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Ms. 45 (1981)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  24 April 1981 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,844 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 60 user | 82 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

A shy and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York after dark and randomly kills men with a .45 caliber gun.

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Title: Ms. 45 (1981)

Ms. 45 (1981) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Thana (as Zoë Tamerlis)
Bogey ...
Phil
Albert Sinkys ...
Albert
Darlene Stuto ...
Laurie
Helen McGara ...
Carol
Nike Zachmanoglou ...
Pamela
...
1st Rapist (as Jimmy Laine)
Peter Yellen ...
Burglar
Editta Sherman ...
Mrs. Nasone
Vincent Gruppi ...
Heckler on Corner
S. Edward Singer ...
Photographer
Stanley Timms ...
Pimp
Faith Peters ...
Prostitute
Lawrence Zavaglia ...
Arab
Alex Jachno ...
Chauffeur
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Storyline

A timid and mute woman gets raped twice coming home from work and decides to take matters into her own hands. She dresses suggestively and roams the streets alone, wreaking vengeance upon anyone who tries to take advantage of her. Eventually, her secret life spills over into her regular life in the fashion industry. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mute | new york | revenge | gun | pistol | See more »

Taglines:

No man will ever be safe again. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Angel of Vengeance  »

Box Office

Budget:

$62,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the body-part filled shopping bags that Thana carries out of her apartment is from Fiorucci, a popular store in New York at that time. See more »

Goofs

When the man Thana meets in the bar holds her gun, he cocks it, but when he lifts it to his head, the hammer is no longer pulled back. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Death Wish meet Repulsion in this Abel Ferrara near-great of cold-blooded murder
3 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thana (not Hannah as one might mistake to hear) hasn't had a good lot in life. She doesn't have really any family or friends, she works for pittance as a clothing workshop, and can't speak as a mute. She's also very attractive, and one day walking home she's pulled into an alley and raped by a man in a mask. She staggers home, bewildered by the whole thing, but before she can get her bearings she comes upon *another* man, in her apartment before she got home, who was in the midst of theft. He instead decides to go ahead for the rape. Twice in one day? Fat chance of that - she finally takes her moment, and Thana hits the guy to the ground and then with an iron kills him.

From then on the film takes its beat as something of a quandary, but a truly fascinating one: this isn't quite an exploitation flick, but it's not really a vigilante action-revenge picture like Death Wish, and yet it has hints of both. It's like Abel Ferrara and his writer St. John took the revenge element of Death Wish, of taking it to the street to rid the scum, but took it also to another level like in Polanski's Repulsion. Here Thana isn't some expert at self-defense, and shouldn't be as good as she is with the .45 she pulls off of the rapist #2. But she is good at getting her chance to kill people, and she does, even if they haven't really done anything to her (one of the more curiously ambiguous scenes is when Thana meets a guy at a bar, he keeps rambling outside about strangling his cat, she's about to shoot and it doesn't fire, he takes the gun and instead of shooting her shoots himself)

True, not all of the acting Ferrara is able to gather up totally works; some of them, like two actors playing a pimp and a prostitute (even for one scene) falls flat as believable streetwise (better is Thana's boss, a creep who wants to have his way with her but hides it under a thin veneer of professionalism and care). And it may also be true that Ferrara's film paints men- hell, just most people- as jerks or losers or total dogs, and really who will miss them when they're gone? It's that part of it that makes it an exploitation flick, especially in that one sequence at night when Thana goes out and kills the most amount of people (a whole group of gang-bangers in the park, an Arab and his chauffeur in a limo, the cat strangler). And as part of tugging at the weakest of heart strings, there's a neighbor who has a little dog and (gasp) will the dog make it through the end of the film?

A lot of this is pulp, but it's well directed and given a score that is fresh and cool in an early NY 80's sort of way. And when we do take it most seriously it's when looking right into Thana's face and her eyes, which start off terrified and dazed and a little in a surreal mindset (watch when she is surrounded by (over) concerned co-workers, or when she's in the bathroom and sees a hand near her breast that isn't there), and soon turns cold and bloodless. It's almost a symbolic kind of turn, hence even the name Thana which dates back to Greek mythology. This isn't someone to root for, which is what mucks up the traditional angle of a B-movie. Instead Ferrara is after something a lot deeper. Ms. 45 is action and a bit of horror (dismembered body anyone?) but it's also a sad tale of a girl without any hope, who is going crazier by the day and dresses out in black like a spider out on the prowl.

It's got some bad-ass dimensions of drama, and a rather wicked climax involving slow-motion and Ms. 45 herself going in her maniac mode in a nun costume, and is mostly marred by a few sub-par supporting performances (albeit a very low-budget indie from NYC) and a few little unsatisfying scenes.


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