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The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Mystery | 21 August 1992 (USA)
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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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?


Ann Orkin: Am I supposed to feel sorry for you? If you're unhappy drink. Get laid. See a shrink like normal people.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Girls Town (1994) See more »


Surfin' on Jupiter
Written by Atom Benjamin Ellis
Performed by Psychefunkapus
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Fun at the beginning, a bit violent at the end
12 January 2005 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Betty Lou (Penelope Ann Miller) is a librarian who suffers from the doormat syndrome - people walk all over her. At home, it is not much better, as policeman husband Alex works late. When he fails to come home for their anniversary dinner, Betty Lou snaps out of her complacency. Finding a gun connected to a homicide, she devices a scheme to make herself visible....she'll confess to the murder of a mafioso. It works. She is the most talked about person in town, with one problem. The mafia may be chasing her now.

Penelope Ann Miller is one of those actresses you like to look & listen to, no matter what the part. She does a fine job as the long suffering wife and librarian. Eric Thal displays charm as Alex and Julianne Moore as Betty Lou's sister, in a role that obviously came before her leap into stardom, is a welcome addition. The plot is fun at first but things get deadly serious and violent near the ending. Do you like silly romantic plots, even when a little nastiness is thrown in? This movie will satisfy your basic requirements.

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