Dangerous Offender: the Marlene Moore Story

Dangerous Offender: the Marlene Moore Story

Holly Dale (1996)

PG Certificate


Our Score
The Sweet Hereafter's Brooke Johnson delivers an intense performance in this powerful award winner about the controversial landmark case of Marlene Moore, the first female to be designated a dangerous offender under Canadian law - making her subject to indefinite imprisonment. Despite their relentlessly downbeat nature, the tragic events remain gripping thanks to Johnson, who takes a violent, outwardly unsympathetic character and exposes the emotionally disturbed young woman inside. With every hint of hope immediately snatched away by the continuing physical and psychological blows experienced by the incarcerated Moore, the tale becomes increasingly uncomfortable and enraging as serious questions are raised regarding criminal punishment and the treatment of damaged people. Meanwhile, admirably matter-of-fact direction heightens the film's impact and ensures tough scenes of abuse and self-harming never feel exploitative. Of the supporting cast, Patricia Gage is particularly impressive, giving one of the only positive depictions of authority as a compassionate prison warden.


A woman abused by her family grows up to carry out a series of minor offences and self-destructive acts. Her multiple crimes lead to her being convicted under a law to prevent repeat offences that allows for an indefinite prison sentence - the first time this had ever been used on a female defendant. Fact-based drama, starring Brooke Johnson and Robert Joy.

Cast & Crew

Marlene Moore Brooke Johnson
Dr Steve Gibson Robert Joy
Sandy Tracey Moore
Heather Allen Sara Botsford
Maureen Woodcock Patricia Gage
Mrs Moore Jayne Eastwood
Constable Mann Thomas Mitchell
Michael Copeland Maurice Godin
Director Holly Dale
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Violence, brief nudity.