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The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)

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After being thrown out of her home, a young woman decides to disguise herself as a man to survive the ruthless Wild West.


2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Grey
Beatrice Grey
Jasper Hill
Olinda Turturro ...
Jeffrey Andrews ...
Mrs. Addie
Peadair S. Addie Sr. ...
Mr. Addie


Based on a true story, this is the tale of Josephine Monaghan, a young woman of the mid-nineteenth century who is thrown out of her parents' home after being seduced by the family's portrait photographer and giving birth to his child. Josephine quickly learns that young, female, pretty, and alone are a bad combination for life in the wild west. In her desperation to survive, Josephine disguises herself as "Jo", a young man, and struggles to make a life for herself in a dingy frontier mining town. Can "Little Jo" live and love without revealing his secret? Written by Martin Lewison <lewison@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the Wild West, a woman had only two choices. She could be a wife or she could be a whore... Josephine Monaghan chose to be a man.


Drama | Romance | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Balada do Pequeno Jo  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,773, 22 August 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Jenny Lynch. See more »


When Little Jo shoots his(her) first wolf, the wolf has a rope tied around his leg and it's being pulled on to make him lie down. See more »


Shopkeeper: It's against the law to dress improper to your own sex.
Little Jo Monaghan: Yes, ma'am.
See more »

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User Reviews

I thought it was great!
28 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

I liked the movie. I found the story quite amusing and inspiring. I thought the acting was great too. I really think Suzie did a great job of portraying a woman trying to survive in a man's world. I enjoyed the perspective that it gave the viewer as to the expectations of gender roles. I loved the reactions of the towns' people when the truth was discovered, ranging from amused to outraged. All in all, I was very impressed by the whole story and the way it was portrayed by the actresses and actors in this film. I would recommend it.

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