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Frances 1982 R CC

(183) IMDb 7.4/10
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Jessica Lange stars in her Oscar-nominated performance of the true story of Frances Farmer's meteoric rise to fame in Hollywood and the tragic turn her life took when she was blacklisted.

Jessica Lange, Kim Stanley
2 hours, 20 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Graeme Clifford
Starring Jessica Lange, Kim Stanley
Supporting actors Sam Shepard, Bart Burns, Jonathan Banks, Bonnie Bartlett, James Brodhead, Jane Jenkins, Jordan Charney, Rod Colbin, Daniel Chodos, Donald Craig, Sarah Cunningham, Lee de Broux, Jeffrey DeMunn, Jack Fitzgerald, Nancy Foy, Anne Haney, Richard L. Hawkins, James Karen
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cabir Davis on February 11, 2001
Format: DVD
'Frances' is, quite frankly, one of the most powerful films I have ever seen, and definitely one of the most compelling tales I have seen on film. I saw this movie 17 years after it was first released, but a story such as this loses none of its' power with time, and I was moved, touched and amazed at the life of Frances Farmer, upon whose life this film is based.
First of all, let me say that I saw this on DVD. The DVD version of the movie is crystal clear, though the sound could have been sharper. Colors are crisp and vibrant, and the director's use of film in certain places to create a '30s effect is well-transferred. The only sore point is that there are no extra features on the DVD other than the scene selection. Perhaps a documentary on the star's life would have complimented the movie, but I'm not really complaining. That such an excellent film is available on DVD is gift enough.
The life of Frances Farmer remains one of the most shrouded-in-secrecy tales to come out of Hollywood. Even her autobiography, it is said, was actually written by her 'best friend' Jean Ratcliffe, who doesn't even feature in the movie. I knew none of this when I first stumbled upon this film, which made the horror of the events it contained that much more gruesome and intolerable. For audiences who couldn't stomach 'Hannibal', I have news for you. 'Frances' is a film that deals with true horror, and for that reason this is a film that I will not see again. It affected me too much.
The film starts with Frances' Seattle days, when she was a schoolgirl who won the essay contest with her stunning view of religion and life called 'God Dies'. Jessica Lange's spoken version of the poem is gripping and sets the tone for the rest of the film.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Davis on September 6, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a welcome re-release of one of the very best movies of the 1980s. The DVD itself is a visual and sonic delight, and it comes with extras that are actually worth watching.

Jessica Lange's Oscar-nominated performance alone makes this an unforgettable film - it is clear that she studied Farmer's personality and mannerisms meticulously. She is totally disarming in this role. Kim Stanley is also deserving of her Oscar nomination, and the chemistry between the two makes for some emotionally exhausting scenes.

Frances Farmer was not mentally ill, not by any definition. Yes, she drank excessively at times, and used over-the-counter amphetamines, which contributed to key incidents of "erratic behavior." More than that, though, her brutally honest opinions, sarcastic wit, abrasive language, and her strong sense of self-determination aggravated those who wanted to use and control her.

She inspired vengeance in the hearts of studio moguls at Paramount, right-wing vigilantes in Seattle, and even in her own mother, who still felt a need to control her as an adult, and to enjoy success vicariously through Frances. All of this converged to create her tragedy.

Several reviewers here have disputed details of this film. Names have been changed for some characters. Farmer's first husband, pretty boy Dick/Duane Steele, represents character actor Leif Erickson, who was still living when this film was made. The doctors and judges in Farmer's story likewise have false names, presumably due to legal caution.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Positive Guy on July 13, 2000
Format: DVD
all at the same time is the best way to describe this film in my opinion. I have seen it now three times and I notice the small nuances of acting that I overlooked in the first viewing. This movie made me want to know more about Frances Farmer and I bought the now out-of-print book, "Will There Really Be A Morning?" which was Miss Farmer's own autobiographical account of her life.
I find that I immediately admire the strength of this woman and yet feel absolutely astonished that the things that happened to her truly did in a "civilized" society. In fact there seems to be some confusion about whether the famous "...lobotomy gets 'em HOME!" scene in which Miss Farmer is lobotomized with what amounts to no more than a fancy ice-pick really happened. I wish for less ambiguity and more clarity at certain times during the film.
In any event this movie is fine entertainment and the parts are brilliantly played by Jessica Lange as Frances Farmer and Kim Stanley as her controlling and somewhat sadistic mother. Of particular note is the small but brilliantly played part of Dr. Symington played by Lane Smith. It is too bad he didn't have more than a few minutes in this film; He crammed a tom of talent into ten minutes time.
The only reason I don't give this film 5 stars is because not enough of Miss Farmer's life in Indianapolis is covered. It was there that she hosted an afternoon movie and talk show for the years before her death. The mystery that was her life could possibly be further understood if the period from 1958-1970 had been covered. Get this and see for yourself how thought-provoking and haunting it is. This is a very powerful film so be ready to think about it long after you see it.
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