The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag
|The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag|
|Directed by||Allan Moyle|
|Produced by||Sarah Bowman
Robert W. Cort
Ray K. Morris
|Written by||Grace Cary Bickley|
|Starring||Penelope Ann Miller
|Music by||Richard Gibbs|
|Editing by||Janice Hampton
Nomura Babcock & Brown
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures|
|Release date(s)||August 14, 1992|
|Running time||89 minutes|
The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag is a 1992 American screwball comedy film written by Grace Cary Bickley and directed by Allan Moyle. The film stars Penelope Ann Miller, Eric Thal, Julianne Moore, William Forsythe, Cathy Moriarty and Alfre Woodard. Rock and roll recording pioneer Cordell Jackson played a bit part as "Bathroom Woman."
Betty Lou Perkins is a meek librarian and nobody pays much attention to her, in particular her husband, Alex. A criminal kingpin is killed in cold blood and Betty Lou happens to find the murder gun. She is so mousy, however, she can't even get the police to listen to her, including Alex, who's a detective. In sheer frustration, she not only produces the gun but announces that she's the one who committed the crime.
Behind bars, Betty Lou meets a variety of hardened and colorful characters. Rather than intimidate her, they actually increase her self-confidence. Once she's released, she begins to dress, speak, and act differently. Unfortunately for her, criminal acquaintances of the victim assume that she must have confessed to the murder for a reason. They conclude that she must be his mistress, and soon the bad guys want a few words with her...or worse.
- Penelope Ann Miller as Betty Lou Perkins
- Julianne Moore as Elinor
- Alfre Woodard as Ann Orkin
- Cathy Moriarty as Reba
- William Forsythe as Beaudeen
- Eric Thal as Alex
Entertainment Weekly, reviewing the film when it was released in home video, gave the film a D+ and called it a "foolish farce." The British film magazine Empire gave it (three stars out of five), calling it "watchable" and noting "Miller is a winning heroine" but characterizing the film as "too busy to be really funny." The Austin Chronicle gave it (two stars out of five): "The cast shines in The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag; watching these performers, you know this movie would have made for an inspired farce given better writing and direction."
Home video 
- Lawrence O'Toole (May 21, 1993). "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
- "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag". Empire. Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
- "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag". The Austin Chronicle. August 28, 1992. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
- "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag". Mill Creek Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
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