Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Western Movies: Bad Girls

By Kristy McCaffrey

As we welcome the New Year and the hopes for a great 2015, I find myself...exhausted. All the festivities and traveling and gift-giving—while fun—demand down-time. When I need to refill the creative coffers, I turn to music and movies. I thought I’d share one of my favorite western movie guilty pleasures: Bad Girls.

Released in 2005 and starring Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore, what it lacks in believability it makes up for in decent acting and an inspiring score. It’s also an Old West chick-flick, and there’s not too many of those (The Quick and the Dead also comes to mind, but that’s for another post).

The four girls are fallen women, each for different reasons. Cody Zamora (Stowe) is the leader and the most hardened. She was found by a man named Frank Jarrett (Robert Loggia) when she was 14-years-old, and rode for many years among his gang. More on this later. Anita Crown (Masterson) lost her husband to cholera on the Oregon Trail, and while she turns tricks at the local saloon, she refuses to kiss a man on the mouth out of respect to said husband. Eileen Spenser (MacDowell) presents herself as a Southern Belle from New Orleans, but in reality she grew up poor on a grub ranch in East Texas. And Lilly Laronette (Barrymore) was the daughter of a prominent trick rider; when he died, it fell to her to settle his debts.

A scuffle in a saloon results in Cody shooting a Colonel, and the man’s wife sets Pinkerton detectives on her trail. The girls escape town and head to Agua Dulce, Texas to claim $12,000 Cody has stashed at a bank. Anita has a homesteader’s claim for the Oregon Territory, and they plan to take the money and begin fresh.

The bank is overrun by Kid Jarrett’s gang—the very gang that Cody was involved with and abandoned one night long ago—and this leads to a series of retaliations between Kid and Cody that drive the remainder of the tale. There’s also a love interest for Cody—Josh McCoy (Dermot Mulroney)—a man who looks out for her, but, as we soon learn, has an agenda of his own that involves her connection to the Jarrett’s.

The silliness of a few scenes—the girls swimming buck naked in a creek or the fact that Lilly maintains a tart tongue and gorgeous hair while being abused by Kid’s gang—are balanced by Cody’s quiet stoicism to make a better life for herself, and Anita’s disillusionment that women had very little independence without the support of a man. The story doesn’t have a standard happily-ever-after, but each of the women honor one truth: to keep moving forward toward their best self.


Bad Girls is available on iTunes if you’d like to check it out.


Happy New Year!!



10 comments:

  1. Laughing out your at your gorgeous hair comment, Kristy. I will have to check out this flick. Swimming naked....did women do that LOL? Or is it another male fantasy? Hugs and happy new year to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanya,
      I really feel the swimming scene is for the male audience. I've never frolicked naked with my girlfriends. But, those things aside, the acting is pretty decent. Happy New Year to you!!

      Delete
  2. A guilty pleasure here also. Although I do confess to a love of old "B" Westerns with Rocky Lane, Charles Starett,etc. In fact some of those old Westerns have some rather strong and independent women who live life on their terms. Here is to more 'Female driven' Westerns. Thanks and Happy New Year. Doris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doris,
      I'm not familiar with the westerns you mention, but glad to hear they had strong female characters!

      Delete
  3. Dang, how did I miss this movie? It looks like a ball of fire kind of fun. Don't ya just love the grit of women in the west? Although this is a movie with maybe some contrived bits and pieces, I think it would be very entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      Sometimes we just want to be entertained, and not worry about the historical accuracy. :-)

      Delete
  4. Kristy,

    I've never watched this movie from beginning to end, but if I put together all the disjointed scenes I have watched, I've probably seen the entire movie. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaye,
      I feel this way about the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise. I've seen it all, but out of order. I'm still confused by the overall plot. One of these days, i vow to sit and watch all of them at once. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Kristy I have never seen the movie. It does look like one I would enjoy seeing. Its hard to imagine women banding together to make a new life but I am sure that back in the day they did. Although history paints a picture of demure women, needing a man to depend on, time and again we are shown women did a lot of things that changed history. We just bend more than men and complain less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barb,
      I think all your points are valid. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete