Female Trouble (1974)
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as Dawn Davenport/Earl Peterson
as Donald Dasher
as Donna Dasher
as Taffy Davenport
as Aunt Ida Nelson
as Dawn's Father
as Dawn's Mother
as Taffy as Child
as Defense Lawyer
as Divine's double
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Critic Reviews for Female Trouble
The resulting feast of sex, violence, cruelty, and frivolity mocks sentimental notions of family, work, and love, and turns the egomaniacal furies of pop culture inside out.
One of John Waters' best and most notorious movies.
There is a fierce, maniac brilliance to a John Waters' film which rivets you to your seat for the good reason that if you walked out in the middle... you'd never know what you missed.
In many ways, Female Trouble treads the same ground as Network. It is a prescient look at what it means to be famous and what happens when we finally cross the line.
It is this reversal, the realization that the freak is an essential part of a social whole and that beauty falls into contradiction by attempting to be both normative and expressive of individuality, that Female Trouble executes in uproarious fashion.
A healthy appreciation of both low and high art gives one a balanced perspective that can enhance the understanding of both aspects... Female Trouble uses this concept of the duality of ugliness and beauty in the characterization of Dawn.
Audience Reviews for Female Trouble
While this revolting film is daring, funny and provocative for quite some time, soon it becomes insufferable with a bunch of people shrieking around without end and yelling at each other for much longer than our patience can take (hell, of course, this is John Waters).
The criminal career of Dawn Davenport is documented in an attempt to prove the thesis "crime equals beauty," in typically gross Waters fashion featuring psuedo-rape, tacky wallpaper, child abuse, absurd makeup, a woman imprisoned in a bird cage, beehive hairdos, mainlining eyeliner, Divine as a go-go dancer, implied paedophilia, puke, murder, and Edith Massey's saggy naked breasts. Badly acted, edited and photographed--by design. Waters holds up a distorted lens to the unique stylistic and moral ugliness of the 1970s and creates a uniquely nightmarish world. Similar, but more focused, less gimmicky and funnier than the more famous PINK FLAMINGOS. Unflinchingly ugly and almost impossible to like, but worth seeing for adventurous cinemaphiles simply beacuse Waters' vision is utterly unique.
God bless John Waters. He's made some of the best, crudest feel-good movies, and this is one of his crowning achievements. It's amazing how his film, ugly-looking and full of lipstick-smeared freaks, can feel positive and upbeat; while he's mocking everything in sight, he doesn't stand back and protect himself with irony or winks -- he jumps right in there, and that involvement, that energy, is easy to see and feel. It's amazing that he can feature masturbation with needle-nose pliers, beating a child with a chair, a game of "car accident," and Divine literally screwing himself and not have it be off-putting. The very idea that Waters uses a fat transvestite with a beehive hairdo to illustrate his scorn for school shows he's not so interested in subtlety. And Divine is awesome, as always, his prissy, gravely scream -- a freak you want on your side. This is one of Waters' best satirical attempts -- there are digs at hippies and Hare Krishnas, and two scenes in particular are very prophetic: the gay encouraging, and the killing for art. Waters even mocks his own shameless exhibitionism in the testimony of the Dashers
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