7.2/10
2,086
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.

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(teleplay), (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:
... Francine Hughes
... Mickey Hughes (as Paul LeMat)
... Aryon Greydanus
... Flossie Hughes
... Gaby
Christa Denton ... Christy age 12
... Berlin Hughes (as James Callahan)
... District Attorney
David Friedman ... Jimmy age 10
... Wimpy Hughes
... Police Witness
... Virg
Dixie K. Wade ... Hazel Moran
Heather Rich ... Christy age 6
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das brennende Bett  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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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

Near the end of the film, we see Francine get beaten brutally in the face. But when she is arrested a day later, there are hardly any bruises on her face at all. 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

 
Farrah Fawcett at her best playing a woman savagely battered by her husband for 13 years
15 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

I have seen this film dozens of times and consider it a remarkable powerful film. Farrah Fawcett is so easy to look at for hours on end, especially in these 70's housewife clothes. She is at her peak in this film and others of a similar nature, Small Sacrifices and Extremities. This is the best of the three, however. I am stunned each time I watch it at the truth of the story. There really are women and children who must endure this kind of brutality and abuse. Farrah is so good at showing Francine's slowly crumbling self-esteem and sanity. The other performances are top- notch. In particular, Grace Zabriskie seems to me as authentic as possible as a fiercely stubborn, family-centered overbearing mother in denial. The scene where the wife-beater's parents throw their bodies between those of their son and the arresting officers while moments earlier allowing the same son to attempt to kill his wife is mind-boggling. Well done. It makes me want to read the book now that I realize there is one!


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