Frances is a 1982 drama film starring Jessica Lange, Kim Stanley, and Sam Shepard. When it was released this film was advertised as a purportedly true account of actress Frances Farmer's life but the script was largely fictional and sensationalized. In particular, the film depicts Farmer as having been lobotomized; this is reputed to never have happened.
Directed by Graeme Clifford, the story was written for the screen by Eric Bergren, Christopher De Vore, and Nicholas Kazan (son of Elia Kazan, who worked with the real Frances Farmer in several plays), based upon William Arnold's Shadowland, a fictional biography of Farmer. In pre-production, the producers reneged on their option to use the book as source material. Arnold filed an unsuccessful copyright infringement lawsuit but many of his fictional elements were incorporated into the final film. On the commentary of the DVD release, director Clifford stated, "We didn't want to nickel and dime people to death with facts." Mel Brooks was executive producer of the film, but received no credit for his participation.
Frances was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jessica Lange) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kim Stanley). The original music score was composed by John Barry. According to Barry, his idea of carrying the main theme using a harmonica was initially disliked by producers until they heard it fully orchestrated. Sir Anthony Hopkins revealed his admiration for Lange in the film, stating that her performance in Frances was his favorite by an actress.