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The Ballad of Little Jo

R 1993 2h 4m History Drama List
77% Tomatometer 53 Reviews 62% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
After becoming pregnant outside marriage, Josephine (Suzy Amis) is thrown out by her embarrassed upper-class family. With no money, she gives up the baby and travels west, where she constantly fears for her safety against predatory men. Josephine begins to masquerade as a man named Jo, and eventually settles down in a small town where she is employed as a sheepherder for Frank Badger (Bo Hopkins). Jo hides the truth until worker Tinman Wong (David Chung) is forced to move in with her. Read More Read Less
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The Ballad of Little Jo

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Critics Consensus

It sometimes moseys when it should have galloped, but The Ballad of Little Jo entertainingly upends genre formula while simultaneously highlighting its strengths.

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Critics Reviews

View All (53) Critics Reviews
Sara Michelle Fetters MovieFreak.com Its ethereal, penetrating tenacity as it strips Western mythology to shreds and reveals its blatantly misogynistic center is striking, and the tragically haunting truthfulness of its final images is impossible to forget. Rated: 3/4 Oct 3, 2023 Full Review Claire Monk Sight & Sound The Ballad of Little Jo is an exemplary and often starkly beautiful tale -- a mix of adventure and romance which succeeds in reinstating female experience into a genre which has by definition sidelined it. Mar 18, 2021 Full Review Gene Siskel Chicago Tribune Although Amis Isn't convincing as a man, the story still holds some power. Rated: 3/4 Mar 18, 2021 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid Maggie Greenwald directs with a serene beauty and elegant pacing, bringing to mind such films as 'Brokeback Mountain.' Rated: 3.5/4 Feb 20, 2024 Full Review Michael J. Casey Michael J. Cinema Feels like an expansion of the canvas...to show that our previous notions of the so-called frontier have been much too narrow. Rated: 4/5 Feb 6, 2024 Full Review Jeff Simon Buffalo News It's a rare and quietly impressive movie. Rated: 3.5/4 Mar 18, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (23) audience reviews
Audience Member A fairly entertaining western, with a great female protagonist. Also, this is perhaps Sir Ian McKellen's most evil role to date. He plays such a pig. The scene with the prostitute may haunt you for life. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Genre bender : loved loved loved!! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member This is one the best little westerns most people have probably never heard of. I saw it when it came out and watched it again last night on DVD, and it's still just as good. I thought Suzy Amis turned in a fabulous performance, and the story is fascinating. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member This is a real stinker. One of the worst movies I ever saw. It doesn't really have a plot, it just meanders off into nothing. Truly awful. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Kinda slow and not really my kind of style but the story was great :) The actors performance too. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member This movie was interesting, its older which I normally don't care for. Parts were hard to watch but the ending was really funny. I watched it in a group setting which I felt made it better on the whole. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Ballad of Little Jo

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Cast & Crew

An American Affair 17% 41% An American Affair Beloved 72% 70% Beloved Stage Beauty 64% 78% Stage Beauty Dangerous Beauty 70% 85% Dangerous Beauty Gangs of New York 73% 81% Gangs of New York Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis After becoming pregnant outside marriage, Josephine (Suzy Amis) is thrown out by her embarrassed upper-class family. With no money, she gives up the baby and travels west, where she constantly fears for her safety against predatory men. Josephine begins to masquerade as a man named Jo, and eventually settles down in a small town where she is employed as a sheepherder for Frank Badger (Bo Hopkins). Jo hides the truth until worker Tinman Wong (David Chung) is forced to move in with her.
Director
Maggie Greenwald
Producer
Fred Berner, Brenda Goodman
Rating
R
Genre
History, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (DVD)
Mar 29, 2011
Box Office (Gross USA)
$459.3K
Runtime
2h 4m
Sound Mix
Surround, Stereo
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