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The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Details


Penelope Ann Miller's delightful performance as the shy, part-time librarian Betty Lou Perkins is the saving grace of this comedy from Touchstone Pictures. Betty Lou is the neglected wife of small-town police detective Alex Perkins (Eric Thal). She soon feels even more neglected when Alex can't make their anniversary dinner because he has to investigate a brutal motel room slaying. Taking her dog for a walk, Betty Lou finds a gun by the river's edge that just happens to be the missing murder weapon in Alex's murder investigation. In order to get some attention, she announces that she was the one who committed the murder. Hauled behind bars, Betty Lou gets some quick assertiveness training from her cell-mate, hard-boiled prostitute Reba Bush (Cathy Moriarty). She also becomes an instant media celebrity, with crowds clamoring around her and television news reporters elevating her to legendary status. But Alex doesn't believe she committed the murder (she tells him the dead man was her lover) and continues investigating the crime. Her husband is not the only one who's suspicious -- the FBI wants to use her to lure crime lord Beaudeen (William Forsythe), who they suspect actually committed the murder, out into the open. It turns out the FBI is right; Beaudeen killed the motel room victim because he planned to blackmail him with an incriminating cassette. Beaudeen is convinced that Betty Lou has the tape and musters his forces to get it from her one way or another. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:August 21, 1992


Penelope Ann Miller
as Betty Lou Perkins
Eric Thal
as Alex Perkins
Alfre Woodard
as Ann
Julianne Moore
as Elinor
Cathy Moriarty
as Reba
Andy Romano
as Herrick
William Forsythe
as Beaudeen
Ray McKinnon
as Frank
Xander Berkeley
as Marchat
Michael O'Neill
as Jergens
Christopher John Fields
as Brown
Reathel Bean
as Bob Barnes
Marian Seldes
as Margaret Armstrong
Amanda Zenil
as Radical Girl
Ann Fisher-Wirth
as Young Matron
Billie Neal
as Gail
Catherine Keener
as Suzanne
Mark Magill
as Glen
Deborah Spector
as Cashier
Lesha Campbell
as Teenage Girl
Barry Hannah
as Court Clerk
Billy Hopkins
Cordell Jackson
as Bathroom Lady
Ellen McElduff
as Joan
Suzanne Kent
as Townsperson
Billy Holcomb
as Farmer
Barton Segal
as Barton
Adam Shankman
as Timid Man
Frank Welker
as Scarlet
Don Opper
as Dell
Red West
as Judge
Bernard Canepari
as Mayor
Laura Boenheim
as Autograph Girl
Meat Loaf
as Larry
Jane Smithwick
as Freckled Girl
Gale Mayron
as Pearl
Charles Treas
as Old Man
Dianna Miranda
as Chiropractor
Kay McDuffie
as Perm
Jeff O'Haco
as Bar Fighter
Margaret Graham
as Perm
Ralph Braseth
as Reporter
Marisa Miller
as April
Merrill Healy
as Gary
M.J. Etua
as Reporter
Bill Mullen
as Officer George
Christine Joyce
as Reporter
Faye Grant
as Charleen
Ruddy L. Garner
as FBI Wiretapper
Suzanne Smith
Paul Bates
as Officer Finney
Nash Germany
as Teenage Boy


Allan Moyle
Robert W. Cort
Charles Minsky
G. Marq Roswell
Musical Direction/Supervision
Douglas Axtell
Musical Direction/Supervision
Erica Huggins
Janice Hampton
Michael Corenblith
Production Designer
David J. Bomba
Art Director
Ira Halberstadt
Cynthia Sherman
Ted Field
Executive Producer
Robert W. Cort
Executive Producer
Lori Rowbotham
Set Designer
Merideth Boswell
Set Designer
Lisa Jensen
Costume Designer
Suzanne Smith
Elizabeth Shelton
Assistant Costume Designer