7.2/10
2,409
43 user 7 critic

The Burning Bed (1984)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | TV Movie 8 October 1984
An abused battered wife has had enough of husband beating up on her. Everywhere she turns for help, there's not much anyone will do. After he rapes her one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it asleep.

Director:

Robert Greenwald

Writers:

Rose Leiman Goldemberg (teleplay), Faith McNulty (book)
Reviews
Popularity
3,430 ( 1,045)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Extremities (1986)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman takes revenge on the man who invades her home and tries to rape her.

Director: Robert M. Young
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, James Russo, Alfre Woodard
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A peculiar and disturbing case catches the attention of the police when a young mother and her children, all severely injured, show up in a hospital's emergency room.

Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, Gordon Clapp
Criminal Behavior (TV Movie 1992)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Female lawyer is stalked by a killer.

Director: Michael Miller
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, A Martinez, Dakin Matthews
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A victim of domestic violence winds up in an ongoing struggle to get the police to take her seriously, until the abuse escalates to the worst extreme.

Director: Robert Markowitz
Stars: Nancy McKeon, Dale Midkiff, Graham Jarvis
Between Two Women (TV Movie 1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When shy school teacher Val and Harry, the son of an aged opera singer, get married, Val quickly discovers that Harry's mother, Barbara, is not very happy with their union. In fact, Barbara... See full summary »

Director: Jon Avnet
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Colleen Dewhurst, Michael Nouri
A Face to Die For (TV Movie 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A scarred, unattractive young woman is conned into helping with a robbery of her employer. As a result, she is sent to prison, gets plastic surgery, and returns to seek revenge on those who wronged her.

Director: Jack Bender
Stars: Yasmine Bleeth, James Wilder, Richard Beymer
Murder in Texas (TV Movie 1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Story of Texas heiress Joan Robinson, who married plastic surgeon John Hill. Her father, Ash, is suspicious of Hill, thinking that he married Joan for money, which he used to buy a house ... See full summary »

Director: William Hale
Stars: Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott, Farrah Fawcett
Jewel (TV Movie 2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the 1940s a 40-year-old woman with four healthy children gives birth to a girl with Down syndrome.

Director: Paul Shapiro
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Bergin, Cicely Tyson
The Substitute Wife (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In Nebraska, in pioneer days, a woman who knows she is going to die asks a prostitute to replace her with her husband and four children in order to make it possible for them to keep their family farm.

Director: Peter Werner
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Lea Thompson, Peter Weller
Cover (2007)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

They are married men that pass H.I.V. to their male or female partners. Many of the men hide behind the vow of marriage, but still desire men. The women know, but have grown accustomed to the extravagant lifestyle.

Director: Bill Duke
Stars: Aunjanue Ellis, Razaaq Adoti, Vivica A. Fox
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A woman's husband is murdered and she and her lover must find the killer or stand accused of doing it themselves.

Director: Lamont Johnson
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Jeff Bridges, John Wood
Illicit (2017)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A couple finds out that starting a extra marital affair is a lot easier to do than ending one when they both are seduced into outside situations.

Director: Corey Grant
Stars: David Ramsey, Shireen Crutchfield, McKinley Freeman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Farrah Fawcett ... Francine Hughes
Paul Le Mat ... Mickey Hughes (as Paul LeMat)
Richard Masur ... Aryon Greydanus
Grace Zabriskie ... Flossie Hughes
Penelope Milford ... Gaby
Christa Denton ... Christy age 12
James T. Callahan ... Berlin Hughes (as James Callahan)
Gary Grubbs ... District Attorney
David Friedman David Friedman ... Jimmy age 10
David Andrews ... Wimpy Hughes
James Hampton ... Police Witness
Virgil Frye ... Virg
Dixie K. Wade Dixie K. Wade ... Hazel Moran
Heather Rich Heather Rich ... Christy age 6
Justin Gocke Justin Gocke ... Jimmy Age 4
Edit

Storyline

After years of beatings and terror, Francine Hughes set fire to her abuser's bed while he slept. Her confession and subsequent murder trial held the nation enthralled. A dramatic story of a woman pushed over the edge. Written by Fairchild

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story that shocked the nation. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burning Bed See more »

Filming Locations:

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Francine was originally offered to Cheryl Ladd, but she declined the part. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, we see Francine get beaten brutally in the face. But when she is arrested a day later, there are hardly any bruises on her face at all. See more »

Quotes

Hazel Moran: If you make a hard bed, you have to lay in it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mitchell (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Read the book if you don't get it
13 September 2003 | by alliesmom97See all my reviews

I have seen the movie and read the book "The Burning Bed". As is always the case, a two hour movie (actually an hour and a half at the most, when you allow for commercials) can't fit in every single detail. For those reviewers (mostly male, it appears) who don't "get it", who are hung up on the details of "why didn't the cops do this, why didn't Francine do that?", read the book and maybe you will be able to grasp the situation this woman lived in day in and day out.

As for the movie, I think it did what it was supposed to do. It was not a big budget Hollywood blockbuster, it was a made for TV movie. It told a story, a woman who was driven to do something desperate because she couldn't find help anywhere else.

In a perfect world men like Mickey Harper would not exist. But they do, and at the time that this took place (the 1970's) spousal abuse was, in the eyes of the law, no big deal. In fact, the book points out the only times Mickey was arrested was if he got physical with the cops. Otherwise he was basically told, "now behave yourself" and they would leave him to continue beating the daylights out of Francine as soon as they were gone. The attitude was "well, if you don't want him beating you up, just leave".

I don't know for sure what I think about what Francine did. Part of me can see how she couldn't see any other way out. Another part of me wonders if maybe she couldn't have done anything else. Not ever having been faced with her exact situation, I can't say what I would have done. But I don't believe she is some evil, vicious person.

And to the reviewer who said spousal abuse was less of a problem today because "women are seen as educable" and families have fewer children...I can see WHY you have an EX-wife. For the record, spousal abuse occurs in ALL types and sizes of families--and Mickey Harper beat his wife up all during their marriage--it wasn't having four children (I think the movie might have only shown three--it's been a while since I saw it--but they had four) that cause it.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 43 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed