The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Mystery  |  21 August 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 1,358 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 9 critic

An ignored, small-town librarian confesses to a murder she didn't commit to get attention.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Elizabeth Louise 'Betty Lou' Perkins
Detective Alex Perkins
Attorney Ann Orkin
Andy Romano ...
Detective Frank
Mr. Marchat
Reba Bush
Billie Neal ...
Gale Mayron ...
Charleen Barnes
Reathel Bean ...
Bob Barnes


Betty Lou is a librarian in a very small town. Her husband, Alex, is a police detective who takes her for granted. She is the ultimate mouse. After a gangland figure is mysteriously murdered in town, she finds the murder weapon, but can't get anyone's attention to tell them (we're talking very mousy, here). Finally in a fit of frustration she fires it in a restroom and when taken to the police station insists she is the murderer. It has the desired effect, people do pay attention to her. With hints at social graces from the hookers in her cell block, she's on her way. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was a nobody until someone found... See more »


Comedy | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, and for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 August 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Arma de Betty Lou  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)


$3,721,911 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Betty Lou Perkins: Why is it so hard to believe, that I might be exciting to other men? People have affairs. People have lovers. Why not me, Alex?
Alex Perkins: Cause I never did. I never had anyone but you.
Betty Lou Perkins: You had everyone but me. You had Frank, and the boys, and the force and the bars and the games.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Swamp Diamonds (1993) See more »


Forget Domani
Written by Norman Newell and Riz Ortolani
Performed by Perry Como
Courtesy of RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly good movie!
29 June 2003 | by (Memphis, TN) – See all my reviews

I thought this movie was going to be light and funny--and it WAS in some parts. Alfree Woodard and Faye Grant give especially good performances. Faye Grant's character is a scream! And Julianne Moore is great as Betty Lou's sister. But when it got to the suspenseful parts, it went beyond light and funny. It was surprisingly good. I enjoyed every minute of it.

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