7.4/10
7,180
65 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 »

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

Her story is shocking, disturbing, compelling... and true. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Kevin Costner's first major motion picture. See more »

Goofs

A shot of the outside of a New York building shows many modern window air-conditioners, although this was supposed to be the 1930s or 1940s. See more »

Quotes

Harry York: Frances, you're crazy.
Frances Farmer: [softly] Don't tell anybody.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Puttin' on the Show: The Making of 'Starstruck' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

THIS IS YOUR LIFE
(Theme Music)
Composed by Alexander Laszlo and L. Wolfe Gilbert
Courtesy of Ralph Edwards Productions
See more »

User Reviews

 
Robbed of an Oscar...
30 November 2005 | by Isaac5855See all my reviews

Jessica Lange was robbed of an Academy Award for her mesmerizing performance in the 1982 film, FRANCES, a relatively gripping character study/biography of the late 1930's actress Frances Farmer, who, after being ostracized from Hollywood, ended up being declared insane, institutionalized, and lobotomized, according to this screenplay. Not knowing a lot about the actress before the release of this film, I have never been sure of how factual it is (I always got the feeling that the Harry York character, played by Sam Shepherd, was fictional), but how many screen biographies are big on the facts? Sometimes facts are glossed over and/or ignored for the sake of preserving or igniting drama. Whether or not this is true is for those who knew Farmer to say. I did see an interview once with Farmer's nephew (?) who was very pleased with Lange's interpretation of Farmer and that is exactly why this film is worth seeing. Despite a meandering screenplay, turgid direction, and a feeling the movie is about 30 minutes too long, this movie is worth seeing for one reason and one reason only...the riveting performance by Jessica Lange. She is in virtually every frame of this movie and makes every single moment vivid and striking and achingly real. This film should be shown to acting classes on a daily basis...maybe the best performance by an actress in a leading role during the decade of the 1980's. Not a great film, but an amazing performance by a consummate actress that must be seen to be believed.


54 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1983 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Frances See more »

Edit

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed