Ironweed 34 years old

Hard times and Good times. Francis and Helen.

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 Cast

Name Character
Tom Waits He was 38, now 73 years old as Rudy
Meryl Streep She was 38, now 73 years old as Helen Archer
Nathan Lane He was 31, now 66 years old as Harold Allen
Jack Nicholson He was 50, now 85 years old as Francis Phelan
Ted Levine He was 30, now 65 years old as Pocono Pete
Michael O'Keefe He was 32, now 67 years old as Billy
Diane Venora She was 35, now 70 years old as Peg
James Gammon He was 47, 70 years old when he died as Reverend Chester
Margaret Whitton She was 37, 66 years old when she died as Katrina
Carroll Baker She was 56, now 91 years old as Annie Phelan
Fred Gwynne He was 61, 66 years old when he died as Oscar Reo
Frank Whaley He was 24, now 59 years old as Young Francis
Laura Esterman She was 42, now 77 years old

Ironweed Crew

Name Department
Bonnie Timmermann as Casting. Production
Anne Goursaud as Editor. She was 44 (now 79) years old Editing
Robert Guerra as Art Direction. He was 34 (now 69) years old Art
Steven Kirshoff as Special Effects Coordinator. Crew
Leslie A. Pope as Set Decoration. Art
William Kennedy as Writer. He was 59 (now 94) years old Writing
J. Roy Helland as Hairstylist. He was 44 (now 79) years old Costume & Make-Up
Joseph G. Aulisi as Costume Design. Costume & Make-Up
Jeannine Oppewall as Production Design. She was 41 (now 76) years old Art
Dorothy J. Pearl as Makeup Artist. Costume & Make-Up
Lauro Escorel as Director of Photography. He was 37 (now 72) years old Camera
Keith Barish as Producer. He was 43 (now 78) years old Production
Héctor Babenco as Director. He was 41 (70) years old when He died Directing
Ironweed poster
Ironweed (34 years)

Hard times and Good times. Francis and Helen.

  • Release day: Friday, December 18, 1987
  • Runtime: 143 minutes