Working Girls [DVD] [1986]

Lizzie Borden's witty and provocative drama about one day on the job for a prostitute working in an upscale Manhattan brothel gets a well-executed presentation in this DVD release from First Run Features. Working Girls has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed at 1.66:1 on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16x9 monitors. Judy Irola's cinematography is well served on this disc; the image retains a slight grain that betrays its origins on Super 16mm film stock, but the colors are true and the details are crisp and well rendered. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, and sounds good even if it very occasionally reveals the limitations of the film's low budget (under $100,000). The dialogue is in English, with no subtitles or multiple language options included. As a bonus, this disc includes a commentary track featuring writer and director Borden, cinematographer Irola and actress Amanda Goodwin, who offer a thoughtful discussion of the film's production and the realities of life in the sex industry. This edition also includes a gallery of production photos from Nan Goldin, the movie's original theatrical trailer, and previews of other releases from First Run Features. While the content of First Run's DVD edition of Working Girls is nearly identical to that on Anchor Bay's out-of-print 2001 release, it boasts a fine looking transfer of a film that's well worth seeing, and First Run are to be congratulated for making it available again.
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Special Features

  • Widescreen presentation (1.66:1) for 16x9 tvs
  • Audio commentary with director Lizzie Borden, director of photography Julie Irola and star Amanda Goodwin
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Photos by Nan Goldin


Working Girls
The Working Girls in this New York-based film are laboring away at the World's Oldest Profession. Molly (Louise Smith), a Yale grad whos lives with her lesbian lover, turns tricks to keep food on the table. She approaches each day with fear and loathing, carrying out her responsibilities with crisp, businesslike efficiency. Her coworkers include Gina (Marussia Zach), who hopes to stay a hooker just long enough to finance her own business, and Dawn (Amanda Goodwin), an outspoken college student who harbors dreams of becoming a lawyer. The film covers a single day in the lives of these three ladies, neither judging nor apologizing: a job's a job, the film seems to be saying, whether it's punching a clock or rolling in the sack with an elderly stranger. Director Lizzie Borden's matter-of-fact approach to her material (based on six months' worth of interviewing genuine prostitutes) places Working Girls head and shoulders above the usual lachrymose "ladies of the evening" drama. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Louise Smith - Molly
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    Ellen McElduff - Lucy
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    Amanda Goodwin - Dawn
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    Marusia Zach - Gina
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    Helen Nicholas - Mary
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