6.8/10
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23 user 15 critic

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.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Josephine 'Jo' Monaghan
... Frank Badger
... Percy Corcoran
... Tinman Wong
... Mary Addie
... Streight Hollander
... Ruth Badger
... Henry Grey
... Beatrice Grey
... Jasper Hill
Olinda Turturro ... Elvira
... Shopkeeper
Jeffrey Andrews ... Sam
... Mrs. Addie
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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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Balada do Pequeno Jo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,773, 22 August 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$543,091

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$565,530
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Keith Kamppinen. 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

Frank Badger: Little Jo, you are the unfriendliest fella I ever met, and frankly quite pecular.
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User Reviews

 
a little slow, but excellent nonetheless
31 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a non-action-oriented Western about a woman who, for years, masquerades as a man. At the beginning of the film, she is thrown out by her father after she gives birth to an illegitimate child, so she travels west. However, along the way, she is attacked and decides to disguise herself as a guy so she'll be left alone. While this might be seen as a strongly feminist or gay-positive movie (featuring a very alternative lifestyle, indeed), the movie did not seem preachy or agenda-driven. Instead, it is a smart film that takes a very slow and leisurely pace to the ultimate conclusion. I would have preferred the pace and mood to perhaps be a little less somber, but considering how intelligent the film was, I will certainly forgive this.

Particular standouts are Suzy Amis as Jo and Bo Hopkins. I always felt that Hopkins was a bit of a light-weight (particularly considering the parts in the 1970s), but he proves himself to be an excellent actor. It's a real shame neither of these actors got much work after the film debuted--they certainly deserved it.


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