Female Trouble

( 3 )

Overview

While Female Trouble is one of the best films from John Waters' pre-Hairspray period, it's also been one of his more elusive titles, and notoriously hard to find on home video. Thankfully, this DVD release finally makes it readily available again in digital format after an ill-advised two-fer release with Pink Flamingos. Female Trouble has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and if the image looks a bit severely cropped in this format (it was shot full-frame in 16 ...
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Overview

While Female Trouble is one of the best films from John Waters' pre-Hairspray period, it's also been one of his more elusive titles, and notoriously hard to find on home video. Thankfully, this DVD release finally makes it readily available again in digital format after an ill-advised two-fer release with Pink Flamingos. Female Trouble has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and if the image looks a bit severely cropped in this format (it was shot full-frame in 16 mm), it does help to give the film the "big movie" look Waters was obviously going for, and if the transfer isn't as miraculously improved as the restoration of Pink Flamingos, it's still a significant improvement over the long out-of-print VHS edition. The audio has been remixed for Dolby Digital Surround, while the original monophonic soundtrack is also included -- the new track is crisper and better detailed, but doesn't differ dramatically from the original. Optional English subtitles are included, but no multiple language options appear. The film's original trailer is included as a bonus, and as usual, Waters contributes a witty and highly entertaining commentary track to this disc, whose presence alone will be enough for many Waters fans to pick up the DVD, though the movie itself is an underrated gem in his filmography.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Original uncut full-length version; Commentary by John Waters
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
John Waters' follow-up to the notorious Pink Flamingos is slicker and believe it or not, even more twisted. Despite its low-budget nature, Female Trouble's script and direction are much more ambitious: The surprisingly complex story packs a novel's worth of plot into 98 minutes without ever feeling overwritten, and Waters fills each frame of the film with outrageously gaudy sets, costumes, makeup, and hairdos that create a convincingly surreal atmosphere of bad taste (special kudos must also be directed to production designer Vincent Peranio and costume/makeup whiz Van Smith, who each played a crucial role in creating this world). However, Female Trouble is so consistently over-the-top and hysterically shrill in its pursuit of sick humor that it might frighten off even the hardiest cult film addicts. The characters are written in a way that makes them all unsympathetic, the film's theme of "crime equals beauty" is likely to make even the most liberal-minded viewers squirm, and the story plays sordid themes like child abuse, incest, and mutilation for laughs of the darkest variety. Just the same, those brave enough to stick with Female Trouble will find the film has its rewards: Waters works in some clever visual references to Russ Meyer and Herschell Gordon Lewis and the supporting cast is full of memorable turns, especially Edith Massey's jaw-dropping work as Gator's anti-heterosexual mother. Best of all, Female Trouble is graced with Divine's most impressive performance. He goes about his transformation from spoiled teen to crazed murderess with the kind of fearless bravado that few actors ever attempt and puts on a display of go-for-broke histrionics that would put Joan Crawford to shame: Highlights include a sex scene where Divine plays both participants and the hilarious "nightclub act" that climaxes with Divine attempting to execute the audience. In short, Female Trouble is required viewing for anyone with a serious interest in John Waters or Divine but casual moviegoers should approach the film with extreme caution.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2004
  • UPC: 794043751523
  • Original Release: 1975
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,529

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Divine Dawn Davenport, Earl Peterson
David Lochary Donald Dasher
Mary Vivian Pearce Donna Dasher
Mink Stole Taffy Davenport
Edith Massey Ida Nelson
Cookie Mueller Concetta
Susan Walsh Chiclett
Michael Potter Gater
Ed Peranio Wink
Paul Swift Butterfly
George Figgs Dribbles
Susan Lowe Vikki
George Hulse Teacher
Roland Hertz Dawn's Father
Betty Woods Dawn's Mother
Hilary Taylor Taffy as Child
Channing Wilroy Prosecutor
Seymour Avigdor Defense Lawyer
Elizabeth Coffey Earnestine
Danny Mills
Sally Turner Divine's double
Technical Credits
John Waters Director, Cinematographer, Producer, Screenwriter
Charles Roggero Editor
Van Smith Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. ...Main Titles [2:21]
2. ...Youth [5:18]
3. ...Cha Cha Heels [2:31]
4. ...Dawn Meets Earl [2:18]
5. ...Pregnant [2:06]
6. ...Career Girl [1:33]
7. ...Early Criminal [4:15]
8. ...Aunt Ida [2:03]
9. ...Lipstick Beauty Salon [4:55]
10. ...Married Life [1:33]
11. ...5 Years Later [7:28]
12. ...Dawn's Big Break [5:14]
13. ...Gator's Goodbye [2:55]
14. ...A Smashing Dinner Party [5:27]
15. ...A New Look for Dawn [4:28]
16. ...Model of the Year [5:35]
17. ...Taffy's Daddy [2:55]
18. ...Show Business [2:13]
19. ...A Painful Homelife [5:03]
20. ...Superstar Nightclub [4:03]
21. ...Dawn's Act [4:57]
22. ...The Trial [9:36]
23. ...Dawn's Big Day [5:09]
24. ...Final Curtain Call [3:28]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Screen and Sound Options
      Stereo Surround Sound
      Original Mono Audio
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
   Play Movie
   Select a Scene
   Special Features
      Director Commentary
      Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Comedy of Massive Proportions

    This is John Water's funniest and best constructed comedy of his underground period. Outrageous and Hysterical are two words that are too tame to describe this rollicking and freewheeling exercise in very un-PC moviemaking. Divine, as always, is a delight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!!!

    Female Trouble is an epic, it begins with the childhood of our main charecrter Dawn Davenport and follows her entire life right up to her death. People ask me why I love FT so much and the answer is simply, I've seen a ton of films in my life and this was the only one that I had no idea what was going to happen next. There's underground beauty parlors, acid burns, bondage, child abuse, torture, murder, Krishnas, trampolines, mohawks, electric chairs, cults, fashion, fashion, and more fashion. Not for the faint of heart FT is a rollercoaster ride acid trip full on party of a film. It also is the only time an actor raped themself in a film, but hopefully not the last time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews