Frances (1982) Movie Script

[classical piano]
[birds chirping]
[water drips]
[Frances] No one ever
came to me and said,
"You're a fool. There isn't
such a thing as God.
just been stuffing you."
It wasn't murder. I think
God just died of old age.
And when I realized
that He wasn't any more,
it didn't shock me.
It seemed natural and right.
Maybe it's because
I was never
properly impressed
with the religion.
I went to Sunday school,
and I liked the stories
about Christ
and the Christmas Star.
They were beautiful.
But I didn't believe them.
Religion was too vague.
God was different,
He was something real,
something I could feel.
But there were only certain
times that I could feel it.
I used to lie between cool,
clean sheets at night,
after I'd had a bath,
after I'd scrubbed my knuckles
and fingernails and teeth,
and talk to God.
"I'm clean now.
"I've never been this clean,
"and I'll never be cleaner."
And somehow, it was God.
I wasn't sure that it was.
Just something cool
and dark and clean.
That wasn't religion, though.
There was too much
of the physical about it.
After a time, even at night,
the feeling of God
didn't last.
I began to wonder
what the minister meant
when he said, "God the father
"sees even the smallest
sparrow fall.
"He watches over
all His children."
That jumbled it all up
for me.
If God were a father
with children,
then that cleanness
I'd been feeling wasn't God.
So at night,
when I went to bed,
I would think,
"I'm clean. I'm sleepy."
And then I went to sleep.
And it didn't keep me
from enjoying
the cleanness any less.
I just knew
that God wasn't there.
"Sometimes, I found Him
useful to remember,
"especially when I lost
things that were important.
"After slamming through
the house,
"breathless and panicky
from searching,
I could stop and--"
Good night,
See you next weekend, Dad.
"I could stop in the middle
of the room and shut my eyes.
"'Please, God,
help me find my red hat
with the blue trimmings'.
It usually worked."
"That satisfied me
until I began to figure out
"that if God loved
all His children equally,
"then why did he bother
about my red hat,
"and let other people
lose their fathers
and mothers for always?
"I began to see that He
didn't have much to do
"about people's dying,
or hats, or anything.
"They happened whether
he wanted them to or not.
And He stayed in Heaven
and pretended not to notice."
"I wondered a little why God
was such a useless thing."
"It seemed a waste
of time to have him.
"I felt rather proud
to think
"that I had found
the truth myself
"without help from anyone.
"It puzzled me that others
hadn't found out, too.
"God was gone.
Why couldn't they see it?
It still puzzles me."
You're going straight
to Hell, Frances Farmer!
If this is what our schools
are coming to, well--
[Newsreel narrator]
As bread lines
and unemployment rolls
get longer and longer,
violence is erupting
around the nation,
and left-wing politicians
are gaining strength.
In Seattle, congressional
candidate Martoni Kaminski
works the crowd.
[all] No!
[Kaminski] Is it radical
for the wealth of this country
to be turned back
to the people who built
this country?
Good! Because, brothers,
that's you!
[Narrator] Judging
from the crowd reaction,
the U.S. Congress
had better prepare
for men like Kaminski.
[crowd, chanting]
...want Kaminski!
We want Kaminski!
[Narrator] Seattle
is in the news again,
as a high school junior
wins a national competition
and the $100 prize,
with an essay denying God.
This is exactly
the sort of thing
Seattle does not need.
Now, I don't know
who's responsible,
but the notion
that God is dead
seems a very
sinister one to me,
and far beyond
the sophistication
of a mere high school girl.
No. I would not be
at all surprised to learn
that this essay was written
by some anarchist,
some agitator.
You know, Frances is not
havin' a war with God.
[Narrator] Miss Frances Farmer
was unavailable for comment,
but her mother,
Lillian Farmer,
a well-known local
to her daughter's defense.
[Lillian] Unlike in the dark
countries to the East,
freedom of speech
is alive and well
in America...
and in my home.
Hi, Emma.
[Man] Hey, there's
that girl from the news.
[Man] Who cares?
Hey, where ya goin'?
Hey, York!
Hey, lover boy!
Hey, hey, hey!
you can handle her?
Come here!
I wanna talk to you.
Uh, Mama told you
not to talk
to strangers, huh?
Don't touch me.
I'm not gonna hurt ya.
I just wanna talk.
All right, then.
You're causin' a lot
of trouble, you know?
I'm causing trouble?
You're a pain in the butt.
You newshounds have been
after me and my folks
ever since I won
that dumb contest.
I'm only 16 years old.
Who the hell cares
what I think?
Not me, but some people
seem to.
Well, if you didn't
put it in the papers--
Wait a second, sweetie.
Do I look like
a newshound to you?
No, you look more
like a cop.
Well, that's rich.
If I was a cop,
I'd be packin',
wouldn't I?
You see a gun?
Go ahead. Search me.
Pat me down.
I'll take your word
for it.
so who are you, then?
Harry York.
I work
for Martoni Kaminski.
He's running
for Congress here.
Yeah, I saw that.
I saw you in that newsreel.
Ah, yeah.
You know, my dad's done
some work for Kaminski.
Yeah, now you're puttin'
it together, see?
You don't wanna get your
daddy in hot water, do ya?
What do you mean?
Well, the newspapers are
tryin' to make us out
to be pinkos, see?
Then you come along,
the friendly neighborhood
Well, I'm not. It's just
the newspapers--
Yeah, I know.
You're no more an atheist
than my man's a Red,
but they're tryin'
to put together
their version of your
ideas as their version
of ours.
Could look bad
for your daddy.
Could look bad for you
and Kaminski, too, I guess.
You're pretty smart
for 16.
aren't you the smoothie.
I suppose now you're
gonna ask for my number?
No, I suppose not.
I've gotta ask you this,
It'd be better
for all our sakes
if you kept your trap shut.
I'll give it a try,
Mr. York.
Sure don't walk
like 16, either.
[Harry] Frances
stayed on my mind
for a long time,
after that day.
I kept in touch with her
off and on
over the next few years.
Then I heard
she'd taken up acting.
So I took up seein' plays.
She got real big
on three things:
Russian theatre,
Broadway, and me.
Then out of the blue,
she wins this first prize
trip to Moscow
from some Commie newspaper.
She was thrilled to death,
'cause the return trip
landed her off
in New York City.
You sure had to admire
this girl.
She had a whole lot of moxie.
She'd give you
that big ol' smile,
and it seemed like she
could do just about anything.
Anything at all.
Yeah, it's a gift.
You gotta do
somethin' with it.
If I win this trip,
Ma would kill me.
[both laugh]
She hates Russians.
But I do wanna go,
you know.
Especially to New York.
But I just wanted
to do it quietly.
You're not exactly
the quiet type, are ya?
So you think I should go.
Yeah, I would.
Try this acting thing
out, you know?
You could make some
good money at it.
I got you somethin'.
For those cold
Russian nights.
Look at this.
Silk stockings?
Yep. Pure silk.
Harry York, where the hell
did you find silk?
Had a friend.
Yeah, I bet you do.
Hey! What are ya doin'?
Well, what do you think?
I'm gonna try 'em on.
I haven't had
silk stockings before.
They got a seam in 'em.
I don't know anything
about a seam.
In the back.
No daughter of mine is
going to Communist Russia.
Ma, it's just a trip.
A trip.
And Mother
the last to know.
I was gonna--
I came home--
I want you to hear me.
Listen good!
Do you know that those
Reds at that newspaper
are using you?
Oh, Mom!
They're not using me!
My God! It's my ticket
out of Seattle.
It's a chance to travel,
to see things.
I mean,
The Moscow Art Theater.
Why can't you
try and understand?
it's a way to New York.
I can get you
to New York.
I can!
Mom, I don't
want your money!
I've saved enough
of my own money.
My God,
I'm working three jobs.
Can't you see I wanna
do this my own way?
See? I learned
your lesson very well.
To do what
you think is right,
everybody else be damned?
Little sister,
you had better wise up.
This is gonna be
out of my hands.
It isn't in your hands,
It's my life now.
Prominent people
are concerned--
I don't care!
Judge Hillier
and his cronies--
I don't care!
Well, you will care!
What am I gonna do?
You really wanna go?
Of course I wanna go.
You think
it's worth all this?
If I didn't, I wouldn't
put you through it.
then I think
you should go.
So for the first time
in her life,
Frances bucked up
against her mother.
Not only that,
she hit the headlines again.
Caused quite a big stink
up here in Seattle.
On top of being
branded an atheist,
now she was a pinko
sympathizer to boot.
I guess she had a good time
over there in Russia,
but when she hit New York,
things didn't quite click
the way she thought they would.
Finally, she landed a job
as a contract player
for a movie studio.
Well, that meant one thing:
send her out to Hollywood and
give her the full treatment.
But Frances didn't exactly
fit the mold they had in mind.
[Male reporter]
Now that you've obtained
your life's ambition--
But I haven't.
I mean, I see Hollywood
as a stepping stone.
My real ambition
is Broadway.
And then fill in
your empty spaces.
[Man] You ready?
[Frances] Uh-huh.
Let's get her ready
for the leg art stuff.
What is leg art?
[Man, laughing]
Leg art?
Bathing suits, miss.
Oh, no. I'm not gonna
do any bathing suits.
Oh, yeah.
Really. I don't even look
good in a bathing suit.
I'm not the glamor girl.
What has all this got
to do with acting?
Oh. Good morning,
Mr. Bebe.
Who's this?
[Frances laughing]
Frances Farmer.
Contract player.
6-month option.
Good tits.
Wet your lips.
Hold it. Hold it.
Fire Chief test.
Robert Metts. Take 5.
How many more
of these do we have?
[Director] Action.
[Man] 14.
Robert Metts?
I'm afraid so.
[Actor] Follow those
trappers. They'll take you
safely down the mountain.
But, Kurt, I'm afraid--
Ah, if there's
a way back,
I'll find it.
But those men are
counting on me.
There's a forest.
A burning forest.
And you know
what I must do.
[Frances] Oh, Kurt--
Oh, Angela. My--
my own Angelie.
Ha ha ha!
[Director, laughing] Cut--
Oh, I'm sorry--
Um, can we go back?
Hey, who's the girl?
[Man] Fire Chief test--
Frances Farmer.
Take 3.
Contract player.
She's all right.
Uh, Jimmy. Would you
run that again?
[Bebe] Not too wild
about her name.
[bell rings]
[crew chatter]
I just think I should
look more rumpled.
I'm supposed to be
hiding in boxcars,
sleeping on the floor.
It just seems to me
I look too neat.
This is the suit
we fitted on you,
Miss Farmer.
I know that.
I know that.
But it just seems
to me that--
I don't--I could
look more realistic.
It'll do.
No one will notice.
No! I notice!
Oh, Mr. Bebe!
Good morning!
Come along with me,
You know,
I'm not the cookbook.
[bell rings]
You see? We've got
to change that name.
I intend to make a great
deal of money off you.
Since I've got ya
on a seven-year contract,
I'm planning long-range.
I'm gonna loan you out
to Sam Goldwyn.
He's making a picture
called Come and Get It.
[crowd chatter]
It's a great book.
It could make a terrif--
Never mind that.
I'm concerned
about you.
Your attitude.
[Man] Hey, you bums!
[car horn honking]
Society's falling apart,
Miss Farmer.
have to buckle down,
do their jobs.
You see, I view myself
as the Henry Ford of
the motion picture industry.
This is my factory.
And I can't have the fellow
who puts the wheels on
arguing with the man
who installs the headlights,
now can I?
But I'm concerned
with everything,
Mr. Bebe.
I am concerned
with everything.
But I'm the one
up there
on the screen.
That's right.
You...are an actress,
Miss Farmer. Hm?
And your job is to act.
[horns honking]
[Crowd chant]
We want work! We want work!
So in spite of herself,
Frances became a movie star.
They held the big premiere
right here in her home town.
The local swells welcomed
her back with a big to-do.
Same jerks who drove her off
two years before.
And I figured
it was par for the course.
So did Frances, I guess.
Sure did want
to see her again,
just to talk to her
for a little while.
Fat chance of gettin' past
that army of tuxedoes.
I guess it's no, uh, secret
that I'm proud.
I like to think that
she got some of it from me.
I used to have, uh,
theatrical aspirations
myself, you know.
You're kidding.
And not only did Frances
come home a star,
but she brought this big
handsome lug
of a son-in-law
with her.
[Reporter] Mr. Farmer,
what was your reaction
when Frances told you
she had married Dick, uh,
uh, Richardson?
Dwayne. Dwayne Steele.
Oh. Uh--I, I was, uh,
pleased, of course.
Uh, Richard, uh--
[chuckles] Uh...
is a real gentleman.
And all I can say is
I feel like I've known
these two for years.
Just like a fairy tale!
[Announcer] And now
here they are, folks!
Frances Farmer's mom and pop,
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Farmer,
accompanied by Frances
Farmer's handsome husband,
Mr. Dwayne Steele!
And now here she is--
How does it feel to be
back in Seattle, Frances?
Miss Frances Farmer!
[wild cheering]
How's your movie, Frances?
Oh, Miss Farmer,
I can't tell you
how proud I am to meet you.
On behalf of the Seattle
Ladies' Club,
as a token of our
vast admiration--
Excuse me.
Haven't we met before?
Uh, no. I don't
believe so.
Weren't you the one that
damned me straight to Hell?
[crowd murmurs]
Oh, no, my dear.
You must be mistaken.
[nervous chuckle]
I beg your pardon?
I'm the same girl
that wrote the essay.
Same girl that went
to Russia.
You folks aren't pleased
to meet me at all.
[ocean waves]
[Frances and Harry,
[Harry] What are you
doin' out here?
[Frances laughs]
What are you doing
back in Seattle, York?
Well, I didn't wanna
miss your big opening.
You got people pretty
worked up back there.
Damn hypocrites.
You see my ma?
My God, you'd think
this fuss was for her.
You see Dick?
It's one thing
to sleep with the guy.
Did'ja have to marry him?
And the studio
told me not to.
Lemme have one.
That's why you did it?
Who ever thought they'd
be rightfor once, Harry?
[flicks lighter]
You know, the thing is,
it's not a great movie.
I'm not proud of it.
I did what they told me.
That's all
they'd let me do.
And I know all my friends
are gonna tell me
how much they loved it,
maybe they'll mean it.
Not everybody lies,
you know.
Mm. Not everybody.
You know, you're
a movie star now.
If you give them
what they want,
you can get anything.
Harry, I don't have
what they want.
I don't have what they want.
How can I keep making movies
when people are starving?
What're you gonna do,
join The Salvation Army?
I mean, come on!
You gotta make use
of what you got.
You can do that.
Yeah, if I don't make
too big an ass of myself.
Let's ditch the limo.
Let me drive you up
to that red carpet
in my old Chevy.
Okay? Huh?
Come on.
Come on!
Come on!
I don't want
to go, York.
Come on.
Come on, York.
I've got a better idea.
You can't
swim now.
Come here.
Come and get it, Harry.
Oh, yeah...
[Frances yelps happily]
It don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
A doo-wot doo-wot doo-wot
doo-wot doo-wot doo-wot
doo-wot doo-wah
It don't mean a thing
All you got to do is sing
Ah doo-wot doo-wot doo-wot
doo-wot doo-wot doo-wot
doo-wot doo-wah
Will it make no difference
If it's sweet or hot,
oh, yeah?
Just keep that rhythm,
give it everything you've got
Oh, it don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Hollywood! I just love it!
I can't believe
I met Jack Oakie today.
[big sigh] He's so much
handsomer in person.
And a devil.
Ooh, what he said
to me...
Oh, for God's sakes!
Ha ha!
Oh, well.
For God's sakes.
You never could
take a joke.
Now you would you like to
go out and work up a little--
Come on, honeybunch!
[chuckles] No. No.
I'm so...
Come on. Just one.
I am so tired...
[Dick] Come on.
Please? Please.
I'd like to leave.
I've gotta get up real early.
I have an early call
in the morning.
How 'bout you, Lil?
Come on. Let's go.
Hot dog!
[Lillian] I warn you! I'm a
killer on the dance floor!
You know, I--
can't help feeling
we came at a bad time.
Aw, it's okay, Dad.
You, uh...uh...
Rich, uh...Dwayne...
Dick. [chuckles]
Dick seems to have
a lot of time
to show us around.
How's his career goin'?
It's not what he
expected it to be.
Things'll pick up, huh?
Dad, don't you ever get...
[sighs] ...angry?
What do you mean?
Like at Ma. Don't you
ever feel like just...
...hauling off and busting
her one, right in the chops?
I tried it once.
You did?
Tears, hysteria,
I never thought
I'd hear the end of it.
Pardon me.
Your photos.
They're $2.50 apiece.
There you go.
Thank you, sir.
I'd like to find a--
a more gentlemanly
way to do things.
[song ends, applause]
[dog barking]
[all talking at once]
[Lillian] We are home.
[phone ringing]
Home home...
[Dick] Home.
Dick, if it's for me,
just tell 'em I'm not here.
I don't care.
Tell 'em I'm in Berlin
or Haiti or...
Little sister,
where are you going?
Oh, she's tired.
That was your agent
on the phone.
He said the summer stock
deal's all set.
So you're going, uh,
back east?
Dick, I think we need
some time apart.
I'm not a complete fool,
you know. I know...
I know you're going
sour on me.
But every time I try
to do something about it,
you just turn your back,
I can't even breathe--
My name's Dwayne now!
You call me Dwayne.
Did it ever occur to you
maybe I wanted
to leave here and go east
and do summer stock,
and do theater?
No. It never did, 'cause
you don't want me along,
and the reason has nothing
to do with the summer stock.
It's all about
that night, isn't it?
That night?
Yeah, the premiere.
I never pressed you
about it,
but you're gonna tell me
right here and right now
where you were.
and what the hell
you were doing.
What do you want,
his name?
You bitch!
[yelling incoherently]
What do you mean?
[both yelling at once]
What do you mean,
you do something like--
You goddamn bitch!
You god...damn--
You whore!
[dogs barking]
You whore!
[more smashing]
You ruined it!
[Man] Bravo!
Oh, we set out
to entertain,
but we also set out
to enlighten.
To challenge.
To change:
change the way
in which people
perceive their lives,
their responsibilities.
I know.
And if we are going
to change society,
make the world
a better place,
first we have to
change people!
She knows.
She knows, Harold.
Oh. Oh...
You don't have to sell me
on The Group Theater,
Mr. Clurman.
Forgive my indulgence.
Seems we always lecture
those who are on time
for those who are tardy.
But the point is
Mr. Odets here
has written
a wonderful play.
Although most of
the roles are cast,
we still haven't
found our leading lady.
What's the part?
Lorna Moon.
She's a tramp from Newark.
Uh, excuse me.
I think you'd be
perfect for the part.
What do you think,
Mr. Odets?
I think you're very
beautiful, Miss Farmer.
And Harold is convinced
that your movie background
would make you
a big draw.
I certainly want the show
to be successful.
But you don't think
I'm right for the part?
Miss Farmer,
for me, this is not a play,
it's an assault,
a seduction,
a plea for understanding.
I think we live in a time
when new works of art
should shoot bullets.
And you...
make very attractive
What's the name
of this seduction,
this assault?
Golden Boy.
[horn honks]
Everyone get
a good night's sleep.
What is it?
I just wanted to,
sooner or later,
get a chance to talk to you
about that speech.
Which speech?
In the second act.
Don't worry
about it.
Oh. Mm-hmm.
Please, please,
ma'am? please.
Anything you can spare?
We'll work on it?
Don't worry about it.
Clifford, don't keep her
up too late, huh?
I have a family
I have to support.
Please, my mother's
gonna have an operation.
What's the matter?
Why'd you walk out
of rehearsal, Clifford?
Please, sir, please?
Look at that girl.
What do you see?
What do I see?
Look at her.
What do you see?
What are you
talking about?
What do you see?
Whose sweater
is she wearing?
Something she found?
No, it's her older
It's too big for her.
Her shoes new or old?
They're old.
They're not shoes,
they're bedroom
You see, you walk by
that person every day,
and you never
even see her.
If you want
to be an artist,
you want to be
a true actress,
you have to see things
that other people don't,
then you can
show it to them.
Then they'll see it,
then they'll remember it.
They can experience her
through you, with you.
I don't want to have
to sit in there again
and watch you
acting desperate.
I want to see you
be desperate,
and there's a very
big difference
between those two.
And if you can't do it,
my play is not gonna work.
It's really so simple.
Forget your private life,
forget your problems,
your mother, your lover,
your this, your that.
Forget that you're
making money, making sense,
having children,
forget everything.
Just dedicate yourself.
'Cause that's what really
makes art, Frances,
is total dedication.
You're not just some
pretty bauble up there
for people to admire.
You're not in
Hollywood, thank God.
You want another one?
Sometimes I can feel it,
smell it.
My wife...
great actress...
so they say.
She's never got it.
You see, also,
I don't want to just
entertain people.
I want
to change their lives.
I want them...
to wake up...
in the middle
of the night
and think that everything
they're doing is wrong.
Do you know that I've never
made a living in the theater?
supplies all my money...
and all my indigestion.
But, oh,
this is where I belong.
Sometimes I think
I would have been better off
if there had been
no movies to write.
I would have scrounged
around everywhere.
Gotten out from under
this big...tent
smaller tents
in many wild,
undiscovered places.
That's what you've
got to do, Frances.
I'll never do it,
but you might.
You have
an explorer's heart.
I wish I could tell you
how to be brilliant,
but I can't.
It's got to come from you...
and what you believe in...
what you are.
Let's go to bed.
[Frances laughs]
...but we must donate
as much as we can afford.
An artist to be vital
must be a soldier, too.
Hear, hear.
And now to present
our ammunition,
our check to
the Spanish consul,
Seor Leon Juarez
our very own leading lady,
Miss Frances Farmer.
On behalf of
The Group Theater,
it gives me great
personal pleasure
to be able
to present a check
for $1,000
for the Loyalist cause.
No pasarn.
A pleasure, Seor.
[bell rings]
She won't come back
from New York.
And on top of all of her
political activities,
now she's got a lawyer.
She wants out of
her contract, Mr. Bebe.
She says she's through
with motion pictures.
I'm sure it wasn't me.
It wasn't me.
Excuse me, sir?
I don't know who she fucked
to get where she is,
but I don't think
it was me.
We can always
dump her.
Teach her a lesson.
There are a million
beautiful girls
out there
who don't give a damn
about politics.
That isn't the point.
[bell rings]
Frances Farmer has
the world by the tit
because of this studio,
and now she thinks
she can just waltz off
without even a thank-you.
I think it's time
to take the gloves off.
Get me some reporters.
Louella Parsons.
Good night.
Miss Farmer?
Autograph right here,
Miss Farmer?
right here?
You were wonderful.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
Luther, good night.
Good night, Frances.
See you tomorrow.
Excuse me, Miss Farmer,
I'm sorry. I've never
done this before, but, um...
I just had to tell you
you're great.
I'm really sad
the play's closing.
What am I gonna do
on Tuesday nights?
Why don't you come
see us in London?
Only if you're in it.
Are you?
Of course. I wouldn't
miss it for anything.
Boy, that would be great.
I'm going to Hollywood.
Are you an actor?
Hell, yes.
Well, I'm still
in school, but...
When I graduate,
California, here I come.
Are you serious
about acting?
Well, yes.
Don't go
to Hollywood.
'Cause it'll
crush you.
You sound
as if you hate it.
No, I'm just not that
anxious to get back.
You're gonna
break a lot of hearts.
I guess they'll mend.
Well, what about
your husband?
Are you gonna
get back together?
When you quit
Hollywood, I mean.
What is this?
Is it true you're
getting a divorce...
You little bastard.
Thanks for the chat,
Miss Farmer.
Be seeing you.
Hey, wait a minute.
You're wasting
your time, lady.
off the record
with me.
I think if I was
standing still in that town,
I'd go mad.
They're gonna force me
to go back there, Clifford,
and they have no idea
what to do with me.
Sure. They know
you've got something.
But they don't know
what it is.
Do you?
[door opens]
Hello, Harold.
Hello, Frances.
Where's Clifford?
He's not here.
What's up?
It's getting cold out.
Pretty, aren't they?
Lovely, just lovely.
Thank you.
I hear you're meeting
with the studio lawyers
to try to get
out of your contract.
Well, I just don't
wan them breathing
down my neck
when we're in London.
Yeah, well, you see,
that's the point.
You won't
be going to London.
Don't you think I'm
good enough, Harold?
Well, of course you are.
It's not that.
It's just...
It's money.
We needed backing,
and, uh, we found it.
An actress.
A rich actress?
That's the deal.
She plays Lorna Moon.
I thought we were supposed
to be different, Harold.
Clifford says
this company is different:
a group working together.
I know, I know.
Isn't that
what this play is about,
what money and greed
do to people?
Right now,
we have to be practical.
Well, then, I'll give you
the money, Harold.
I'll back the production.
it's too late, Frances.
Besides, you don't have
that kind of money
What did Clifford
say about this?
He doesn't even know,
does he?
Where is he?
I'm gonna find him.
he knows.
He approved it.
Now, look, I--I'm sorry.
Frances, you have done a great
service for The Group.
Your name has helped
to draw people.
You've helped us grow.
You've grown yourself.
Swell, but, Harold,
this theatre is
everything to me.
Don't you understand?
am I gonna do now?
Well, Hollywood
wants you back, right?
You prick.
Oh, oh,
yeah, yeah, yeah.
Just a minute.
Just a minute.
Yeah. What do you want?
The third race
at Hollywood Park?
Sweet Lady? Yeah.
Phone call for you.
Yeah? Who is it?
Uh, it--it's, uh,
Two lines
he writes me.
Two fucking lines
he writes me!
"The affair is now ended.
My wife has returned
from Europe."
Those bastards,
They tricked me.
I hate being in love!
I don't even want
to be in love again.
[click, dial tone]
[phone rings]
You okay?
I suppose it's funny.
I'm laughing.
Yeah, Whoop.
Cut. Do it again.
First positions,
31 Apple, take 10.
31 Apple, take 12.
Cut. Let's do it again.
And cut.
Print that scene.
How was that?
Good, good.
One more time.
For God's sake, why?
Because we want
to get it perfect.
The right combination
of fury and confusion.
You can understand that,
can't you, Miss Farmer?
We're serious artists
here, right?
Everybody back tomorrow.
Try later.
Let's do it again
Come on. Let's go.
Come on.
This was a mistake.
This is
just what you need.
Let everybody see you.
Talk to 'em.
You know, live it up.
I've been at it
since 5 this morning.
At least I could have
gone home
and changed my clothes
or take a shower.
Look at me.
Frances, I didn't
want this job.
Think I'm crazy?
You begged me.
Improve your image.
So please,
let me try, huh?
Hold it just a second,
would you, chief?
All right.
Let's go get 'em.
Take one of these.
They make 'em
in the studio basement.
Helps keep the fat off.
Come on. They'll make you
feel nice and peppy.
What, like you, Barnes?
Yeah, like me.
Come on.
Swell layout they got here.
Good evening.
Thank you.
Frances! Hello!
Connie, hello.
Bob Barnes here.
A pleasure to see you.
Hi, Bob.
Nice to meet you.
Swell party
you got going here.
Yeah, come on in.
Who's here?
The usual vermin,
I'm afraid.
Whoops. Don't get away.
Uh, can I use the bathroom
for a minute, Connie?
Oh, sure, sure.
Go ahead.
Nice party.
Hey, Mike. How are you?
Good to see you.
Hey, how are you?
You wouldn't
believe the offers.
They're piling in.
I mean piling.
Some of the best
read in years.
Ah. Well, my employer will
be very glad to hear that.
Is she here?
Of course.
How could you miss her?
[chatter dies down]
Make this one last.
Zip me up.
You'll be no good
Does Connie know
you have her dress?
Great to see you again.
My employer would like
to know one thing.
Does your friend Clifford
really sleep in the nude?
You know, you seem
like an intelligent
young man.
Can't you find
a more dignified way
to make a living?
What are you, nuts?
He's a zero.
Forget him.
She wants to do an interview
live on the radio.
You want something
out of the car?
Where the hell
is she going?
do you want some air?
Hey, come on.
Let me come.
Let me drive.
Frances, what am I
supposed to tell Louella?
Pull over!
Hey! Pull over!
Where's the fire, sister?
In my eyes, officer.
Hey, beautiful.
Didn't you see
the sign back there
that says
dim out zone?
There's a war on, you know.
You bet your ass
there is.
I didn't make the law, lady.
I just...enforce it.
You bore me.
Don't touch me!
Hey, lady.
You want lights on,
You think the Japs
can't find us
without my headlights?
Take it easy, lady.
Take it easy.
Get that damn thing
out of my eyes, you jerk!
Lady, give me
that flashlight.
[classical piano]
Oh, thanks.
That cop weighed
200 pounds?
I never noticed.
You just went in
swinging, huh?
You got
to pick your battles
a little better,
you know?
the ones that count.
They all count, Harry.
Not if you lose
in the first round.
Look, you got to set
the record straight here
before it's too late.
They're just
gonna railroad you
with this scandal
stuff, you know?
Paint you
right into a corner.
It's gonna have to wait.
I got to go to Mexico.
What the hell for?
Oh, my agent figured
it was a good idea
if I get out of town
till this arrest thing
blows over.
So he's lined up
some cheapo movie
south of the border.
Very diplomatic.
by the time I get back,
the newspapers
will find somebody else
to tear to shreds.
If you're lucky.
I'm beginning to wonder
if there's something
wrong with me.
I can't figure it out
anymore, you know?
And it hurts.
And I look
at these people...
and I wonder if anybody
really loves anybody.
Beats me.
Do you miss me, Harry?
Well, Frances went down
to Mexico, all right.
Just turned out to be
another disappointment.
They kept her down there
for weeks.
Never had a script.
Never even started
shooting the damn movie.
So Frances
discovered tequila.
Got into some pretty good
barroom scraps, I guess,
if you believed
all the stories
in the papers.
Well, finally,
she got sick of it.
Came back to her house
on the beach.
Coming back to Hollywood
wasn't exactly the same thing
as coming home.
Who are you?
Who are you?
I live here.
You're Farmer?
Oh. Well, they came in
to pick up all your stuff,
and, uh,
now it's at a hotel.
Yeah. Uh, the studio's
moving in a new actress.
Uh, she arrives tomorrow.
I'm sorry.
Harry, they've gone
through my papers,
my letters.
the letters you wrote me.
They've taken my diary.
They stole my diary, Harry!
That's my life.
Harry, they've
stolen my life.
Aw, come on, Al.
Put yourself in my place.
Four and a half weeks
to make a picture.
She doesn't show up
a half day,
the whole day's shot.
Nobody can make a picture.
Ah, come on, Al.
I've heard this before.
You're calling every
10 minutes, aren't you?
I'm gonna kill her
when she gets here.
It'll be all right, Max.
They're gonna
blame me for this.
You know that.
I'm gonna talk
to the front office.
[door closes]
Do you know that you are
four and a half hours
late, huh?
Huh? What are you
trying to do to me?
This is insane.
It's unprofessional!
I'd say I was behaving
as professionally
as anybody else
in this town.
Where were you?
I overslept.
I overslept.
I'm terribly,
terribly sorry.
What is this fine
all so involved in?
Oh, yes. No Escape.
That's it, doll.
No Escape.
That's it.
That's right.
No Escape.
Ah, come on.
you can't do this.
You can't oversleep
a half day.
Four and a half hours.
A whole day of shooting
is completely gone.
All right, come on.
I want
to make a picture.
Get back to work,
Take it back
to Number 1!
Let's go!
look who's here.
You're not the star
of this show,
you know that?
It's not up to me
to say anything.
I mean,
I'm just crew.
Your hair's so thin,
you're gonna lose it
if you're not careful.
It's a wonder to me
you all don't,
the things you do
to yourselves.
You know, I think
you're losing yours
I think you
ought to tell him
you're gonna wear
a hat for this scene.
I quit!
I'm not taking
this shit anymore!
God damn you!
Oh, you bastards!
Fuck you all!
[phone rings]
[knock on door]
Who is it?
Come on with me,
God damn it!
Give us a break.
Come on!
[pounding on door]
Open the door!
Don't kill me!
Don't kill me!
Open the damn door,
Get your clothes on.
You've got no right!
You've got
no fucking right!
You get out!
Come on.
You're under arrest.
Aah! You bastard!
You've got no fucking--
You've got no fucking right!
Can we get the camera
inside to get the picture?
Hurry up!
Hey, Dan! Hold it up,
fellas, will you?
Miss Farmer!
Miss Farmer!
[all talking at once]
This way!
You knocked her out,
is that true?
Turn around,
Miss Farmer.
This woman,
how did you--
One more, honey.
Weren't you still
on probation?
Frances, over here.
Smile for the birdie.
I'm not here
for your pleasure.
Your name.
You jerks
dragged me down here
in the middle of the night,
and you don't know
who I am?
Your name, lady.
Frances Elena Farmer.
Want me to spell it?
Your address.
Put me down as a vag:
vagrant, vagabond.
What is this, a joke?
It's a joke?
Assault and battery?
I barely
touched that bitch.
Yeah, yeah.
Tell us about it.
Come on, Frances.
Show me where I'm gonna be.
I want to get in there,
brush my teeth,
start to live.
Hey, you're a...
pretty thing.
Hey! I'd like
a wake-up call,
say around 10 A.M.
I'll take my bread
and water in bed.
Real class.
Frances, why don't you
comb your hair
for the next one?
Why don't you
leave her alone?
Take me the way I am.
Hey, cutie,
got a cigarette?
And have you driven a car
since you were
placed on probation?
No, but only because
I couldn't get
my hands on one.
Have you visited
your probation officer
as directed?
I never saw him.
I don't know why
he didn't show up.
You expected him
to look you up?
I expected him
to come by
so I could get
a look at his face.
You're headed for a contempt
citation, young lady.
Is it true
you resisted arrest
at the Hotel Knickerbocker
last night?
Yes, it's true.
I was fighting
for my country
as well as myself.
You caused trouble
on a movie set in Mexico?
Yes, I was fighting there,
the same reason,
but a different scene.
Miss Farmer, in light
of the flagrant disregard
of the conditions
of your probation,
coupled with the unwarranted
assault on the plaintiff here,
you leave me no choice
but to order you
to spend 180 days
in the county jail.
Court adjourned.
I haven't got a lawyer.
I haven't got a lawyer!
What I want to know is
if I got any civil rights!
Have I got
any civil rights?
I want to make a phone call!
I've got a right to make a--
She's on her way.
Don't I have any
civil rights here?
You got to get down
here right now.
It's gonna be too late.
Just give me my civil rights!
God damn you!
Rat! Rat!
I've got a right
to make a phone call!
God, she's loose!
She's attacking
your correspondent
right here
in the court building!
Help me!
[Frances screaming]
Help me!
I'm being kidnapped!
Let's go. Let's go.
Get out of here.
With what must surely be
the final act of madness,
the curtain falls
on Frances Farmer's
once-promising career.
The crazed blonde
who, at 27--
Can you hold it a second?
[spectators gasp]
Now, because of her
present excited state,
her mother is not
able to control her.
We don't want her
but the Meadow Wood
Convalescent Home
is willing to take her.
And we feel that would
be more appropriate.
a difficult decision,
but I'm sure
the proper one.
Thank you.
The judge has agreed
to Meadow Wood.
You can take her now.
It's all
gonna be all right.
It's just gonna be fine,
little sister.
The judge has given you
into my care,
and I'm gonna see you get
the rest you need.
Please take me home, Mom.
See, little sister?
just lovely here.
Oh, the countryside
and the...views.
Thank you.
Good afternoon,
Miss Farmer.
I'm Dr. Symington.
Hello, Doctor.
I'm, uh,
Lillian Farmer.
I'm very pleased
to meet you, Mrs. Farmer.
I'm sure we'll have more
of a chance to talk later.
Right now I think
it's important
that your daughter have
a chance to settle in.
Perhaps it would be best
if you said your goodbyes
right here.
Oh, no. No.
I have a lot
of background material
that you're going
to find very important
treating my daughter.
I have no doubt,
Mrs. Farmer.
Now, if you'll just speak
to the girl at the desk,
I'm sure she'll arrange
for an appointment.
I will see you
very soon.
You be a good girl.
I want you
to take me home now.
Everything's going
to be fine, Frances.
Doctor knows best, hmm?
I find these initial
meetings much easier
without the concerned
relatives in attendance.
Am I supposed
to say thank you?
Oh, thanks are hardly
Aw, shucks, ma'am.
T' whatnot.
I'm glad to see you haven't
lost your sense of humor.
Ain't for lack of trying.
So it seems.
May we be serious
for just a moment?
Doctor, we--
we just met.
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Well, I feel like I've
known you for a long time.
You see,
I've followed your career.
You, um...
You're a fascinating case.
I'm looking forward
to solving your predicament.
Are you really?
persons such as yourself,
creative people
under great stress,
erratic behavior
is not at all uncommon,
and certainly nothing
to be ashamed of.
It's just that
the anxieties which--
do you expect me
for one moment
to believe that you
have greater insight
into my personality
than I do?
Would you sit back down?
You may discuss
my predicament, Doctor.
You may discuss it
with anybody you like,
but not with me.
I'm not interested.
I can solve my problems
without recourse
to a veterinarian.
I see.
I don't want to be
what you
want to make me.
And what's that?
Dull, average, normal.
All right.
Would you
take your seat, please?
Symington says.
Did you actually say that?
Ha ha ha ha ha!
It's just a little joke,
Miss Farmer.
It's a fucking thing
as a joke!
Stay calm, please.
No, you stay calm, Doctor.
But you're finding that
difficult, aren't you?
I'm not doing
what's expected of me.
I'm not sitting there
in awe
while you carefully
dissect my personality.
Now you listen to me.
All I want
is a little rest,
a little
peace and quiet,
and I don't
have to talk to you
or anybody else about
my goddamn anxieties.
You got that?
I'll have someone
show you to your room.
Well, that's good.
That's very good.
Very professional
and controlled.
But those...
tiny little beads of sweat
on your upper lip
give you away.
You really should
get some rest now.
The nurse
will meet you outside.
Good day.
Is there something else?
Well, you didn't say
"Symington says."
Symington says.
Well, what is it?
It's just vitamins:
A, C, B complex,
certain minerals.
Now just relax.
There. Now that wasn't
too bad, was it?
What did they give me?
They gave you insulin.
It throws your body
into shock.
Oh, my God.
It's all right, dear.
I'll be here.
Uh...this one is from
Duluth, Minnesota.
It's from a war widow
with two small children.
She works
in a defense plant.
She's very concerned
about you.
I wrote her,
and I told her
not to worry so much
about you,
that, uh,
she had to get on
with their war work,
and you would be back
on the silver screen
before she knew it.
That's that one.
Oh, ha ha ha.
This is that sweet
Mr. Zeiss.
Why are all these
Why are all these opened?
Oh, uh...
Well, they're opened,
because they needed to be
answered immediately.
I mean, that's
just good manners
and common sense.
Well, you don't want
to be bothered with this
at this time, do you?
Then why did you bring them?
it's your fan mail.
You kill me, Momma.
Thank you.
Go on.
Eat your oatmeal cakes.
So sorry
to keep you waiting.
Staff review ran over.
Did, uh...
did you
enjoy your mother's
visit last week?
Yeah, it was real nice
to see her.
Any problems?
None at all.
She brought me
my fan mail.
I was surprised to see
how many people there are
that are concerned about me.
I guess that's the best thing
about working in the movies
is you make so many friends.
I'd really like
to get back to work now
so I can prove to them
that the faith they've
put in me wasn't a mistake.
You, uh...
You're telling me
you feel guilty?
No. Not at all.
It's just that I'm
excited about...
going on with my life.
Do you really think
that your mother's
trying to kill you?
Ha ha. What?
She told me you said,
"Momma, you're trying
to kill me."
It's a figure of speech,
you know, Doctor.
I--We were talking,
and she said something funny,
and I, uh--
And you accused her
of tampering
with your mail.
I'm sorry
she misunderstood.
But you tell me
that you had
a pleasant visit,
and your mother says
that you were sullen
and uncommunicative.
Whom do you think
I should believe?
Well, Doctor, I hate
to break this to you,
you know,
but my ma's a little batty.
You're still filled
with anxiety.
You have feelings
of hostility and guilt
towards your family
and friends,
and consequently...
I couldn't recommend
your release
at the staff review.
You what?
Mental illness, it's
such an illusive thing,
and although I'm--
I'm pleased
that you're feeling
more capable,
I think perhaps
it's unrealistic
to think you could be cured
in so short a time.
Don't you agree?
I'm sure you'll see it
my way in the end.
Now listen.
You got to go back there
and tell them to let me out...
'cause I'm ready--
I'm ready to get out now,
so you go back in there,
and you tell them that you're
gonna let me out of here!
Frances, I'm warning you.
No, I'm warning you!
Who do you think you are,
You bumble around
with your goddamn pencils!
You're nothing!
You have no authority!
You're zero!
I brought you some...
I look awful.
Well, you've looked
a whole lot better,
that's for sure.
They're doing this
to me, Harry.
Did you see it? Hmm?
They've given me stuff,
and trying to put
thoughts in my head and...
they're trying to...
rearrange what's going on
in my head.
They're trying to--
I don't know--
drive me crazy.
Look, um...
let's go take a walk
in the woods, okay?
Come on.
Come on.
Mm-mm. Mmm...
Oh, Miss Farmer!
Time for your bath,
Miss Farmer.
Listen, straight
over the hill,
there's a wall...
to the left.
Car's right behind
the gate there, okay?
Time for your bath.
The best thing here, Harry--
the baths.
Sir, this area's
Frances, did you
hear what I said?
Of course.
You want crazy?
I'll give you crazy.
[horn honking]
[big band]
[Bing Crosby]
Love is so terrific
What are you doing?
I always lead in New York.
I'm dancing backwards.
You should stick around,
sometime, you know,
and take care of me.
Life rearranges,
suddenly changes
I'm only gonna ask you
this one time, okay?
Then I'm never gonna
ask you again.
Man, you get hazy
Then you go crazy
Well, what?
what it's done to me
Will you marry me?
Love is so terrific
Such a dizzy feelin'
Make you hear
the wedding bells ring
Oo-pah, oo-pah
Boy, you sure pick
your moments. You're...
Makes you wanna holler
Love's a terrific thing
People will tell you
get back on track first,
tie up some loose ends,
you know?
I can't just run away again.
Sooner or later,
I'll have to go home.
Love is so terrific
Such a funny feelin'
nobody can screw things up
the way I can,
you know what I mean?
Well, I'll act like I do
until I do.
Oh, there's one more thing.
Will you marry me?
Make your pain
a pleasure
is such a treasure
the most terrific thing
Life rearranges
Makes you lose your collar
Makes you
want to holler
Terrific thing
This is it.
This is the one.
Takes you--
This is it.
What are you doing?
I thought you didn't
want to get married.
Makes you wanna holler
Terrific thing
Where are you going?
To here, dear.
Makes you want
to cuddle and coo
Ha ha ha!
Makes you
want to holler
I'll turn it on and--
burn your collar
Put her in reverse.
Terrific thing
Still not too late
to keep going up
to Vancouver, you know.
Be the smartest thing.
Yeah. Thanks, Harry.
It's just that I gotta--
I can't explain it.
It's--She's my mother,
and, uh...
I can't give up on her
that easily.
You wouldn't give up
on her, huh?
Yep. It's just something
I got to do, I guess.
You're crazy.
Don't tell anybody.
[door opens]
If you need anything...
Got your number,
Mr. Man.
Welcome home,
little sister.
Who have we here?
Frances, you know
my lawyer Alma Styles.
Hello, Frances.
You seem to be having
quite a time of it.
I, uh, called Alma
because I thought we might
need some legal advice.
Frances, the doctors
at Meadow Wood
have petitioned the court
for your return.
Your mother has
asked me to intervene
so you can stay here.
I swear I didn't know
what they were gonna
do to you there.
I would not have--
You realize, of course,
that your mother's now
your legal guardian
in the eyes of the law.
You no longer have
any rights as an adult.
You're going to have
to hold your tongue,
and be selective
about whom you mix with.
That man who drove you
here, for instance--
Kindly just leave him
out of this.
Play, uh, Flow Gently,
Sweet Afton, would you?
I'm so tired
of that song, Mother.
Oh, please.
I want you to.
Make me so happy,
[Flow Gently, Sweet Afton]
You know, it's just
a Flow Gently, Sweet Afton day.
Life's been so good to me.
I can't think of anything
I could wish for.
[stops playing]
What's wrong?
I thought maybe I'd...
go out for a while.
Where are you going?
Just for a walk, Momma.
How long
will you be gone?
Not long.
I'm going to have luncheon
ready at 1:00.
I'll be back.
Well, say promise.
"I promise."
I promise, Momma.
Frances, remember,
the surest way
to lose an appetite
is to drink.
Yes, Momma.
I don't want you
drinking, Frances.
Yes, Momma.
So what do you think?
[Ernest] I--I don't
know, honey. Uh--
Y-Your mother has--
she still has such
big plans for you.
What--What you have
to understand is that--
uh...she wanted so much
for herself, too.
A-And for me.
But she never got it.
She could have been a--
if times were different,
she could have been a--
a politician,
or a lecturer, or a--
I'm talking about me now.
[cash register dings]
I'm asking you
what I should do.
Well, uh--
You know, sometimes you get
your heart set on something,
and--and you really
go after it.
[coughing fit]
But then, when you...
get it in your hands, it--
it doesn't look the same.
I guess--ha ha--
I guess you already knowthat.
[cash register ding]
So anything I...decide
would be
all right with you?
[Man coughing]
I, uh...
I don't have a--
a--a desk in my room,
and this is not a proper
office for a lawyer--
and I--
It's okay, Dad.
I love you.
I love you, too,
[door closes]
Frances? Is that you?
Yeah. I'm home, Ma.
I have such good news
for you.
Wait, Ma.
Wait. There's something
I wanna tell you first.
I decided something.
Momma, I decided that I'm not
gonna go back to Hollywood.
You know,I thought
that's what I wanted, Ma,
and I went after it
with all my soul,
and it nearly killed me.
So I'm done with it now.
It's over.
I don't want it anymore.
Ma, I need a different
kind of life.
You know, maybe I could find
somewhere in the country.
I could have--I could have
dogs again out there.
Maybe even plant a garden.
It's just--I feel so...
right for the first time
in years, Ma.
I love you more
than anything in the world.
Frances, honey,
I think you've gone crazy.
[nervous laugh]
You know what happened
while you were out?
Ha ha ha ha!
Your agent called.
they want you back!
Ha ha ha!
They're send scripts!
And he wants to come
up here next week
with the publicity
you can't do that.
You can't do that
to your fans.
I mean, they stuck
through this whole
nightmare with you!
You can't turn
your back on them.
They love you!
Haven't you heard
what I said?
I told him that he
could come up here,
and that you would prove
that you're all right!
That's you're cured!
I'm not cured!
I was never sick!
They had no business
putting me in there!
Now the only responsibility
I have is to myself now!
You selfish,
selfish child.
At least see him.
what he has to say!
I've watched you
throw it all away.
Just throw it
away, huh?
You had it all!
a brilliant career,
a wonderful husband.
You are a movie star!
Mother, shut up!
You're just gonna
throw it away, huh?
Just throw it away
and become a nobody!
Have you any idea
what it's like
to be a nobody?
[wheezes] Have you?
My God, Ma!
You'd send me back,
wouldn't you?
You'd send me back.
I'm goin'. I'm leaving.
You're going!
You're not going anywhere.
You get out of my way!
Get out of my way,
old woman!
Get out of my way!
I swear to God!
You follow me this time,
Momma, I will fucking
kill you!
[shallow breathing]
Now you have really...
done it, little sister.
Doctor, you see--
all my life,
I have been
trying to live up
to my parents'...
sense of excellence.
I mean, the sense of
thought and spirit
that built our country.
And I--
I taught these things
to Frances.
Yes. Yes, Mrs. Farmer.
Frances has always been
a battleground, Lillian.
The point is...
it's your opinion
Frances is getting
worse every day.
And you feel you're
unable to control her
any longer.
Dear, remember,
you did sustain bodily harm.
And the only course
left open to you
is to commit your daughter
for a period of time,
uh, to a mental
Alma says it's
the only way she'll--
Well. Well,
it seems to coincide
with what Dr. Symington
had to say,
and I think that's
all I need to know
Miss Frances Farmer.
Now, perhaps you can tell us
where we can find Frances.
No! No!
Oh, Momma!
[inmates screaming, crying]
[muffled moaning]
What's she
getting anyway?
Standard series to start.
[groaning, panting]
[muffled cry]
[door opens]
[Man, distant] Hey,
how about a white girl
next time?
[Orderly] Whatever
you like, boys.
See you next week, huh?
[door closes]
[female inmates
gasp, moan]
[crying, muttering]
[humming vacantly]
[quietly] Frances!
It's me, Harry!
Watch out, Harry!
Let me look her over.
I'm gettin' her
out of here right now.
The hearing
is set for tomorrow.
She gets out legally,
they can't collect her.
Look at her. She really
gonna pass that test--
I am taking care
of that, Harry.
Now just hold her.
Guarantee you,
this'll clear her head.
She'll wake up
feeling calm,
and sail straight
through that hearing.
Shut her up, Harry!
It'll be all right.
It'll be all right.
He's just givin' you
something to make
you think
so you can tell 'em
what they wanna hear
in the morning, okay?
[Woman] Take me!
[Harry] Tell 'em
you were crazy,
and they cured you,
and you're grateful,
This drug takes pretty
quick. Now let's go.
[inmates murmuring]
[Inmates] Take me. Take me!
I'll lose my job, Harry!
Let's go!
Take me!
Remember what I
was telling you.
What are you gonna
tell 'em?
Frances, what're ya
gonna tell 'em?
Take me!
[insane laughter]
[shrieking, cackling]
[Doctor] Harry!
I'm grateful...
[Inmate] Take me!
I'm grateful.
[door thumping]
I love you, Frances.
I realize now that I was
a very sick woman,
that I didn't...
relate to other people
in a normal way.
I wasn't normal!
But I'm normal now!
I'm normal!
I knew it!
She's already healed!
And...I wasn't...
taking responsibility
for my actions.
I've been thinking a lot
about these treatments.
I feel that they're not
doing me any good.
I feel now that, thanks
to your treatment here,
that I'm ready to
face myself again and...
ready to resume the career
that I so singlehandedly
We really like
her performance!
One of her great
performances! Yeah!
Great performances, I hope!
[howling, cheering]
I just hope that...
that I can make you all--
very, very proud of me.
[Inmates] All right!
[laughing, cheering]
Thank you!
Thank you.
Thank you all--
...very much.
[Doctor] I think
this case demonstrates
just how successful
the antisocial behavior
can be modified.
Not long ago,
Miss Farmer seemed
totally unresponsive
to treatment.
And today, we're sending her
home to her family,
completely cured.
I believe this is
a significant victory
for the mental
hygiene program
here in the state
of Washington.
[deep breath]
Thank you.
[deep breaths]
There she is!
My precious daughter.
You come on up here
to your mother.
Come on!
[dog barking in distance]
[Lillian] Frances gave me
this box down in Hollywood.
I filled it with
my own dried fruit.
Herb, would you pass that?
Sure. Thanks.
Um...are you going to be
going back to Hollywood,
Miss Farmer?
Oh, we haven't decided exactly
what we're going to do,
uh, yet.
No, I don't know.
It all depends on
what offers I get.
Who did your hair,
I did.
I like to try
different styles.
Sometimes I find
that if you're
old-fashioned enough
that you're modern
Right, Momma?
Oh, yes.
[Reporter] So, um...
what do you think
about all this, Mrs. Farmer?
I think it's a miracle.
Just a miracle.
Frances, could you get
in a little closer
with your mother?
Doesn't matter.
I'm sorry, Harry.
I don't care about what's
happened before, you know?
I just want you to stay
with me now, okay?
Will ya?
I can't.
I mean, you've gambled
with every other part
of your life.
Why don't you try me
for a change?
'Cause I'd lose.
You don't know that.
What are you
afraid of anyway?
I'm not afraid
of anything, Harry.
Just that that place
nearly killed me.
There were so many
people, all the time.
Every time I turned around,
someone was pressing up
against me,
or touching me.
Sticking things in me--
You know, well, I'm not
one of those people.
Well, I know that.
You either stay with me
this time...
Oh what?
This is it.
[Frances] Thank you.
Pretty morning.
Yeah, it's always beautiful
this time of day.
No people.
That's for sure.
Where ya goin'?
I know what that's like.
Where ya been?
Been down south of here,
pickin' fruit.
[approaching vehicle]
What's the matter?
They lookin' for you?
What did you do?
You know, I've never been
able to figure that out.
I have a little whiskey
here. It'll warm you up.
That's great.
Makes it better.
[steel crunch]
Good morning!
How are ya?
Listen. She didn't
do anything.
She really didn't.
Sir? Sir, she really
didn't do anything.
She really didn't.
[car approaching]
Do I have to go
right away,
or do I have time
to take a bath?
No word for your mother,
of course?
You were hoping
for a word, Mother?
What would you
like to hear?
we have to talk.
I am trying to get you
back on your feet.
No, you're not.
You're trying
to break my spirit.
You're trying to turn me
into you, Lillian.
But I'm not you...
and I never will be.
And I thank God for that.
And that goes
for you, too, Ernest.
Frankly, I don't
understand how,
with the two of you,
I turned out as sane
as I am.
I gotta tell you,
that one day,
before you die,
you're going to realize
what you've done.
And you'll hang
your head in shame.
When you get well,
you're going to thank me--
No, you are not talking now.
You listen.
Now, you can send me away,
and you can
pretend I'm crazy,
and you can pretend
I am still your little girl
who can't take care
of herself.
But, Lillian,
There is one thing
that you cannot
pretend anymore...
and that is that I love you.
Because I don't.
I can't. Not after
what you've done to me.
See, because I am still me.
I've been trying real hard
all this time to be me.
[knock on door]
And you, little sister...
you haven't been
any help at all.
Is that them?
Hey, boys. I'm ready.
Mr. Farmer.
[scissors snipping]
[inmates moaning]
Easy. Easy. Easy.
Close the door.
This way.
[inmates babbling]
Come on, Ricky,
move it, move it!
[indistinct chatter,
Whoa, best deal
I ever made.
20 bucks to fuck
a fucking movie star?
[indistinct shouting]
See the whole sky
She's crazy, ain't she?
You know something,
We've got to repaint
Frances' room.
She's coming home
any day now.
We've got to repaint.
[clock chimes]
The operation
is simplicity itself.
One merely inserts
the leucotome
beneath the eyelid,
through the bone,
pressing it up into
the prefrontal lobe...
manipulating it
so as to sever
the nervous connections
of the thalamofrontal
to the body of the brain.
To demonstrate not only
the simplicity
but also the speed
of the process,
I will perform
transorbital lobotomy
on 10 patients
within an hour.
These patients will be given
mild doses of electroshock
to sedate them,
although I should point out
that the procedure
is completely painless.
I have performed it
many times
while the patient
remained awake.
From a clinical standpoint,
it is quite fascinating
to watch the change
take place.
Now we know
that lobotomy works,
but now we can apply it
on a much larger scale.
The old way,
prefrontal technique,
required a full day's work
by a surgical team
to treat a single patient.
In the same time,
working alone,
I can treat 50.
My method is inexpensive,
it's fast, and it's safe:
only a little more
dangerous than operating
to remove
an infected tooth.
In plain language,
my ice pick technique
severs the nerves
that deliver emotional
energy to ideas.
Along with the cure
comes a loss of affect,
a kind of emotional
with diminished creativity
and imagination.
After all, it is their
imaginations and emotions
that are disturbed.
However, this patient here
will soon be leaving
the hospital.
Lobotomy gets 'em home.
[theme music]
Well, hello, everybody.
Tonight, we'd like for you
to meet a beautiful lady
whose life could have
served as a model
for a play by Eugene O'Neill
or a novel
by Theodore Dreiser.
The talented star
of Broadway and Hollywood,
Miss Frances Farmer.
Hello, Frances.
Hello there.
Now, we know
that there are certain
periods in your life
which have left unhappy
scars on your memory.
What, then, prompted you
to come and relive your life
with us here tonight, Frances?
Well, Ralph, I...
to be able to, uh,
tell something
of my own experiences
to help, uh,
people who have--
I know of in the same
kind of predicament.
I've received
so many letters
from people who want...
uh, hope or advice,
even which perhaps
I might be able to suggest
where they can find it.
Other stories accuse you
of being an alcoholic.
Were you, Frances?
No. I was never
an alcoholic.
Uh, did you
ever take dope?
No. Never.
Can you tell us
what happened next,
Well, Ralph, I...
didn't think then,
and I still don't,
that I was
actually sick.
Um...but there were
so many people
who seemed to think
I was mentally ill
that I just had
to find out why.
Uh, you know, if you're
treated like a patient,
why, you're apt
to act like one,
because, after all,
any effective cure
is based on faith
in one's self,
means faith in God.
Well, your faith has been
rewarded, Frances.
We've wired 125
Hollywood producers,
urging them to look in
on This Is Your Life tonight,
and keep you in mind
for an important
new dramatic role.
You're gonna be a busy gal,
dashing from interview
to interview,
so the Ford Motor Company
wants to give you
a helping hand
by presenting you
with the beautiful
brand-new 1958
four-door Edsel Pacer.
With its ease of handling
and above all
its dependability,
this Edsel will get you
where you want to go.
Oh, thank you so much.
And now, Frances,
as your friends
gather around you,
I know that they join me
in wishing you only the best
in your new career.
We're hosting a party
for you and your friends
right after the show tonight
at Hollywood's own
Roosevelt Hotel.
Your life certainly proves--
Do you need a ride
home, Frances?
No, I'm fine.
Take care,
Good night.
Good night.
Oh, Harry York.
It's nice
to see you again.
How are you doing,
I'm doing just fine, Harry.
Did you see the show?
Yeah, sure. That's
why I came down here.
How did I look?
Aw, you always looked
like a million bucks.
Well, you look good, Harry.
I got a new car,
only it's white.
Did you know Momma died?
Yeah, I, uh,
heard about that.
Dad, too.
I sold the house.
I'm a faceless sinner,
Why do you say that?
I'd ask you
to take me home,
but, well,
I'm a faceless sinner.
You smell good, Harry.
Familiar, you know?
I'd ask you
to take me home, but--
Don't be mad, Harry.
Some things just happen
for the best.
Things are gonna be slow
from now on.
Do you know what I mean?
No, I'm not sure.
Very slow.
But we're not going
to stop, are we, Harry?
No, we're not.
Well, bye.
It's very nice
to see you again.
Would you mind if I
walked with you
a little ways?
That would be all right.
Just a little ways.
Closed-Captioned By
J.R. Media Services, Inc.
Burbank, CA