At its core, this is a film about what happens when a person defies the system, any system. It is the true story of Frances Farmer, a beautiful, smart, and rebellious movie star of the `30s who seemed to have it all. Because of her many advantages the system took a while catching up to her; maybe that\'s where the fury and vengeance originated. Payback required more than a pound of flesh, the system wanted her spirit, her intellect, and her soul. The portrayal of psychiatry as practiced in those days is unlike anything you will see anywhere else, it makes Cuckoo\'s Nest look like a vacation in Tuscany. Indeed, psychiatry in this film is less a healing force than a means of preserving social order and conformity.