The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Photos

Movie Info

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.


Andy Romano
as Herrick
Faye Grant
as Charleen
Reathel Bean
as Bob Barnes
Marian Seldes
as Margaret Armstrong
Paul Bates
as Officer Finney
Bill Mullen
as Officer George
Meat Loaf
as Larry
Cordell Jackson
as Bathroom Lady
Barry Hannah
as Court Clerk
Red West
as Judge
Lida Burris Gibson
as Lydia Williams
Ralph Braseth
as Reporter
M.J. Etua
as Reporter
Jane Smithwick
as Freckled Girl
Jeff O'Haco
as Bar Fighter
Ruddy L. Garner
as FBI Wiretapper
Adam Shankman
as Timid Man
Laura Boenheim
as Autograph Girl
Suzanne Kent
as Townsperson
Nash Germany
as Teenage Boy
Lesha Campbell
as Teenage Girl
Ann Fisher-Wirth
as Young Matron
Amanda Zenil
as Radical Girl
Dianna Miranda
as Chiropractor
Frank Welker
as Scarlet's Vocals
View All

Critic Reviews for The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

Whether in Betty Lou's original demure guise or her subsequent glamorous transformation, Miller is convincing even when the movie isn't.

July 11, 2014 | Full Review…

There's nothing wrong with The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag that isn't wrong with about a thousand other commercially homogenized comedies of its kind.

July 11, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It just sort of limps along under the late-summer sun until, at last, its forced whimsy expires.

July 11, 2014 | Full Review…

A clever premise that ends up being as bland as its put-upon title character.

March 26, 2009
Top Critic

It's a bit like finding a severed head in an Easter basket.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The movie's a handbag full of formulaic fluff.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag

A great cast in the service of a silly script.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features