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Lianna Details


After helping to kick-start the independent film movement in America with , John Sayles wrote, directed, and edited his second feature, about a woman who finds herself staring life over after coming out of the closet as a lesbian. Lianna (Linda Griffiths) is a woman in her early thirties who's married to Dick (Jon DeVries), who teaches film at a college in Boston. Lianna first met Dick when she was a student in his class, and while she's grown more assertive and independent with time, Dick has become bitter and difficult, though he tries to be patient with their two children, Spencer (Jesse Solomon) and Theda (Jessica Wight MacDonald). Lianna, who dropped out of college when she married Dick, has begun taking classes again, and strikes up a close friendship with one of her professors, Ruth (Jane Hallaren); Dick, however, would prefer that she spend her time helping him with research on his upcoming thesis. When Lianna discovers Dick has been having an affair with one of his students, she begins to wonder about her future with him as well as her own feelings, and one evening, after dinner and conversation with Ruth, Lianna discovers her new friend has romantic feelings toward her -- and that she feels the same way toward Ruth. When Lianna confronts Dick with the news of her relationship with Ruth, he's livid and makes her leave the house, forcing her to start a new life for herself as she comes to terms with her own sexuality. Comic actor Chris Elliott makes his screen debut in Lianna in a small role as a lighting technician for a dance troupe. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:January 18, 1983


Linda Griffiths
as Lianna
Jane Hallaren
as Ruth
David de Vries
as Dick
Jo Henderson
as Sandy
John Sayles
as Jerry
Stephen Mendillo
as Bob
Nancy Mette
as Kim
Maggie Renzi
as Sheila
Robyn Reeves
as Job Applicant
Madelyn Coleman
as Mrs. Hennessy
Rochelle Oliver
as Betty
Maggie Task
as Evelyn
Chris Elliott
as Lighting Assistant
Marisa Smith
Madeleine Lee Gilford
as Supermarket Customer
Jean Passanante
as Rose
Amanda Carlin
as Dick's Student


John Sayles
Jeffrey Nelson
Maggie Renzi
John Sayles
Austin de Besche
Mason K. Daring
Composer (Music Score)
Thomas Brandau
Musical Direction/Supervision
John Sayles
Fred Burnham
Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas Brandau
Sound/Sound Designer