6.7/10
1,485
15 user 19 critic

Lianna (1983)

A happily married woman comes to realize herself of being a repressed lesbian after she has an affair with a female college professor, and then tries to come to terms with her newfound lifestyle.

Director:

John Sayles

Writer:

John Sayles
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mute alien with the appearance of a black human is chased by outer-space bounty hunters through the streets of Harlem.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Joe Morton, Daryl Edwards, Rosanna Carter
City of Hope (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An intersecting tale with a multitude of characters living lives which, in one way or another, revolve around an old apartment block scheduled to be demolished.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Stephen Mendillo
Amigo (2010)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A fictional account of events during the Philippine-American War.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt
Men with Guns II (1997)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Federico Luppi, Damián Delgado, Dan Rivera González
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Fontayne is enlisted by Bernice - her estranged old friend and current parole officer - along with a disgraced cop to search for Bernice's son, who went missing on the Mexican border.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: LisaGay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross, Edward James Olmos
Honeydripper (2007)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Danny Glover, LisaGay Hamilton, Yaya DaCosta
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman searching for the perfect man instead discovers the perfect woman.

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Tovah Feldshuh
Desert Hearts (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman on the precipice of divorce becomes drawn to a ranchowner's daughter.

Director: Donna Deitch
Stars: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley
Silver City (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The discovery of a corpse threatens to unravel a bumbling local politician's campaign for governor of Colorado.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Maria Bello
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A woman and her new husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida, and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate development.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Angela Bassett, Edie Falco, Alex Lewis
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1943 Berlin, a Nazi officer's wife meets and starts a passionate affair with a Jewish woman.

Director: Max Färberböck
Stars: Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler, Johanna Wokalek
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Griffiths Linda Griffiths ... Lianna
Jane Hallaren ... Ruth
Jon DeVries Jon DeVries ... Dick
Jo Henderson Jo Henderson ... Sandy
Jessica MacDonald Jessica MacDonald ... Theda (as Jessica Wight MacDonald)
Jesse Solomon Jesse Solomon ... Spencer
John Sayles ... Jerry
Stephen Mendillo ... Bob
Betsy Julia Robinson Betsy Julia Robinson ... Cindy
Nancy Mette ... Kim
Maggie Renzi Maggie Renzi ... Sheila
Madelyn Coleman Madelyn Coleman ... Mrs. Hennessy
Robyn Reeves Robyn Reeves ... Job Applicant
Chris Elliott ... Lighting Assistant
Marta Renzi Marta Renzi ... Dancer
Edit

Storyline

Lianna and her husband Dick have been married for a few years but the marriage isn't a happy one, since Dick treats her with arrogance. One day Lianna falls in love - with Ruth, a teacher. The people who know them act different: her husband with feelings of sexual betrayal, her children with curiosity and Lianna's friends with ambivalence. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1983 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Lianna, Um Amor Diferente See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,530,839

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,530,839
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Winwood Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles performed a number of roles on this film. Sayles was sole writer, an actor, editor and the director. See more »

Quotes

Lianna: I'm gay.
Sheila: I'm Sheila.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits credit only the production company and the crew members. The cast is not credited until the end credits. The title of the film, LIANNA, appears as the last title card after John Sayles is credited as writer, producer, director and editor. See more »

Connections

References Battleground (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Paint The Town Blue
Written by Jeanie Stahl & Mason Daring
Performed by Jeanie Stahl
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A thoughtful and somewhat depressing film.
29 April 2007 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

Writer/director John Sayles went with this film where few other directors would have dared to venture at that time. His Lianna is a film dealing with the coming out of a young woman in the midst of a failing marriage. Lianna is a 33 year old woman married to a self-centered college teacher and mother of two children. Though her family does not seem to greatly prosper, it would appear on the surface that Lianna lives a comfortable life. Just when her husband pushes things too far, Lianna starts up a sexual relationship with her night school teacher. Lianna cares enough for this woman that she becomes openly gay, and moves out of her home. She quickly learns that her coming out may cause more problems than she originally bargained for.

First of all, she is forced to live in a tiny apartment and financially support herself. The job market of this college town seems weak, and there isn't much out there in terms of decent employment. As one might expect, Lianna's children are somewhat alienated by their mother's new lifestyle. Their father no doubt helps further the alienation. Lianna's best friend no longer wishes to speak to her. And perhaps worst of all, the woman she came out for, does not wish to be committed to her. She has another woman in another town she is still very much in love with. The rest of the film deals with Lianna coming to terms with her new lifestyle, and trying her best to fight off her sudden loneliness and isolation.

John Sayles, who even plays a supporting part, does a very good job with the material. He had to make this film on a budget of less than half a million dollars, and all of that pretty much came from private donors. The film ends up looking pretty good, but many of the locations are somewhat bleak in appearance. Sayles handles perhaps the most important scene with very good tact. In it, Lianna is trying to come out to Ruth (the teacher) without actually saying it point blank. Ruth is clearly attracted to Lianna, but she obviously fears making a move before she is sure that's what Lianna wishes. Notice how she delicately moves her hand through Lianna's hair as Lianna details a close relationship with a female friend at summer camp. And yes, there are numerous sex scenes. On the surface, this type of film might sound like exploitation, but Sayles doesn't let it slip into that territory. He allows his characters to keep their dignity, and we the audience care deeply about them before its over.

The film is not necessarily about the triumphs and empowerment of coming out. Lianna in fact seems mostly miserable once she allows herself to be honest about her sexuality. That makes this film a somewhat depressing endeavor. Only in the film's final scene is there any sliver of hope that the protagonist can gain acceptance from someone was alienated by her change of lifestyle. The film stumbles a bit in terms of how it handles Lianna's relationship with her husband. He is shown to us as being a truly reprehensible slug from the beginning. I think it would have been more interesting to show him as being either likable or at the very worst simply inattentive. Being as though we already know what a jerk he is, there really isn't any where else the story can go with him. Maybe it would have been more interesting to show how a more typical man would have reacted to his wife coming out. Just a thought.

Overall this is a daring and thoughtful film. Linda Griffiths is particularly outstanding as the title character, and the rest of the cast is fairly convincing as well. The film scores points for dealing with its characters as well-defined individuals, rather than simple stereotypes. If you can find a copy of this little-known film, by all means give it a look. 8 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed