Desperate Living

Synopsis: A rich housewife murders her husband with the help of her overweight maid, and the two go on the run, ending up in Mortville, a town providing refuge for criminals. They shack up with a lesbian ex-wrestler and her murderess lover, before running into the tyrannical Queen Carlotta, ruler of Mortville...
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Fantasy
Director(s): John Waters
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

Let's go! Come on!


Let's go!

Come on!

You must realize, Bosley...

your wife is one of

the most neurotic women...

I've ever examined.

I still think a few more months

in the sanitarium...

would be helpful.

It may be too early to trust her

in her natural environment.

Doc, be optimistic.

Peggy's breakdown

is part of the past now.

I don't want her

in another mental hospital.

I want her home

with me and the kids.

Dr. Evans,

the road to mental health...

is just around the corner.

Come on! Yeah!

I knew they'd try it!

Trying to kill me

in my own home!

It's like war.

Don't tell me I don't know

what Vietnam is like.


Oh, Mom.

Oh, I'm sorry, Mrs. Gravel.

I'll pay for the window

out of my allowance.

How about my life?

Do you get enough allowance

to pay for that?

I know you were trying

to kill me!

What's the matter

with the courts?

Do they allow this lawlessness

and malicious destruction...

of property to run rampant?

I hate the Supreme Court!

Oh, God.

Go home to your mother!

Doesn't she ever watch you?

Tell her this isn't some

Communist day-care center!

Tell your mother I hate her!

Tell your mother I hate you!

Oh, God!


What number are you calling?

You've dialed the wrong number!

"Sorry"? What good is that?

How can you ever repay...

the 30 seconds

you have stolen from my life?

I hate you, your husband,

your children...

and your relatives!

Oh, God!

What have I done

to deserve this?

Miss Gravel, what's the matter?

You having another fit?

Can't my husband

watch the children?

Can't that lazy moron

do one thing?

The kids are just outside.

They're OK.

Let me get you

some of your fit medicine.

Grizelda, my life is in danger.

Please, don't let anybody

hurt me.

Aw, there, there.

You've got to keep calm, woman.

- You're just imagining things.

- That's what you think.

One of the neighborhood children

just tried to murder me.

I was sitting in my room

applying nail polish...

and one of them

fired a rifle at me.

- Miss Gravel.

- It's true.

I must get the children

before they're kidnapped.

Good God Almighty.

Beth? Bosley Jr.?

Breathe in. Do it again.

Now let me do it.

Breathe in. Again.


Caught right in a sex orgy!

Filthy. Dirty, filthy.

Is that what you

learned in private school?

Mom, we were only playing!

Nude! Nude! Nude!

You could be pregnant, Beth!

And as for you, I never thought

you would rape your own sister!

Oh, God!

The children are having sex!


Thirsty, Grizelda?

You'd better go see

about your wife.

She's having

another mental fit.

I thought you had been

stealing my liquor.

Ain't nobody stealing

nothing from you, Mr. Gravel.

We'll see about that.

You didn't know

I marked these, did you?

Here. Look here.

See this pencil line?

That was marked

just yesterday.

You've had

quite a few cocktails...

haven't you, Grizelda?

What else have you pilfered?

I think I'll have a look

in that purse.

You ain't looking

in my purse.

Why not?

Got something to hide?

Don't you know men

aren't supposed to look...

in a lady's handbag?

Lady? You're fired, Grizelda.

No wonder you people...

are always in

the unemployment line.

Now give me that bag!

I don't want no white man

looking at my Tampax!

I wouldn't worry about

your Tampax if I were you.

Well, look at this...

my savings account book...

with withdrawal slips,

my lottery ticket...

and two rolls of toilet paper.

I'm placing you

under citizen's arrest.

I'm going to call

the police and report you.

Get off of me, milk head!

Well, I see you're finally here.

It's a little late, isn't it?

The children are having sex.

Beth is pregnant.

I narrowly missed

an assassination attempt...

a few moments ago.

Will you please do something?

Honey, it's just

your mind playing tricks.

Get off me. My skin crawls

when you touch it.

I could rip your lips off.

That miserable man.

When I think of the abuse

that I have taken...

Am I living in hell?

Is that it?

Have I gone straight to hell?

Don't leave

this kitchen, Grizelda.

I'm going to give Peggy

her medication...

and then I'll be back

to deal with you.


Get out!

Let's have a little medication,

all right?

You're just upset.

Now what's the matter?

Everything was going so well.

Get out of here,

you stinking piece of flesh.

Don't say

those things, Peggy.

Come on. This will make you feel

better. Give me your arm.

Oh, you touched me!

Now my flesh is rotting...

The touch of scum!

Stop it, Peggy.

Don't make me use force.

Let me give you your shot, or

I'll have to call the hospital.

Stay away!

Oh, God! Peggy, I'm going

to have to commit you again!



he's trying to kill me! Help!

Help! Please help me!

Back off, a**hole!

Are you all right, Mrs. Gravel?

Did he hurt you?

No, but he tried.

Look! Look, he's attacking!

Down, boy! Down!

Oh, God!

He... he's dead, isn't he?

We're in big trouble now,

Mrs. Gravel!

Oh, my God!

He's dead! Oh, God!


Why did you tell me

to come this way, Grizelda?

You know I hate nature.

Look at those disgusting trees,

stealing my oxygen.

I can't stand this scenery

another minute.

Natural forests should be turned

into housing developments.

I want cement covering every

blade of grass in this nation.

Don't we taxpayers

have a voice anymore?

Do you ever shut up?

The police are out

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

John Waters

John Samuel Waters Jr. (born April 22, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, author, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, and art collector, who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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