7.4/10
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60 user 20 critic
The story of Frances Farmer's meteoric rise to fame in Hollywood and the tragic turn her life took when she was blacklisted.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Frances Farmer
... Lillian Farmer
... Harry York
... Ernest Farmer
... Hitchhiker
... Studio Stylist
James Brodhead ... Desk Sergeant
... Lady at Roosevelt Hotel (as J.J. Chaback)
... Harold Clurman
Rod Colbin ... Sentencing Judge
Daniel Chodos ... 'No Escape' director
Donald Craig ... Ralph Edwards
Sarah Cunningham ... Alma Styles
... 'Flowing Gold' Director
... Clifford Odets
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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>

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Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1983 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Frances, a Filha da Fúria  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,624, 26 December 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's closing credits declare that: "In exchange for the use of certain facilities and per agreement with the California Department of Mental Health, the producers have agreed to the following disclaimer: "Since the 1940s there have been major advances in the care and treatment of the mentally ill. The reprehensible conditions experienced by Frances Farmer are not typical of mental health treatment today"." 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

Arresting Sergeant: Your name?
Frances Farmer: You jerks drag me down here in the middle of the night and you don't know who the hell I am?
Arresting Sergeant: Your name lady?
Frances Farmer: Frances Elena Farmer. Want me to spell it?
Arresting Sergeant: And your address?
Frances Farmer: Put me down as a vag, vagrant, vagabond. What is this, a joke? It's a joke? Assault and battery? Huh? I barely touched that bitch.
Arresting Sergeant: Occupation?
Frances Farmer: Cocksucker.
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Soundtracks

This Is Your Life
(theme music)
Composed by Alexander Laszlo and L. Wolfe Gilbert
Courtesy of Ralph Edwards Productions
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User Reviews

 
Nature or Nurture
16 September 2005 | by See 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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