Frances

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Released 1982

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Movie Summary

Director:
Graeme Clifford
Released:
1982
Rating:
R
Frances is a dark and disturbing biographical drama starring Jessica Lange about the sad, true story of a 1930s movie star who gets committed to a mental asylum. Frances Farmer (Jessica Lange) arrived in Hollywood with a stunning beauty and rebellious spirit. As a high school student, she won a trip to Communist Russia after writing an essay in support of their politics. That same outspoken spirit does not serve her well in the Hollywood studio system, where her conflicts with directors and producers drive her to leave for New York. She joins the ensemble of the notoriously left-wing Group Theater, led by playwright Clifford Odets (Jeffrey DeMunn). When Frances realizes that the Broadway artists also only see her as a pretty face, she tries to return to films. In spite of the concern of an old friend, Harry York (Sam Shepard), her fragile state of mind, combined with heavy drinking, sends her into a public scandal that results in her being forced into her parents legal authority. Her lifelong conflict with her domineering mother, Lillian (Kim Stanley), leads to her commitment to a mental asylum and a very long journey to redemption.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Jessica Lange plays Frances Farmer in a performance that is so driven, that contains so many different facets of a complex personality, that we feel she has an intuitive understand...

  • 60

    Variety

    Rare to the memory is a film like Frances which runs 140 minutes and its star is on the screen 85% of the time in one intense scene after another. It's quite an accomplishment for ...

  • 50

    Time Out

    Farmer, as scripted here and played by Lange, unsurprisingly remains something of a cypher.

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Categories

Drama

Themes

Showbiz, Historical, Biography