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Frances is a 1982 American biographical drama film directed by Graeme Clifford from a screenplay written by Eric Bergren, Christopher De Vore, and Nicholas Kazan. The film stars Jessica Lange as Frances Farmer, a troubled actress during the 1930s whose career suffered as a result of her mental illness. It also features Kim Stanley, Sam Shepard, Bart Burns, Jonathan Banks, and Jeffrey DeMunn in supporting roles.

Plot

Born in Seattle, Washington, Frances Elena Farmer is a rebel from a young age, winning $100 in 1931 from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for a high school essay called God Dies. In 1935, she becomes controversial again when she wins (and accepts) an all-expenses-paid trip to the USSR to visit its Moscow Art Theatre. Determined to become an actress, Frances is equally determined not to play the Hollywood game: she refuses to acquiesce to publicity stunts, and insists upon appearing on screen without makeup. She marries her first husband, Dwayne Steele, despite being advised not to, but cheats on him with alleged Communist Harry York on the night of her hometown's premiere of Come and Get It. Her defiance attracts the attention of Broadway playwright Clifford Odets, who convinces Frances that her future rests with the Group Theatre.