I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982)

I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982)

Taglines: The dramatic story of one woman’s survival in a battle for her sanity …and her life!

Barbara Gordon appears to have it all, including a successful career in a male-dominated industry and a solid relationship with her live-in lover, attorney Derek Bauer. Beneath her facade is a high-strung personality who heavily relies on sedatives to reduce tension and anxiety and maintain a composed exterior for her friends and associates.

Her current project focuses on cancer patient Jean Scott Martin and her husband Ben and how the couple is coping as the disease progresses. Despite reservations expressed by her collaborators, Barbara is determined to end the film on a positive note, showing the Martins embracing on the beach. When she shows them a rough cut, fatalistic Jean is angered by the false optimism and vehemently voices her objections to Barbara’s choices.

The response triggers a deep depression in Barbara, who relies on Doctor Kalman, her therapist of many years, and an increased dosage of Valium to see her through the crisis. She finally reaches a turning point when she realizes Kalman’s treatment has been ineffective and admits her dependence on drugs is controlling her life. Her effort to quit cold turkey results in a rapid physical, mental, and emotional deterioration fueled by Derek’s refusal to let her seek medical help and his alcohol-driven determination to control her completely.

Following a series of physical fights, he imprisons her – bruised, bloodied, and broken – by tying her to a chair. She manages to convince him they had dinner plans with friends Karen and Sam Mulligan, and when he calls them to cancel, her screams for help alert them to her situation.

I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can is a 1982 American biographical film directed by Jack Hofsiss and starring Jill Clayburgh. The screenplay by David Rabe is based on the memoir of the same title by Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Gordon, whose addiction to and difficult withdrawal from Valium serves as the basis of the plot.

I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can Movie Poster (1982)

I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982)

Directed by: Jack Hofsiss
Starring: Jill Clayburgh, Nicol Williamson, Dianne Wiest, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Page, Albert Salmi, James Sutorius, Ellen Greene
Screenplay by: David Rabe
Production Design by: David Jenkins
Cinematography by: Jan de Bont
Film Editing by: Michael Bradsell
Costume Design by: Julie Weiss
Set Decoration by: Ken Aichele
Art Direction by: Fred Kolo
Music by: Stanley Silverman
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 5, 1982