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Directed by
Graeme Clifford
140 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4.5 stars


Based on the true and tragic story of Frances Farmer, a one-time Hollywood starlet who refused to kow-tow to either the studio system or her controlling mother, this is a rather bleak, real life version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.  Many will find it distressing as it is a disturbing story of abuse and self-abuse, but credit must go to the people willing to make films which are not simply entertaining, feelgood diversions. Jessica Lange, who subsequently made a speciality of abused women characters, lends great poignancy and vulnerability to the role of the young, idealistic if somewhat belligerent soul broken by a cruel world of bigotry and self-interest. She and Sam Shepard (whose character in this is not in Farmer's autobiography), one of America's leading contemporary playwrights, became an item as result of this conjunction and went on appear opposite each other again in Country.




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