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Female Trouble (1974)

NC-17 | | Comedy, Crime | 28 March 1984 (France)
A spoiled schoolgirl 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
David Lochary ...
Mary Vivian Pearce ...
...
...
Cookie Mueller ...
Susan Walsh ...
Michael Potter ...
Ed Peranio ...
Wink
Paul Swift ...
Butterfly
George Figgs ...
Dribbles
...
Vikki
George Hulse ...
Teacher
Margie Skidmore ...
School Snitch
Berenica Cipcus ...
Mean Girl
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Storyline

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 <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She has a lot of problems See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

28 March 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Rotten Mind, Rotten Face  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (16 mm) | (original length)

Sound Mix:

(2001 re-release)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Divine was injected with a real needle in the liquid eyeliner scene. Divine also took a dose of vomit-inducing medicine, but this had no effect at first so Earl's vomiting on Taffy had to be faked. A nurse was on the set to supervise both scenes. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Aunt Ida: Oh, Ernie! Have another pretzel for Chrissakes! Wait 'til you meet my little Gater. You two are gonna fall right in love.
Ernie: My dear, I hope so. Are you sure he's gay?
Aunt Ida: Well I just use common sense. I mean, if they're smart they're queer, and if they're stupid they're straight, right Earnie? Are you sure you won't have another pretzel?
Ernie: I'm sure, Miss Thing, I'm sure. Pretzels give you plaque.
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 »

Connections

References Pink Flamingos (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Underwater
Written by John Andrews
Performed by The Frogmen
Courtesy of Go-Jo Music
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User Reviews

 
The film that introduced Dawn Davenport to an ungrateful world
11 December 2005 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

Although John Waters is best known for "Pink Flamingos", his two best films are "Female Trouble" and "Desperate Living". Why? Well, as far as "Female Trouble" is concerned, it is the film that invented Dawn Davenport (Divine), one of the trashiest white schoolgirl tramps ever to strut her stuff in a pair of cha-cha heels. Dawn's amazing life is documented in this film and it's a cracker from beginning to end. You will laugh, you will cry, you will vomit and you will die as you behold the deliciously disgraceful antics of the indefatigable queen of crime and sleaze.

All the delightful Waters regulars (the achingly gorgeous Edith Massey, the fantastically filthy David Lochary, the marvellous Mink Stole and the putrid Ms. Mary Vivian Pearce) are paraded about like proud circus exhibits as Waters' weaves a rags to bitches story of one woman's rise from the suburbs of Baltimore to her fall in a city without pity.

Certainly this was one of the first films to explore the issue of criminals becoming celebrities. Dawn Davenport's ascent to the ceiling of crime is hilarious and perceptive and Waters clearly knew where all this was going. For mine, Waters lost his zing after "Desperate Living" when his movies got softer and his characters started turning up on TV shows like "Wally George", "Jerry Springer" and the earlier "Oprah" eps. What was fresh when Waters started doing it felt redundant when he kept doing it into the eighties and nineties.

Divine is, was and always will be a legend, and I consider myself fortunate that I once spent half an hour chatting with the great man and actor. Vincent Peranio's production design is spectacularly obnoxious and Van Smith's costumes, as always, are knitted from the threads of trash heaven.

Waters does not put a foot wrong and ends proceedings on a surprisingly emotional note.


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