The Burning Bed After years of beatings and terror, Francine Hughes set fire to her abuser’s bed while he slept. Her confession and subsequent murder trial held the nation enthralled. A dramatic story of a woman pushed over the edge.
A Very Powerful Film
The Burning Bed I have seen this movie many times and still it has an effect on me. I have read the book and I can say that the movie does stick closely to the book regarding the events in Francine’s life. Of course, they can not fit 12 years of abuse into a 2 hour film and so there are many events that are not included in the movie. Also another major fact missing from the movie is the children. In real life Mickey and Francine had four children, in the movie, there is only three. Why I think that happened is on the night that Francine did kill Mickey, her third child (son Dana) was not at home and at a friend’s house. When she drove to the police station, she only had three of the children in the car with her.
Francine’s mother did herself suffer from violence (but not to the extent of Francine’s abuse) Her mother didn’t approve of the abuse but only that Francine had to at least try and live with it. Francine had literally no where to go. She had four children with Mickey and no matter where she went, he would found her. As someone pointed out, Mickey was the only man who abuse his wife in his family. There were three other brothers in the Hughes household and not one of them, hit their wife. In fact, Mickey’s mother was a very strong women and his father didn’t abuse his mother either. His family were always there to help Francine and they were the ones that she would go to during the early years. Towards the end, they were getting old themselves and couldn’t handle Mickey’s violence and told her, not to come running to them anymore. The mother did a complete turn around at the court case and said that Mickey never abused Francine at all.
Just to make the ending a bit more understanding. When Francine came home from school that day on 7th March 1977. She took the children to go shopping. When they came back from the shopping, that is when the abuse started. Mickey didn’t like what Francine had brought and it started from that. He then was telling her that she would have to quit school and she wouldn’t agree. He started to beat her and nearly strangled her. He made her burn her books. Francine went out to burn the books and when she came back into the house, he asked her again, are you going to quit school and she replied. No Mickey, I am still going. That is when all the abuse, really started. The children called the police. The police came and had a talk with Mickey. It was after they left and half an hour later when Francine and the kids were sitting to have dinner, that is when Mickey came back into the kitchen and started to beat Francine again. He then made her have sex with him. It was after all of that and when he finally went to sleep, that is when Francine lost it and burned the bed.
The Burning Bed A must read book, to truly understand the movie but also saying that, the movie does stick to the book, as best as it could.