Marie: A True Story


1h 52m 1985
Marie:  A True Story

Brief Synopsis

A political appointee risks her job and her life to expose corruption.

Film Details

Also Known As
MARIE: A True Story, Marie
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Biography
Release Date
1985
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM )

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m

Synopsis

Tennessee housewife Marie Ragghianti has a child with serious health problems and is married to an abusive husband. Resolute about improving her life, Marie leaves her husband and returns to school, eventually getting her college degree and getting a job with the Tennessee State Government. After years of hard work, she becomes the head of the state's parole board. In her new position she becomes aware of corruption that reaches to the highest offices, including the governor. Determined to clean up her department, Marie starts to week out the graft she has discovered, only to be discredited in the press by some of the governor's powerful friends.

Crew

Benny Andersson

Song

Carmen Baker

Sound Editor

Rick Barefoot

Transportation Coordinator

Donah Bassett

Negative Cutting

Peter Bloor

Gaffer

John Briley

Screenplay

Allan Bromberg

Sound Editor

Frank Capra Jr.

Producer

Jonathan Capra

Production Assistant

Paul Carden

Sound Editor

Dan Chichester

Costumes

Johnny Christopher

Song

Tim Craig

Apprentice

Chrissie Davis

Other

Massimo De'rossi

Makeup

Karen Everly

Production Manager

Gwyneth Eyers

Stunts

Mark Fincannon

Casting

Ronald Kent Foreman

Art Director

Neal Mills Forney

Camera Assistant

Chip Fowler

Production Coordinator

Kathryn Freeman

Production Assistant

Jai Galati

Assistant

Dan Garde

Sound Editor

Jeremy Gee

Camera Assistant

Jeffrey Ginn

Assistant Art Director

Jeff Goodwyn

Makeup Assistant

Vickie Graef

Costumes

Doris Grau

Script Supervisor

John Hernandez

Key Grip

David Hildyard

Sound

Bob Howard

Assistant Director

Jeff Howery

Dolly Grip

William Hoy

Assistant Editor

Mark James

Song

Beth Jones

Transportation Co-Captain

Jeff Kluttz

Best Boy

David Knight

Production Assistant

Eddie Knight

Best Boy

Francis Lai

Music

Tony Lawson

Editing

Brenda Lee

Song Performer

Julius Leflore

Stunt Coordinator

Jerry Leiber

Song

John Lennon

Song

Tantar Leviseur

Set Decorator

Lyn Lucibello

Auditor

Peter Maas

Book As Source Material

John Mahaffie

Camera Assistant

Ronald Mapson

Craft Service

Gilbert Marouani

Music

Paul Mccartney

Song

William Mccaughey

Sound

Chris Menges

Director Of Photography

Chris Menges

Other

Ray O'reilly

Sound

Frank O'shea

Props

Michele Panelli-venetis

Assistant Director

David Pearson

Boom Operator

Bob Penn

Photography

Toby F Phillips

Steadicam Operator

Ricky Ragghianti

Production Assistant

Jack Riel

Stunts

Michael Roberts

Camera Operator

Aaron Rochin

Sound

Roland Romanelli

Music Conductor

Arden Sampson

Dialect Coach

Elliot Schick

Executive Producer

Jeffrey Schlatter

Construction Coordinator

Richard Schmitt

Other

Rod Schumacher

Stunts

Roy Smith

Visual Effects

Ken Sprunt

Stunts

Mike Stoller

Song

Michael Stroud

Location Manager

John Stuart

Transportation Co-Captain

Tom Taylor

Camera Assistant

Fred Thompson

Other

Wayne Thompson

Song

Beverly Tomlinson

Hair Assistant

Joe I Tompkins

Costume Designer

Neil Travis

Editor

Bj÷rn Ulvaeus

Song

Melissa Walden

Hair

Shalina Waran

Assistant

Don Warner

Sound Editor

Robert Waxman

Sound Editor

Mentor R Williams

Song

David Wirth

Stunts

Pamela J Wise

Costumes

Don Zearfoss

Location Manager

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
MARIE: A True Story, Marie
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Biography
Release Date
1985
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM )

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m

Articles

Marie: A True Story -


"Criminals went free. Officials were bribed. Witnesses were threatened. The F.B.I. couldn't stop it. One woman did. She challenged the State of Tennessee and put criminal justice on trial," read the taglines for Marie: A True Story (1985). Starring Sissy Spacek, the film continued the then-vogue for movies about real-life women who worked to uncover corruption within industries and governments. Sally Field took on the unions in Norma Rae (1979), Meryl Streep fought against the nuclear power industry in Silkwood (1983), and two years later, Spacek fought crooked Tennessee politicians.

Filmed on location in Nashville and at the Tennessee State Penitentiary, Marie: A True Story was directed by Roger Donaldson, from a screenplay by John Briley, based on the 1983 book by Peter Maas. Marie Ragghianti (Spacek) leaves her abusive husband in the late 1960s, and goes to school as a single mother with three children. Thanks to a college friend (Jeff Daniels), she gets a job in Governor Ray Blanton's (Don Hood) administration, and works her way up to being the first women to head the Tennessee state parole board. While on the job, she begins to see that the Blanton and his staff are taking bribes from prisoners in exchange for early release. Marie loses her job after she refuses to go along with the corruption, and finds herself up against a very powerful political machine. She fights the good fight, but it comes at a price. Also in the cast were Keith Szarabajka, Morgan Freeman, and John Cullum. Fred Thompson, who had been the attorney for the real Marie, plays himself. It would be his first of many acting roles.

Marie was a role that Spacek couldn't turn down. As she told Bob Thomas, she had first heard the story from her brother, Ed, who was a record promoter in Memphis. When she found out that Maas had written a book about Ragghianti and Dino De Laurentis owned the rights, she felt "desperately" that they needed her. "It's important that I love the project, love the script, that I can relate to the character and yet not completely understand her so that I have to stretch myself. I like films that have a positive effect, an element of hope. When you spend so much time on a film, you have to think positively about it."

Roger Ebert thought positively about Marie: A True Story . In his review for the Chicago Sun-Times , he praised Spacek's performance, not minding that she had played a similar character before, because she played them so well. The film, he wrote, was "absorbing," and his only complaint was "that it's too predictable. There's never really any doubt in our minds that Marie will do the right thing."

By Lorraine LoBianco

SOURCES:

Ebert, Roger "Marie: A True Story" Chicago Sun-Times 18 Oct 85
The Internet Movie Database
Thomas, Bob "Sissy Spacek Couldn't Turn Down Role in 'Marie'" Boca Raton News 13 Oct 85
Thomas, Bob "Sissy Spacek Scores Again in 'Marie: A True Story'" The Fort Scott Tribune 28 Sep 85
Marie: A True Story -

Marie: A True Story -

"Criminals went free. Officials were bribed. Witnesses were threatened. The F.B.I. couldn't stop it. One woman did. She challenged the State of Tennessee and put criminal justice on trial," read the taglines for Marie: A True Story (1985). Starring Sissy Spacek, the film continued the then-vogue for movies about real-life women who worked to uncover corruption within industries and governments. Sally Field took on the unions in Norma Rae (1979), Meryl Streep fought against the nuclear power industry in Silkwood (1983), and two years later, Spacek fought crooked Tennessee politicians. Filmed on location in Nashville and at the Tennessee State Penitentiary, Marie: A True Story was directed by Roger Donaldson, from a screenplay by John Briley, based on the 1983 book by Peter Maas. Marie Ragghianti (Spacek) leaves her abusive husband in the late 1960s, and goes to school as a single mother with three children. Thanks to a college friend (Jeff Daniels), she gets a job in Governor Ray Blanton's (Don Hood) administration, and works her way up to being the first women to head the Tennessee state parole board. While on the job, she begins to see that the Blanton and his staff are taking bribes from prisoners in exchange for early release. Marie loses her job after she refuses to go along with the corruption, and finds herself up against a very powerful political machine. She fights the good fight, but it comes at a price. Also in the cast were Keith Szarabajka, Morgan Freeman, and John Cullum. Fred Thompson, who had been the attorney for the real Marie, plays himself. It would be his first of many acting roles. Marie was a role that Spacek couldn't turn down. As she told Bob Thomas, she had first heard the story from her brother, Ed, who was a record promoter in Memphis. When she found out that Maas had written a book about Ragghianti and Dino De Laurentis owned the rights, she felt "desperately" that they needed her. "It's important that I love the project, love the script, that I can relate to the character and yet not completely understand her so that I have to stretch myself. I like films that have a positive effect, an element of hope. When you spend so much time on a film, you have to think positively about it." Roger Ebert thought positively about Marie: A True Story . In his review for the Chicago Sun-Times , he praised Spacek's performance, not minding that she had played a similar character before, because she played them so well. The film, he wrote, was "absorbing," and his only complaint was "that it's too predictable. There's never really any doubt in our minds that Marie will do the right thing." By Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES: Ebert, Roger "Marie: A True Story" Chicago Sun-Times 18 Oct 85 The Internet Movie Database Thomas, Bob "Sissy Spacek Couldn't Turn Down Role in 'Marie'" Boca Raton News 13 Oct 85 Thomas, Bob "Sissy Spacek Scores Again in 'Marie: A True Story'" The Fort Scott Tribune 28 Sep 85

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 11, 1985

Began shooting November 1984.

Released in United States Fall October 11, 1985