Ironweed (1987)

Hard times and Good times. Francis and Helen.

  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 1987-12-18
  • User Rating: 6.8/10 from 61 ratings
  • Runtime: 2h 23min
  • Language: English
  • Production Company: TAFT Entertainment Pictures
  • Production Country: United States of America
  • Director:
star 6.8/10
From 61 Ratings


Albany, New York, Halloween, 1938. Francis Phelan and Helen Archer are bums, back in their birth city. She was a singer on the radio, he a major league pitcher. Death surrounds them: she's sick, a pal has cancer, he digs graves at the cemetery and visits the grave of his infant son whom he dropped; visions of his past haunt him, including ghosts of two men he killed. That night, out drinking, Helen tries to sing at a bar. Next day, Fran visits his wife and children and meets a grandson. He could stay, but decides it's not for him. Helen gets their things out of storage and finds a hotel. Amidst their mistakes and dereliction, the film explores their code of fairness and loyalty.

Ironweed Trailer

Ironweed Photos

  • Jack Nicholson

    as Francis Phelan
  • Meryl Streep

    as Helen Archer
  • Carroll Baker

    as Annie Phelan
  • Tom Waits

    as Rudy
  • Nathan Lane

    as Harold Allen
  • Michael O'Keefe

    as Billy
  • Diane Venora

    as Peg
  • Fred Gwynne

    as Oscar Reo
  • Margaret Whitton

    as Katrina
  • James Gammon

    as Reverend Chester
  • Ted Levine

    as Pocono Pete
  • Frank Whaley

    as Young Francis
  • Laura Esterman

Sound John Morris Music
Production Bonnie Timmermann Casting
Editing Anne Goursaud Editor
Art Robert Guerra Art Direction
Art Leslie A. Pope Set Decoration
Costume & Make-Up Dorothy J. Pearl Makeup Artist
Art Jeannine Oppewall Production Design
Crew Steven Kirshoff Special Effects Coordinator
Production Keith Barish Producer
Writing William Kennedy Writer
Costume & Make-Up J. Roy Helland Hairstylist
Costume & Make-Up Joseph G. Aulisi Costume Design
Directing Hector Babenco Director
Camera Lauro Escorel Director of Photography
Production Marcia Nasatir Producer
Costume & Make-Up David Forrest Makeup Department Head
Art Clare Scarpulla Assistant Art Director
Art Joseph Petruccio Sr. Construction Coordinator
Costume & Make-Up Milton Buras Hairstylist
Art Beth Kuhn Assistant Art Director
Costume & Make-Up Marie-Ange Ripka Key Hair Stylist
Directing Cornelia 'Nini' Rogan Script Supervisor
Art Enno Poersch Assistant Art Director
Visual Effects Paul Boyington Visual Effects Supervisor