7.2/10
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41 user 7 critic

The Burning Bed (1984)

Not Rated | | Crime , Drama | TV Movie 8 October 1984
An abused battered wife has had enough of husband beating up on her. Everywhere she turns for help, there's not much anyone will do. After he rapes her one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it asleep.

Director:

Robert Greenwald

Writers:

Rose Leiman Goldemberg (teleplay), Faith McNulty (book)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Farrah Fawcett ... Francine Hughes
Paul Le Mat ... Mickey Hughes (as Paul LeMat)
Richard Masur ... Aryon Greydanus
Grace Zabriskie ... Flossie Hughes
Penelope Milford ... Gaby
Christa Denton Christa Denton ... Christy age 12
James T. Callahan ... Berlin Hughes (as James Callahan)
Gary Grubbs ... District Attorney
David Friedman David Friedman ... Jimmy age 10
David Andrews ... Wimpy Hughes
James Hampton ... Police Witness
Virgil Frye ... Virg
Dixie K. Wade Dixie K. Wade ... Hazel Moran
Heather Rich Heather Rich ... Christy age 6
Justin Gocke Justin Gocke ... Jimmy Age 4
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Storyline

After years of beatings and terror, Francine Hughes set fire to her abuser's bed while he slept. Her confession and subsequent murder trial held the nation enthralled. A dramatic story of a woman pushed over the edge. Written by Fairchild

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fire | court | lawyer | jury | verdict | See All (37) »

Taglines:

She was trapped 12 years in a brutal, violent marriage. Until the night she struck back. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das brennende Bett See more »

Filming Locations:

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of Francine Hughes, who was accused of murdering her husband on March 9, 1977 in Dansville, Michigan. She was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, and her case created a legal precedent for how domestic violence cases were to be handled in the future. See more »

Goofs

When Mickey pounds the kitchen windows to threaten Francine, he repeats "I'm going to break the door with your face" at two different points, with the same inflections each time, revealing the line as recorded dialogue. See more »

Quotes

Hazel Moran: If you make a hard bed, you have to lay in it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Private Practice: Georgia on My Mind (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Incredible performances and direction
12 January 2006 | by heathertheredSee all my reviews

This has to be the best TV Movie ever created. Directed by the same guy who directed Xanadu....[??? How's that possible? He also directed WALMART: the High Cost of Low Prices, too] His direction of The Burning Bed is superb, to say the least.

You really feel as though her fear and terror are your own through claustrophobic cinematography in the scenes where she's being attacked. The dignity the cast and director were able to conjure for this sad story is far better than television deserves. The violence she imparts upon her husband gives her no satisfaction for she is not a malicious or vengeful woman.

I believe this movie has inspired countless women to leave abusive relationships since the first day it aired and more so as time has passed. Through it's ability to reach such a wide audience and it's star power, the attention it drew to the issue of battered women could be considered nothing less than a milestone.


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