IMDb > Desperate Living (1977)
Desperate Living
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Desperate Living (1977) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Tagline:
It isn't very pretty.....
Plot:
A rich housewife enlists her maid's help to murder her husband; they go on the lam and end up in Mortville, a homeless community built into a garbage dump. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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NewsDesk:
(24 articles)
I Believe In Unicorns | 2014 SXSW Review
 (From ioncinema. 17 March 2014, 6:00 AM, PDT)

DVD, Digital Release: I Am Divine
 (From Disc Dish. 6 February 2014, 2:36 PM, PST)

Review: Street Trash (Blu-ray)
 (From DailyDead. 8 November 2013, 10:28 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Great John Waters classic See more (55 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Liz Renay ... Muffy St. Jacques

Mink Stole ... Peggy Gravel

Susan Lowe ... Mole McHenry

Edith Massey ... Queen Carlotta
Mary Vivian Pearce ... Princess Coo-Coo

Jean Hill ... Grizelda Brown

Brook Yeaton ... Bosley Jr. (as Brook Blake)
Karen Gerwig ... Beth
Jay Allan ... Kid
Al Strapelli ... Doctor Evans
George Stover ... Bosley Gravel
Turkey Joe ... Motorcycle Cop
Willie Brooks ... Pieman
James Yeaton ... Dead Bum
Ed Peranio ... Lieutenant Wilson
Steve Butow ... Lt. Grogan
Channing Wilroy ... Lieutenant Wilson
Steve Parker ... Goon
Pete Denzer ... Goon
Chuck Yeaton ... Goon
David Klein ... Goon
Ralph Crocker ... Goon
Peter Koper ... Goon
Sally Albaugh ... Hag
Kenny Orye ... Eater
Warren Newcomb ... Page
Roland Hertz ... Muffy's Husband
Pirie Woods ... Baby Sitter
Damien Overholser ... Baby In Refrigerator
Ed Butner ... Referee
H.C. Kliemisch ... Big Jimmy Dong
Paul Swift ... Mr. Paul
George Figgs ... Herbert
Marina Melin ... Shina
Cookie Mueller ... Flipper
Pat Moran ... Bathroom Pervert
Sharon Niesp ... Shotsie
George Hulse ... Sex Change Doctor
Delores Delux ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank J. Butler ... Harmonica Player (uncredited)
Richard Ellsberry ... Patient in Waiting Room (uncredited)
Alan Reese ... Extra (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Waters 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Waters 

Produced by
James McKenzie .... associate producer
William Platt .... associate producer
David Spencer .... associate producer
John Waters .... producer
 
Original Music by
Chris Lobingier 
Allen Yarus 
 
Cinematography by
Thomas Loizeaux (director of photography)
John Waters 
 
Film Editing by
Charles Roggero 
 
Art Direction by
Vincent Peranio 
 
Costume Design by
Van Smith 
 
Makeup Department
Jon Aaron .... assistant hair stylist
Celeste Hall .... assistant hair stylist
Christine Mason .... hair stylist
Van Smith .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Robert Maier .... unit manager
Pat Moran .... production manager
 
Art Department
Delores Delux .... assistant art director (as Dolores Deluxe)
Steve Parker .... assistant set designer
Ed Peranio .... assistant set designer
Vincent Peranio .... set designer
 
Sound Department
Richard Ellsberry .... assistant sound
Robert Maier .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Ed Peranio .... special effects
Tom Watkins .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Laurel Douglas .... still photographer
David Insley .... assistant camera
Kevin Weber .... lighting assistant
Steve Yeager .... still photographer
 
Music Department
Chris Lobingier .... music arranger
Allen Yarus .... music arranger
 
Other crew
William Platt .... video
Alan Rose .... credits
Pete Garey .... production advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Canada:18A | Canada:16+ (Quebec) | France:-16 | France:-18 (original rating) | New Zealand:R18 | UK:18 | UK:(Banned) (1977) | USA:R (re-rating) | USA:X (self applied)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The large breasts that are thrust at Peggy Gravel through a pair of glory holes are those of Liz Renay.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Mole first meets Peggy and Grizelda she tells them that there are no toilets in Mortville, but at the lesbian bar there are toilets, where Peggy is harassed by the 'bathroom pervert'.See more »
Quotes:
Muffy St. Jacques:[finding her babysitter nude in bed with a boy] OH MY GOD! What have you done with my baby?
Babysitter:I don't know; I'm trippin'.
Muffy St. Jacques:TRIPPUN? Where's Freddy?
Babysitter:I think I put him in the kitchen!
Muffy St. Jacques:The KITCHUN? Oh, Freddy!
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Great John Waters classic, 18 May 2000
Author: Casey-52 from DVD Drive-In

Fans of John Waters have always disputed which of his films is his best. Two titles will almost always come up: "Female Trouble" and this movie. While I prefer the former, I can understand why "Desperate Living" would also be considered his best!

While Divine was touring with an off-Broadway play, Waters decided to make a movie starring only women! While there are a few men here and there, the cast is predominantly women! Mink Stole is Peggy Gravel, the snobby upper-class lunatic who goes into frantic anxiety attacks and thinks her children have sex! Jean Hill makes one of two film performances as Grizelda Brown, the black maid who smothers Peggy's husband by sitting on him! Susan Lowe is the butch Mole and Liz Renay is the slutty Muffy, two lesbian lovers in the scuzzy town of Mortville! Edith Massey is the evil Queen Carlotta, the tyrannical ruler of Mortville whose soldiers are leather-clad homosexuals! Mary Vivian Pearce is Princess Coo Coo, the half-wit who wants to marry a nudist garbageman! Cookie Mueller is Flipper, a sadistic nightclub performer who tortures men on stage, and Susan Niesp is her lover who sleeps with midgets! If this sounds like entertainment to you, "Desperate Living" is right up your alley! Additional highlights: a transvestite motorcycle cop with bleeding gums, a bizarre lesbian scene between Peggy and Grizelda, and a sex change resulting in a disgusting penis for Mole, which is eventually cut off with scissors and eaten by a dog!

All of the performances are top-notch, the script and dialogue are hilarious, and overall, "Desperate Living" is worthy of being called Waters' best film (but it isn't). Recommended for those who are looking for a comedy that's different.

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