Chinese Doctor
Bonnie Bartlett ... Studio Stylist
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Storyline

Frances Farmer, a precocious Seattle teenager, takes unpopular social and political positions, to the mixed reactions of her parents. Frances becomes an actress and has some strong success in New York, but her refusal to bend her convictions and her outspoken (but sometimes naive) political expressiveness cause her difficulties, especially after she accepts a Hollywood contract. Torn between new-found success and intense feelings that she does not deserve the riches and fame she gains from the phoniness of Hollywood, Frances butts heads with studio executives and with her own mother, who revels in Frances's fame but provides Frances no emotional support. When drunken fights and arrests derail her career, Frances is sent to a psychiatric hospital with the acquiescence of her mother. What follows is a nightmare of poor treatment and psychological trauma, augmented by the increasing determination of Frances's mother to control her daughter's life. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful. Talented. Intelligent. Courageous. Her name was Frances Farmer. She should've been the silver screen's Greatest Star. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie has a lobotomy being performed on Frances Farmer. The operation never happened and was first fictionalized in William Arnold's Farmer biography "Shadowland" (1978). See more »

Goofs

The recreated movie marquee for "Come and Get It" incorrectly spells Joel McCrea's name as McCrae. See more »

Quotes

Lillian Farmer: When you get well, you're going to thank me.
Frances Farmer: No, you are not talking now! You listen. Now you can send me away and pretend I'm crazy and you can pretend I'm still your little girl who can't take care of herself. But Lillian, there is one thing that you cannot pretend any more and that is that I love you. Because I don't. I can't. Not after what you've done to me. Because I am still me. I've been trying real hard all this time to be me. And you, little sister - you haven't been any help at all.
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Connections

References Rhythm on the Range (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony #7 in A major, Op. 92, 2nd movement
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker (as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon
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User Reviews

 
Nature or Nurture
16 September 2005 | by haridam0See all my reviews

This film parallels the Biography Channel's version of Frances Farmer's life and career. Neither gave a definitive answer as to the cause of this actress' problems.

Was it inability to cope with society due to her own high standards of artistic integrity? Or was it a mental flaw that grew more intense as she got older? It was James Jones (in "From Here to Eternity") that wrote: "Maybe in the days of the pioneer, you could go your own way. Pvt. Pruitt, but today you gotta play ball." That obviously implied demonstrating things like compromise, humility, condescension, flexibility, and sundry social graces.

It also implied that one can "be right" and still be very lonely.

Frances apparently chose the wrong profession, if she expected to "be right" so often. She'd have been better off on a farm or ranch, engaged in solo activities rather than the group endeavor of acting.

As it was, she seemed never to have learned to work professionally with colleagues. From her standpoint, she was indeed "right." She constantly exposed the hypocrisy, insincerity and frailty in people and "the system." Yet the price she paid was a loss of what mattered to her: a career that was nourishing and satisfying.

In '82 Jessica Lange followed up her fine Oscar-winning performance as Julie Nichols in "Tootsie" with this incredible portrayal of Farmer in "Frances." The legendary Kim Stanley was her mother and Sam Shepard rendered a perceptive performance as Farmer's close friend.

Not an easy film to sit through, the quality of acting by this trio is exemplary. As much up to date today as when first filmed. Riveting performances by all. --harry-76


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1983 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Frances See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,624, 26 December 1982

Gross USA:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brooksfilms, EMI Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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