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

Director:

Maggie Greenwald
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzy Amis ... Jo Monaghan
Bo Hopkins ... Frank Badger
Ian McKellen ... Percy Corcoran
David Chung ... Tinman Wong
Heather Graham ... Mary Addie
Rene Auberjonois ... Streight Hollander
Carrie Snodgress ... Ruth Badger
Anthony Heald ... Henry Grey
Melissa Leo ... Mrs. Grey
Sam Robards ... Jasper Hill
Olinda Turturro Olinda Turturro ... Elvira
Ruth Maleczech ... Shopkeeper
Jeffrey Andrews Jeffrey Andrews ... Sam
Cathy Haase ... Mrs. Addie
Peadair S. Addie Sr. Peadair S. Addie Sr. ... Mr. Addie
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Joe Freed (Older Russian Boy). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Tinman Wong: What kind of girl could you be somewhere else? What man would want you?. You don't have hair, half your face is destroyed with that ugly scar, you can't even make a pie.
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User Reviews

 
Haunting Performance By Amis
17 February 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

I found this to be one of those "haunting" films that has stayed with me. Suzy Amis' performance has stuck with me since I first saw this movie in 1994.

As for the story, yes it's hard to believe that no one would notice a "man" who never had any facial hair, whose voice was fairly high and had such narrow shoulders but despite the unrealistic premise, it's a good story that keeps your attention all the way without the need for action (although there is some.)

Amis does transform her looks from a fairly pretty woman to someone that looks like a frail 17-year-old boy. David Chung, who plays her Asian friend (well, more than that) also is very good and Bo Hopkins also has a strong contribution as the neighbor.

But this movie belongs to Amis all the way and just the painful looks on her face alone are memorable enough for me. What a haunting, sad look! Thus, it is not a happy story, but it's powerful one and worth seeing. Worth hearing, too, with some nice guitar work for the soundtrack.

If you are looking for a western that has a different angle, this certainly qualifies.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of Little Jo See more »

Filming Locations:

Carbon County, Montana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,773, 22 August 1993

Gross USA:

$543,091

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$543,091
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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