Comedy / Crime
Comedy / Crime
The life and times of Dawn Davenport, showing her progress from loving schoolgirl to crazed mass murderer - all of which stems from her parents' refusal to buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas. She runs away from home, is raped, becomes a single mother, criminal and glamorous model before her inevitable rendezvous with the electric chair...
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June 28, 2018 at 05:13 AM
The Most Realized of Waters films.
Female Trouble marks the last time the Waters' Dreamland crew works together. Divine plays two characters Dawn Davenport and Earl. This has to be Divine's finest hour in acting. Waters' subject matter and themes presented in this film still hold true to this day. This is my favorite John Waters film. He balances the humor and gross out set pieces perfectly. They compliment each other instead of overpowering one another. John Waters obsession with serial killers and their ilk is strongly represented here.
Female Trouble was shot on 16mm , in color and has been shown in several different running times.
John Waters' masterpiece
John Waters fans usually acknowledge "Desperate Living" as John Waters' true masterpiece of filmmaking. Just one problem with that film: no Divine! Sure, "Desperate Living" is a great film, but Divine is just someone that goes hand-in-hand with Waters (like Joe Dallesandro with Paul Morrissey). Even though "Female Trouble" is lesser known than "Desperate Living" or "Pink Flamingos", it is better than those two films put together! John Waters' first film with an actual coherent script and plotline, Divine gives the performance of her career as Dawn Davenport, the juvenile delinquent turned full-time criminal. All of the best Waters alumni are here (only missing later star Jean Hill) and are their best: David Lochary as Donald Dasher, Mary Vivian Pearce as Donna Dasher, Mink Stole as Taffy, Cookie Mueller and Susan Walsh as Dawn's sleazy cohorts, Susan Lowe as a bitchy secretary, and last but definitely not least, Edith Massey as bizarro Aunt Ida! Anyone even remotely interested in why Waters is world-reknowned as the Prince of Puke should start here; it's not too mainstream for Waters fanatics and not TOO bizarre for the mainstream crowd who love him for "Hairspray" and "Pecker". "Female Trouble" features Waters' best writing to date (50% of the lines are instant classics), best costume design, best set design, and best gimmick (Divine raping "himself"!). Even though this is the pinnacle of John Waters' career, it is still pretty hard to find on video. A re-release is in the works for sometime this year to coincide with Waters' new movie "Cecil B. Demented", followed by a welcome video release. This new version will include enhanced video and audio quality and plenty of long-lost scenes!!! A European cut is available from Castle Video, featuring much of the lost footage promised for this year's re-release!
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The film that introduced Dawn Davenport to an ungrateful world
Although John Waters is best known for "Pink Flamingos", his two best films are "Female Trouble" and "Desperate Living". Why? Well, as far as "Female Trouble" is concerned, it is the film that invented Dawn Davenport (Divine), one of the trashiest white schoolgirl tramps ever to strut her stuff in a pair of cha-cha heels. Dawn's amazing life is documented in this film and it's a cracker from beginning to end. You will laugh, you will cry, you will vomit and you will die as you behold the deliciously disgraceful antics of the indefatigable queen of crime and sleaze.
All the delightful Waters regulars (the achingly gorgeous Edith Massey, the fantastically filthy David Lochary, the marvellous Mink Stole and the putrid Ms. Mary Vivian Pearce) are paraded about like proud circus exhibits as Waters' weaves a rags to bitches story of one woman's rise from the suburbs of Baltimore to her fall in a city without pity.
Certainly this was one of the first films to explore the issue of criminals becoming celebrities. Dawn Davenport's ascent to the ceiling of crime is hilarious and perceptive and Waters clearly knew where all this was going. For mine, Waters lost his zing after "Desperate Living" when his movies got softer and his characters started turning up on TV shows like "Wally George", "Jerry Springer" and the earlier "Oprah" eps. What was fresh when Waters started doing it felt redundant when he kept doing it into the eighties and nineties.
Divine is, was and always will be a legend, and I consider myself fortunate that I once spent half an hour chatting with the great man and actor. Vincent Peranio's production design is spectacularly obnoxious and Van Smith's costumes, as always, are knitted from the threads of trash heaven.
Waters does not put a foot wrong and ends proceedings on a surprisingly emotional note.