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Working Girls

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Editorial Reviews

A day in the life of several prostitutes in an upscale Manhattan whore house. The film is a stark portrayal of the women prostitutes, the male customers and the motivations of both. Watch as the madam manipulates her "girls". Watch as she answers the phone by saying "Hello John, what's new and different?" Watch as the "johns" try to manipulate the "girls". Part nudie exploitation, part sociological thesis.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Louise Smith, Ellen McElduff, Amanda Goodwin, Deborah Banks, Liz Caldwell
  • Directors: Lizzie Borden
  • Writers: Lizzie Borden, Sandra Kay
  • Producers: Lizzie Borden, Andi Gladstone, Margaret Smilow
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059PP7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,278 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Working Girls" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By turtlex on July 9, 2001
Format: DVD
First - for those who may be confused a bit - this is NOT the Melanie Griffith / Harrison Ford movie - Working Girl !!!!
This film, by independent filmmaker Lizzie Borden, caused quite the stir in it's day. When first released, on a very limited basis, it was hailed for it's true-life, non-glarmorus dipiction of prostitutes.
The film has aged fairly well. The fashion, however, has not <G>.
The story follows Molly, a working girl, on a day in the life sort of journey.
The filmmaking is sparce, but effective. This is no "Pretty Woman", nor is it intended to be. We're presented with a Big City Brothel and it's employees. There's nothing fancy or particularily beautiful about them - though some of the "girls" are attractive.
The main point, I believe, is that this is a JOB. It's a harsh reality look at what some women do for money. It's not slicked over and it's now over-drawn, the film presents prostitution clearly and, more importantly, without judgement.
The script is on the money and a good script is always a good place to start.
There are no exotic locales - we're mainly invited into the brothel - an upper class condo/apartment. It's a bleak sort of existance.
I'd recommend this film to the Independent Movie lover. It's one of the first and finest examples of what a limited budget, a good script and a good director can do.
Best Regards, turtlex
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By M. Whittier on April 26, 2001
Format: DVD
Working Girls (not to be confused with the singular and singularly awful Mike Nichols movie that features Melanie Griffith vacuuming a carpet, nakedly) is an easily underestimated accomplishment, and despite the rampant nudity and unblinking depictions of adult sexuality, a guaranteed sex-deterrent.
It's hilarious, embarassing, grim, deeply disturbing, cynical, touching, clinical and creepily locker-room-intimate, all at the same time.
There will be those people who can't make it past the low budget vibe that (admittedly) permeates the whole movie, but anyone who criticizes its occasionally stilted acting (and it's an easy target) misses the point: it's PROSTITUTION. Which is to say that paid sex is possibly the root source of all bad acting. Even having said that, the performances are deceptively understated in their squirmy, quasi-nude ease.
The characters of Lucy and Dawn especially, are horrifically too-true. I walked around mimicking Lucy's idiotic "What's new and different?" for weeks. Dawn's gum-snapping hostility, and her impromptu James Brown imitation ("Good God, Mollie- you're a whoooore!") are as grating as they are winning. Singling these two actresses out is unfair though; their characters are especially dynamic, given that they're essentially opposing ends of the same spectrum of self absorption.
Even the least likely supporting roles are realized with unexpected complexity. Witness Lucy, the house's madam, reprimanding Mary, a mousy new 'girl' for her unappealing wardrobe choice on her first night on the job.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 22, 2011
Format: DVD
Lizzie Borden's "Working Girls" excels at giving us a fascinating slice of life and insight into the lives of women working in "the world's oldest profession." The cinematography and choreography are good; but when you watch this you can tell that the film was made on a shoestring budget--the sets aren't exceptionally complex. Then again, however, the sets don't really have to be anything terribly special to tell the story and get the message across that prostitution is a daily grind for these women who aren't always all that happy to be "working girls."

First off, we quickly meet Molly (Louise Smith), a lesbian whose partner doesn't even know she's a prostitute for men in a high class apartment bordello. Molly, like the others including Dawn (Amanda Goodwin) and Gina (Marusia Zach), must see one man after another all day long, pleasuring them all by indulging them in their fantasies and more. Their boss Lucy (Ellen McElduff) is a selfish, mean spirited tyrant who always manages to throw things in "her girls'" faces in order to make them do whatever she wants such as working much later than planned with no advance notice.

The plot isn't really the reason you should watch this. Instead, see this for the insight you'll get from a slice of life film that pulls no punches about prostitution even when it's framed within a superficially genteel, well-kept apartment in which women service male customers for as much money as they can get every day. The interactions between Molly, Dawn and Gina are particularly interesting; and we see what happens when two new women join Lucy's "girls."

The DVD comes with some extras including photo stills and a very good optional running commentary that goes with the feature film.

Overall, fans of cerebral, gritty dramas that also deal with social issues will want to add this to their collections; and anyone studying prostitution would do well to get this, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By One-Line Film Reviews on June 16, 2009
Format: DVD
The Bottom Line:

Working Girls is a fairly slight piece of filmmaking depicting a day in the life of an upscale 1980s bordello; it's never especially compelling or transcendent, but it's unexploitative and features many interesting scenes that just manage to make it worth recommending.

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