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Frances Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Robert Horton

Jessica Lange gives a career performance in a role she was born to play: the talented and troubled Frances Farmer. Farmer's awful trajectory travels from bright Seattle girl to 1930s Hollywood starlet to degraded (eventually lobotomized) mental patient. Lange, who has the blond, clean look of Farmer's heyday, goes into these places with the fierce abandon of a true believer. Her performance, the lush John Barry score, and the period re-creation are all worth applauding; almost everything else fails. Everyone except Farmer is grotesquely caricatured to fit the movie's thesis, which is that if you are intelligent and nonconformist, the system will resolutely destroy you. (The medical establishment is evil incarnate.) This simple conclusion seems inadequate and disrespectful of Frances Farmer's tragic problems. For a radiant glimpse of what the real Farmer had to offer, see Howard Hawks's Come and Get It, which bristles with excitement over a new discovery.

Academy Awards

Frances received Academy Award nominations for Actress (Jessica Lange) and for Supporting Actress (Kim Stanley).


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Graeme Clifford

Stars: Jessica Lange, Kim Stanley, Sam Shepard, Bart Burns, Jeffrey DeMunn, Jordan Charney, Lane Smith, Anjelica Huston

Released: December 3, 1982

Availability: DVD VHS

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