The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (Touchstone Movie)

“The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag” is a comedy film released in 1992, directed by Allan Moyle. The movie stars Penelope Ann Miller as Betty Lou Perkins, Eric Thal as Alex Kearney, and Cathy Moriarty as Reba, among others.

The story follows Betty Lou Perkins, a timid and unassuming librarian in a small town. Betty Lou feels ignored and unappreciated by her husband and the people around her. One day, she stumbles upon a discarded gun and impulsively takes it.

When Betty Lou accidentally fires the gun, it attracts the attention of the police, who mistakenly believe that she committed a crime. However, instead of correcting the misunderstanding, Betty Lou decides to play along and claim responsibility for a murder she didn’t commit.

The fabricated story brings unexpected attention and admiration to Betty Lou, transforming her from an overlooked woman into a local celebrity. She enjoys her newfound fame but soon realizes that her lies are causing chaos in the town and putting innocent people in trouble.

“The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag” is a satirical comedy that explores themes of self-discovery, empowerment, and the consequences of deception. It uses humor and absurdity to comment on societal expectations and the desire for recognition and respect.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, but Penelope Ann Miller’s charming performance and the film’s light-hearted tone have earned it a cult following among fans of quirky and offbeat comedies.

“The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag” serves as a touchstone for viewers who appreciate unconventional and witty humor, as well as stories that explore the transformative power of unexpected situations and the importance of embracing one’s true self.

Additional Details


  • Penelope Ann Miller: Betty Lou Perkins
  • Julianne Moore: Elinor
  • Alfre Woodard: Ann Orkin
  • Cathy Moriarty: Reba
  • Xander Berkeley: Mr. Marchat
  • William Forsythe: Beaudeen
  • Eric Thal: Alex


  • Director: Allan Moyle
  • Producers: Sarah Bowman, Robert Cort, Ted Field, Ira Halberstadt, Scott Kroopf, Cynthia Sherman and Ray Morris
  • Writer: Grace Cary Bickley

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.