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Bad Girls (1994)

 -  Western  -  22 April 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 8,243 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 20 critic

Four prostitutes join together to travel the Old West.



(story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Tucker (as James LeGros)
Frank Jarrett
Pinkerton Detective Graves
Neil Summers ...
Ned, Jarrett Gang
Daniel O'Haco ...
Roberto, Jarrett Gang
Richard Reyes ...
Rico, Jarrett Gang
Alex Kubik ...
Yuma, Jarrett Gang
Will MacMillan ...


When saloon prostitute Cody Zamora rescues her friend Anita from an abusive customer by killing him, she is sentenced to hang. However, Anita and their two friends Eileen and Lilly rescue Cody and the four make a run for Texas, pursued by Graves and O'Brady, two Pinkerton detectives hired to track them. When Cody withdraws her savings from a Texas bank, the women believe they can now start a new life in Oregon. But Cody's old partner Kid Jarrett takes Cody's money when his gang robs the bank, and so the four so-called "Honky- Tonk Harlots" set out to recover the money, with the Pinkertons hot on their trail. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It was a dangerous time to be a woman. And a good time to have friends.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Girls  »

Box Office


£2,500,324 (UK) (15 July 1994)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to producer Lynda Obst, the original production design was essentially monochromatic, and the leading actresses had primary color costumes. During the brief halt in production and cast and crew replacements, a different production designer was hired and the costume and set concepts were retooled. One recurring problem in the original project was that the lead actresses were fighting over a red costume originally intended for Madeleine Stowe. See more »


A wad of hundred dollar bills seen briefly is obviously twentieth-century money. See more »


Anita Crown: If your laws don't include me, well then, they don't apply to me either.
See more »


Referenced in Sideline Secrets (2008) See more »


Shall We Gather at the River
Performed by The Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Both fruitless and fruitful in equal measure western romp through an annoyingly Hollywoodised wild west, Bad Girls hits and misses but it ultimately enjoyable.
27 February 2011 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Are the four titular lead women really all that bad in Jonathan Kaplan's 1994 Western thriller Bad Girls? Perhaps it's the nature of what they do lined up against what's expected of them that makes them so "bad", that is to say, putting their necks on the line and obliterating whatever male dominated spectrum exists within the world they occupy as they strive for independence and individualism. Perhaps that's what makes them bad, the fact that they refuse to roll over for the majority of the men in the film and act like good little whores suitable to be looked at but nary heard. The titular girls do kill people, but most certainly in self-defence; they fight and they battle away, but do so against fair degrees of sexism; they're on the run, but their running is purely a result of pent-up rage and sustained marginalisation. As it happens, Bad Girls is a guilty romp through a west you couldn't really entitle "wild" about four gals just wanting a 'straight' American dream infused life but having to fight both misogyny and false charges brought against them along the way.

The film covers the misadventures of a handful of women in pre-20th Century America, the ringleader and toughest of the lot of whom is Madeline Stowe's Cody Zamora; a woman nary afraid to stand up to men nor those lecherous and out to harm either herself or one of her kind, evident when we observe her react with violence to a patron's over exuberance at sampling the services of Drew Barrymore's Lilly Laronette. Stowe's reaction lands her in some seriously hot water, the death sentence carrying with it an air of disenchanted inevitability about it in that Zamora stands before the gallows on account of preventing the elderly man from having his way rather than defending a girl from rape. After a straight faced Zamora demands the execution party "gets on with it", her three accomplices, with whom she has been working most of her life and will spend the majority of this film with, bound out of the wilderness and save both the day and Stowe's neck before charging off with her in tow. Fugatives to the law, Zamora; Laronette; Andie MacDowell's Eileen Spenser and Mary Stuart Masterson's Anita Crown hole up out of town after a verbal demonisation from those back at the party point out they are both the enemies of the people, religion and all things righteous.

What transpires from this is effectively a weak rendition of 1992's Unforgiven, only minus Eastwood's character and Freeman's character; a tale about strong natured prostitutes maltreated but then themselves consequently being the ones whom go on the run as it's they whom are additionally stalked by a pair seeking their own brand of justice. Those men are two Pinkerton Marshals named O'Brady (Chinlund) and Graves (Beaver), men hired to track them down in this sprawling road movie of sorts and bring them to justice as the girls themselves attempt to get on with a more honourable way of living: the allure of opening a saw mill in far off anywhere appearing particularly appealing. The film has fun with placing women at the forefront of its plot, allowing its lead characters to charm; trick and seduce their way out of tight spots and usually into tighter ones when they require some money rather than to throw around weight they do not have as might have been the case had male characters driven the film.

The film isn't without flaw; its goofiness encapsulated by the fact each of these girls maintains a relatively photogenic look throughout, not once the years of abuse nor the results of their previous line of work really worming its way into either of their expressions nor overall demeanour and thus holding the film back from being the grittier tale it might have been. As time had passed and the four of them worked at that seedy tavern, each of them appeared to master the fine art of gunslinging and sharpshooting; Zamora managing to make best-friends/worst-enemies with a certain Kid Jarrett (Russo), a bandanna sporting low life thief with a small army of bandits whom waltzes around with a belt of bullets around his ribs, along the way. The chase element is surprisingly effective, a love plot to do with a young man named Josh McCoy (Mulroney) whom becomes mixed up in things, or more specifically Laronette, daft as it is good natured; a later sequence featuring this additionally consistent, in an unrealistic manner, photogenic young cowboy arriving to save his dame on horseback out of a dynamite caused cloud of smoke, suit of armour all that is missing, rather ridiculous but then spun around when it is he whom needs the collective power of the four women to save his own life.

There's a glum and rather seedy sub-plot to do with Jarrett and his past-involvement, romantically, with Zamora which doesn't quite sync up with the rest of the film's boisterous tone of romp and circumstance; while Laronette's own swiping from the rest of the crew feels a little preordained, or more obligatory than is desired, since it is she who is the youngest of the four titular bad girls and it is she whom must then where the little dress her captors have lined up for her. You additionally feel their treatment of her might have been a little more sordid than it actually is, but a ruthless sticking to the overall tone of the film demands a watered down version of whatever might have happened in the real wild west; the taking of Laronette the result of Barrymore's sexuality when compared to the other three than that of any realistic plot driven reasons or mechanics. Flaws and frustrations aside, and there are a glowing number, Bad Girls is a daft but enjoyable frolic through hazy female empowerment and both action and western genre demands but done in a relatively fetching manner.

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