Female Trouble

Female Trouble

Criterion Collection Edition #929

Glamour has never been more grotesque than in FEMALE TROUBLE, which injects the Hollywood melodrama with anarchic decadence. Divine, director John Waters’ larger-than-life muse, engulfs the screen with charisma as Dawn Davenport, the living embodiment of the film’s lurid mantra, “Crime is beauty,” who progresses from a teenage nightmare hell-bent on getting cha-cha heels for Christmas to a fame monster whose egomaniacal impulses land her in the electric chair. Shot in Waters’ native Baltimore on 16 mm, with a cast drawn from his beloved troupe of regulars, the Dreamlanders (including Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Edith Massey, and Cookie Mueller), this film­—the director’s favorite of his work with Divine—comes to life through the tinsel-toned vision of production designer Vincent Peranio and costume designer/makeup artist Van Smith. An endlessly quotable fan favorite, FEMALE TROUBLE offers up perverse pleasures that never fail to satisfy.

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Female Trouble
  • Female Trouble

    Directed by John Waters • 1974 • United States
    Starring Divine, David Lochary, Edith Massey

    Glamour has never been more grotesque than in FEMALE TROUBLE, which injects the Hollywood melodrama with anarchic decadence. Divine, director John Waters’ larger-than-life muse, engulfs the screen with...

Extras

  • Edition Intro

  • FEMALE TROUBLE Commentary

    This commentary featuring director John Waters was recorded in 2004.

  • FEMALE TROUBLE: Trims and Cut Scenes

    The following footage is from work prints, film trims, and cut scenes from FEMALE TROUBLE. Before now, the elements had been in director John Waters’ attic for over forty years.

  • John Waters and Dennis Lim

    This conversation between director John Waters and critic and programmer Dennis Lim was filmed in 2018.

  • Dreamlanders: Little Taffy

    This conversation between director John Waters and actress Hilary Taylor took place in Baltimore in April 2018.

  • Dreamlanders: Moran, Pearce, and Smith

    These rare archival interviews with FEMALE TROUBLE production manager Pat Moran, actor Mary Vivian Pearce, and costume designer and makeup artist Van Smith were conducted by filmmaker Steve Yeager in 1974.

  • Dreamlanders: Van Smith

    This rare interview with FEMALE TROUBLE costume designer and makeup artist Van Smith was conducted by filmmaker Steve Yeager in 1974.

  • On-Set Footage

    This rare footage from the set of FEMALE TROUBLE was shot by filmmaker Steve Yeager, who later made two documentaries about Divine and director John Waters, DIVINE TRASH and IN BAD TASTE.

  • Crime and Beauty

    The following interviews are outtakes from Jeffrey Schwarz’s 2013 documentary I AM DIVINE and feature director John Waters; actors Susan Lowe, Mink Stole, George Figgs, and Mary Vivian Pearce; film critic Dennis Dermody; production designer Vincent Peranio; and production manager Pat Moran.

  • Lady Divine

    Presented by filmmaker and artist Anton Perich, the roundtable interview with director John Waters and his regular collaborators Divine, Mink Stole, and David Lochary excerpted here was conducted by columnist R. Couri Hay at Andy Warhol’s Factory, and aired on Manhattan public-access television i...