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Ironweed Movie

80s Film Summary for Ironweed


Love them or hate them, they are good people after all in this 80s movie. A mentally disturbed man returns home to be with his family after living a crazy life.

Ironweed DVD


Francis Phelan (played by Jack Nicholson) and Helen Archer (played by Meryl Streep) try to stay alive and survive on the streets of 1930s Albany, NY in the movie Iron Weed.

Both Francis and Helen return to the city of their birth to re-connect with family and the career and life that they once knew in the movie Iron Weed.


Francis Phelan - Jack Nicholson
Helen Archer - Meryl Streep
Annie Phelan - Carroll Baker
Billy Phelan - Michael O'Keefe
Margaret 'Peg' Phelan - Diane Venora
Oscar Reo - Fred Gwynne
Katrina Dougherty - Margaret Whitton
Rudy - Tom Waits
Pee Wee - Jake Dengel
Harold Allen - Nathan Lane
Reverend Chester - James Gammon
Rowdy Dick - Will Zahrn
Nora Lawlor - Laura Esterman
Jack - Joe Grifasi
Rosskam - Hy Anzell


Jack Nicholson, who is a huge LA Lakers basketball fan, had a clause put into his contract that allowed him to be present at all the team’s games during filming.

Both Gene Hackman and Robert DeNiro wanted to play the role of Francis Phelan in the film IronWeed.

Academy Awards:

Jack Nicholson won for Best Actor In A Leading Role for the role of Francis Phelan in Ironweed.

Meryl Streep won for Best Actress In A Leading Role for the role of Helen in Ironweed.

80's Film Facts:

The Movie Ironweed was released to theatres on 12/18/1987 by TriStar Pictures, and grossed $7,393,346 at the box office in the US.

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