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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 <email@example.com>
Jessica Lange, whose part was so emotionally taxing, urged that the film be shot in sequence, but - due to its low budget of $8 to $10 million - the movie was shot out of sequence. See more »
Among the framed portraits of actresses under contract to Paramount Pictures hanging on Mr. Bebe's office walls is one of Joan Crawford. But Crawford was an MGM contract player at the time portrayed in the scene and never worked for Paramount. See more »
Wonderful performance from female star, a sad romance
This is an important film, and I am compelled to write a few lines to attract other viewers to see it. Sensitive music by John Barry to set the mood, yes it is a love story really, I enjoyed seeing Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, they work well together. What can you say about the talent of Jessica Lange? I could not take my eyes off her. Impeccable acting. She is so stunningly lovely,as was the Frances Farmer of the story, they are much alike both breathtakingly beautiful. No other actress could have played this part in 1982. A non conformist ahead of her time, today Frances would be almost normal, the Frances Farmer story is sad and infuriating,such a waste... the child pressured by her mother to be everything the mother wanted for herself, to be a Hollywood star, the ineffectual father who could have stepped in to determine a less shattering future for their daughter. How often do we see that the wrong kind of parental influence on their children can lead to disastrous results? I found Frances courageous and admirable in the face of evil and adversity. The sadness felt by the wonderfully supportive Harry York (played by Sam Shepard) toward the end of the movie brings tears to the eyes, she has forgotten how to love, but she has survived... only to die alone in 1970. Breaks my heart. True to life, caring and detailed movie. Best actress for Jessica Lange, in my view, I noticed her in King Kong and I knew she was going to make it big. Highest marks and comments from malcotoro, Toronto, Canada
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