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Marie (also known as Marie: A True Story) is a 1985 American biographical film starring Sissy Spacek as the real-life Marie Ragghianti, former head of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Paroles, who was removed from office in 1977 after refusing to release prisoners on whose behalf, it was discovered, bribes had been paid to aides to then-Governor Ray Blanton. Ragghianti, a single mother and political appointee, was hounded for refusal to cooperate with the culture of corruption with which she found herself confronted. Many of Blanton's aides faced prosecution for their roles in the scandal. The film was based on the book Marie: A True Story by Peter Maas.

Marie film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoger Donaldson
Screenplay byJohn Briley
Story byPeter Maas
Music byFrancis Lai
CinematographyChris Menges
Edited byNeil Travis
Distributed byMGM/UA Entertainment
Release date
  • September 25, 1985 (1985-09-25)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million[1]
Box office$14.2 million[1]

The film was directed by Roger Donaldson, with a screenplay by John Briley, best known as the screenwriter of Gandhi. It also starred Jeff Daniels, Keith Szarabajka, Morgan Freeman, Fred Thompson, Lisa Banes, John Cullum, Graham Beckel, and Macon McCalman.



Critical receptionEdit

Most reviewers praised Spacek's performance. Several reviewers praised the acting performance of Fred Thompson, who, until then, was known primarily as a peripheral figure in the Senate probe of the Watergate scandal. Thompson was Ragghianti's attorney during the actual trial, and played himself. This was his first film role.


  1. ^ a b De Laurentiis PRODUCER'S PICTURE DARKENS: KNOEDELSEDER, WILLIAM K, Jr. Los Angeles Times 30 Aug 1987: 1.

External linksEdit