The Ballad of Little Jo
The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)

The Ballad of Little Jo is based on a true story -- several true stories, in fact. Suzy Amis plays demure young Josephine Monagan, who in 1866 is run out of her home town after bearing an illegitimate child. Fleeing westward, Josephine is… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 20, 1993
DVD Release Date: September 2, 2003
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Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Peter Rainer
Los Angeles Times

The film ends as more of a dirge than a ballad. But occasionally it casts a forlorn spell. The meaning of Jo Monaghan's life may not really emerge in this film but its mystery lingers.

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Jane Bartlett
Time Out

The mud and desperation of the frontier is vividly rendered, but the film is marred by a lack of emotional drama.

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TV Guide

Though the screenplay is based on the life of a real person, there are nonetheless moments when the basic premise seems stretched very thin, especially given Amis' fine-boned features.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

This is more skillful than inspired, with an image of the early west that seems largely borrowed from McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

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Stephen Holden
New York Times

It's not hard to view "The Ballad of Little Jo" as an allegorical critique of sex and power and men's-club values in America. In its disdain for those values, the film is as focused and cool-headed as the remarkable character whose story it tells.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Well-realized feminist parable about a daring and creative young woman's survival in the Old West.

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Emanuel Levy

Ultimately, what makes "The Ballad of Little Jo" worthy is Amis' full-bodied performance in what may be her most challenging role to date. Always believable, Amis never makes a false move.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Underneath the collective mediocrity ... there is something unpretentiously appealing. Perhaps it comes from what the movie is trying to be.

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More reviews for The Ballad of Little Jo

Flixster Audience Score: 66% Flixster User Reviews
Bruce Bruce
This is a Suzy Amis Film, that?s the reason I watched it, and of all the films I have watched her act in, this is one of the better ones, Was going to give it 3… More
John Ballantine
A passable western. It seems as though every attempt to portray a woman gunslinger does not do any justice to the original inspiration. A hard find...for good… More