Pictures of Baby Jane Doe (1995) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Horace, a New York City down-on-his-luck writer, meets and finds love with a waifish young woman, named Jane, whom he shacks her up in his tiny apartment room and asks her to pose as a model for some creative death scene photos. But Horace's nowhere job and Jane's drug addiction threaten the union between them, until he moves himself and her to Atlantic City to start over and try to help her overcome her addictions. With that all looks well and upbringing for Jane and Horace - so it seems.

  • The story is told from the perspective of Horace, a struggling young writer who works as a bartender in a transvestite bar. When they meet, Jane has the word "urgent" stamped on her chest. They quickly - maybe too quickly - fall into a relationship, cemented when she agrees to model for Horace in a series of morbid tableaux - a bloody body in a bathtub, a dead body sprawled on the sidewalk, a body stabbed to death in bed - which he photographs and then writes tabloid-style blurbs about. Meanwhile, they giggle, frolic in the streets, and play sexual games, such as when Jane dresses in a French maid outfit and does an erotic dance for Horace. But gradually Jane's addiction turns worse and their relationship becomes more and more troubled. Though Horace does all he can to help her kick her habit, things only turn worse.

  • A hapless photographer/writer takes in a young streetwalker and tries to help her change her sordid lifestyle while he attempts to do the same for himself.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The real title of this movie is Jane Doe.

    Horace (Christopher Peditto) is an eccentrict down-and-out writer who lives in spring-time New York making ends meet as a bartender. He remembers how he was run over by a car as a child and that changed his outlook in life from that moment on. He writes things like "chaos is the rule". He meets Jane (Calista Flockhart) at the bar. She's rude and is in urgent need of some dope.

    They start a relationship. He makes ghastly photos of her impersonating women who suffered bloody deaths, makes photos of it and then makes captions of those pictures. She soon moves in from a squattering derectlict building. They shop-lift together in poor (Ken Leung)'s shop. He says that she saw life and that she could make him see life.

    Their neigbour Rudy (Richard Bright) makes a lot of noise, so they make even more noise in return. They eventually become friends. She dresses up as a maid to turn him on as sexual foreplay. Another day, she admits she owes money to a drug-dealer who hits her.

    They visit Vince (Joe Ragno), her father, for his holiday. Her present is a useless ashtray wrapped in layers and layers of brown ugly paper. Dad and Horace talk about Jane when she has fallen asleep. The audience sees how Jane would like to have some children of her own.

    Soon afterwards, Jane disappears, and Horace finds her in her old squatter building doped-out. He realises he can't trust her. They have a big row and he threatens to put her out. They make amends and move to a better room in Atlantic city. She dresses as a bride in her wedding dress and he makes some more photos of her pretending to having hanged herself. They try some jobs: she as a waitress and he as a croupier in a casino. She even tries to become a kind of housewife who cooks and cares after her man. They can't even finish their mandatory courses.

    She goes to buy some more drugs. A man follows her out of a bar. She has a very bad trip. She returns home to see Horace kissing Lucinda (Elina Löwensohn), one of her friends. In the ensuing row, he puts many pills in her mouth, and she wounds him in the back. They make amends again but Jane will die soon afterwards.

    He moves out and throws all her staff except for her favourite toy: a kitchen duck who Horace will imitate in the middle of a busy road.

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