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HISTORY & PREHISTORY

The Ballad of Little Jo

The Ballad of Little Jo was inspired by a true story. Josephine Monaghan, a society girl from Buffalo, New York, headed west in the 1860s to begin a new life after being outcast by her family. Josephine quickly learns from several bad experiences that being a woman in the old west is dangerous. She outwardly transforms herself into a man and becomes Little Jo Monaghan. Jo learns to ride and shoot, and makes a life for herself as a rancher. Little Jo was so convincing as a man that her secret wasn't discovered until she died in 1903.

Suzy Amis stars as Josephine/Little Jo. For the part, she learned to ride, rustle sheep, dig for gold, and shoot. When asked what was most difficult, she replied it was wearing a corset while she was Josephine. 

Strange, but true: It was illegal for women to wear men's clothing in those days.

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