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Female Trouble (1974)

NC-17  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  28 March 1984 (France)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,206 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 35 critic

A spoiled school-girl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes.



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David Lochary ...
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Cookie Mueller ...
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George Figgs ...
George Hulse ...
Margie Skidmore ...
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Mean Girl


The life and times of Dawn Davenport, showing her progress from loving schoolgirl to crazed mass murderer - all of which stems from her parents' refusal to buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas. She runs away from home, is raped, becomes a single mother, criminal and glamorous model before her inevitable rendezvous with the electric chair... Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She has a lot of problems See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for explicit sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 March 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Rotten Mind, Rotten Face  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (16 mm) | (original length)

Sound Mix:

(2001 re-release)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Waters says an early working title was 'Rotten Mind, Rotten Face' but he feared this would only encourage critics to respond by calling it a 'rotten movie.' See more »


When Taffy throws a tantrum and is taken to the bed in the attic, she reaches for the manacles although she is being restrained against her will. See more »


Dawn Davenport: I've DONE everything a mother can do: I've locked her in her room, I've beat her with the car aerial. Nothing changes her. It's HARD being a loving mother!
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Charles Watson (the Manson Family member). Waters' prison visits to Watson inspired the "crime is beauty" theme of the film, and Waters used a toy wooden helicopter Watson made for him in the credits. See more »


Referenced in The Death King (1990) See more »


Female Trouble
Sung by Divine
Music by Bob Harvey
Lyrics by John Waters
Arranged by Don Cooke
Published by Pentagram
See more »

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User Reviews

John Waters' masterpiece
27 March 2000 | by (DVD Drive-In) – See all my reviews

John Waters fans usually acknowledge "Desperate Living" as John Waters' true masterpiece of filmmaking. Just one problem with that film: no Divine! Sure, "Desperate Living" is a great film, but Divine is just someone that goes hand-in-hand with Waters (like Joe Dallesandro with Paul Morrissey). Even though "Female Trouble" is lesser known than "Desperate Living" or "Pink Flamingos", it is better than those two films put together! John Waters' first film with an actual coherent script and plotline, Divine gives the performance of her career as Dawn Davenport, the juvenile delinquent turned full-time criminal. All of the best Waters alumni are here (only missing later star Jean Hill) and are their best: David Lochary as Donald Dasher, Mary Vivian Pearce as Donna Dasher, Mink Stole as Taffy, Cookie Mueller and Susan Walsh as Dawn's sleazy cohorts, Susan Lowe as a bitchy secretary, and last but definitely not least, Edith Massey as bizarro Aunt Ida! Anyone even remotely interested in why Waters is world-reknowned as the Prince of Puke should start here; it's not too mainstream for Waters fanatics and not TOO bizarre for the mainstream crowd who love him for "Hairspray" and "Pecker". "Female Trouble" features Waters' best writing to date (50% of the lines are instant classics), best costume design, best set design, and best gimmick (Divine raping "himself"!). Even though this is the pinnacle of John Waters' career, it is still pretty hard to find on video. A re-release is in the works for sometime this year to coincide with Waters' new movie "Cecil B. Demented", followed by a welcome video release. This new version will include enhanced video and audio quality and plenty of long-lost scenes!!! A European cut is available from Castle Video, featuring much of the lost footage promised for this year's re-release!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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