The sad life of '30s and '40s actress Frances Farmer is surely the stuff of melodrama: the story of an intelligent, uncompromising young actress with strong radical political opinions, who fell or was pushed from grace in Hollywood and ended up undergoing a lobotomy in an asylum. But in this version the vein becomes increasingly American Gothic; the potential romantic exploration of the American Left is abandoned in favour of a concentration on the star's incarceration in a series of increasingly Hogarthian asylums. Indeed, Farmer, as scripted here and played by Lange, unsurprisingly remains something of a cypher.

By: VG

Release details

Duration: 140 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Graeme Clifford
Screenwriter: Eric Bergren, Christopher De Vore, Nicholas Kazan
Cast: Jessica Lange
Sam Shepard
Kim Stanley
Bart Burns
Christopher Pennock
James Karen
Kevin Costner
2 people listening