on 23 March 2011
I absolutely loved this film. Extremely atmospheric and with an authentic feel of time and place, it has left me with mind blowing recollections of wild wide open spaces, which are as romantic (I mean stern-romantic, not rosy-romantic) on screen, as they must have been harsh in real life at the time.
I am surprised to see not even one editorial note or synopsis of it on this page. So let me refer you to the many customer reviews on Amazon US, and and here are excerpts from the editorial:
" The Ballad of Little Jo is based on a true story -- several true stories, in fact. Suzy Amis plays demure young Josephine Monagan, who in 1866 is run out of her home town after bearing an illegitimate child. Fleeing westward, Josephine is terrified by stories of how treacherous the frontier can be for a woman alone. As a result, upon arriving in the muddy burg of Ruby City, she disguises herself as a man, going so far as to scar her face to suggest that she's been in a few scrapes.
In this guise, "Little Jo" does just fine by herself for nearly 30 years! Almost as good as Suzy Amis is Bo Hopkins as gunslinger Frank Badger, Little Jo's best buddy (if only he knew....) Written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, The Ballad of Little Jo does a marvelous job conveying the people and places of its period; and, unlike Bad Girls (which was released around the same time), we aren't bludgeoned to death by feminist revisionism. Unfortunately ignored when it went out to theatres in the fall of 1993, The Ballad of Little Jo has fared rather better on video.
OH, and a technical detail: this title in Region 2 (European format) has NO English subtitles / captions, while in Region 1 (America), it has.
on 28 January 2015
I can watch this film over and over. It's one of those films that leaves you thinking and leaves you enriched. Based on a true story, it teaches you so much - about hidden histories, about hardship, love, the human spirit... and it also makes me proud to be a woman. Don't worry though, fellas - it's not a chick-flick or some kind of hard-line feminist propaganda. Just a beautifully acted, gritty, honest, brutal without being graphic and heart-wrenchingly tender piece of cinema. There is also plenty of gentle humour to keep the film uplifting. The soundtrack is perfect.
Without giving too much away - it portrays the life of a society woman who is cast out by her family. Quickly realising that she won't survive the harsh and brutal 'wild west' as a woman alone, she is forced to try and make a life for herself by pretending to be a man.
This is the 3rd time I've bought this movie as I can't help 'lending' it to people so I can share this experience. No doubt I'll be buying it again soon! It can be quite hard to get hold of so I was a bit concerned about buying this version from Poland but the seller included clear instructions on how to change the audio settings to get the original English soundtrack.
I could go on and on but really, seriously, just buy it. You won't regret it.