Ty Burr
March 25, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Ballad of Little Jo

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
performer
Suzy Amis, Bo Hopkins
genre
Drama

We gave it a B+

Movies like this are why home video was invented. Maggie Greenwald’s frontier drama about a young woman (Amis) who lived most of her life disguised as a man sank without a trace at the box office, yet it’s the kind of tape that gets passed from friend to friend like a favorite novel. There’s a New Age vapidity lurking around the fringes, but Amis’ terse performance keeps Ballad Of Little Jo honest, and its portrait of an 1880s pioneer town in transition from muddy anarchy to awkward civilization is raw and real. An unvarnished winner. B+

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