cover art for Frances

Frances

1982
LP: Southern Cross Records SCRS 1001
CD: Southern Cross SCSE CD-5-G

  1. Main Title (4:03)
  2. Meeting Harry (2:33)
  3. Upset (0:57)
  4. Late to Work (1:14)
  5. Uproar (1:52)
  6. Frances and Doc (1:05)
  7. Walk (1:35)
  8. Okay Dad; Mother Shut Up! (2:51)
  9. Sonata in A Major, K331 [Mozart] (1:46)
  10. Bug House (2:29)
  11. Free At Last (1:34)
  12. Home Again; Things are Going to be Slow from Now On (7:13)

The Movie

I never saw the movie--I see enough depressing movies by accident without watching one that's intended to be. Jessica Lange stars in this biography of Frances Farmer, a troubled actress from Hollywood's golden age whose self-destructive behavior and battles with her overbearing mother landed her in an insane asylum. The movie itself is knocked, but Lange was nominated as Best Actress and it established her as a serious actress.


The Music

This is from the CD booklet, which says it better than anything I'd come up with:

The wistful, melancholy score by John Barry, whom director Graeme Clifford felt was the only composer suited for the job, is of particular importance in the context of the film: it is never intrusive, but striking in its subtle, elegant use of long sustained chords in the strings and woodwinds, punctuated by an occasional harmonica solo (which comments on a yearning for things past in the Frances character), and the two-note Frances motif--her cry for help--heard briefly in the horns. This is one of Barry's most notable and haunting works, one which occupies a special place in a notable canon which includes some of the finest scores in film music history.

Release Notes

The LP came out with the move and promptly disappeared, making it hard to find and collectable. In 1997 Southern Cross released it as a Limited Edition, numbered Gold CD, as they had with High Road to China, at a hefty $50 US. This also promptly disappeared and is very collectable.