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Little Laura and Big John

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Director  Luke Moberly
Genres  Drama, Crime Fiction
Country  United States
2.8/10 IMDb

Music by  Bill Walker
Language  English
Little Laura and Big John movie poster
Release date  11 May 1973
Based on  story by Phillip Weilding
Writer  Luke Moberly, Philip Weidling (story), Bob Woodburn
Cast  Fabian (John), Karen Black (Laura), Ivy Thayer (Laura's mother), Ken Miller (Hanford), Paul Gleason (Sheriff), Lee Warren (Clarence)
Similar movies  Young Guns, Wyatt Earp, Small Time Crooks, Cowboys & Aliens, Mississippi Burning, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money
Tagline  ... They'll Steal Into Your Heart Then Shoot Their Way Out!!

Little laura and big john 1973 trailer

Little Laura and Big John is a 1973 American feature film about the exploits of the Ashley gang in the Florida everglades in the 1910s and 1920s.


Little Laura and Big John wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters2004p2004p


Loosely based on the true story about Laura Upthegrove and John Ashley. Laura's mother, Emma Upthegrove tells the story of her daughter and John Ashley. John goes into a life of crime after he accidentally shoots an Indian.

Historical narrative

In December of 1929, Ashley murdered Seminole trapper Desoto Tiger, whose body was discovered by a crew building the Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee. In one of the first instances of a jury of whites convicting a white for the murder of an Indian, Ashley was convicted for murder, but was repeatedly allowed to escape custody, whereupon he began his life of crime. Although he spent jail time for many other crimes, he never served a day for the murder of Desoto Tiger.


  • Fabian Forte as John Ashley
  • Karen Black as Laura
  • Ivy Thayer as Laura's mother
  • Ken Miller as Hanford Mobley
  • Paul Gleason as Sheriff Bob Baker
  • Cliff Frates as Young John
  • Jerry Rhodes as Bob Ashley
  • Ray Barrett as Cates
  • Production

    Plans to make the film were announced in 1968 by Luke Moberly, who owned a studio near Fort Lauderdale. Costumes were borrowed from the Martin County Historical Society. By February 1969 it was announced that Fabian and Karen Black were to play the leads. Filming began 10 March 1969 on location in Stuart, Florida, in and around Martin County, and at Moberly Film Studios in Fort Lauderdale. The budget had been raised by Lou Wiethe.

    Additional footage was later shot, including filming a nude scene at the public beach at the House of Refuge in Martin County.

    The original title of the film was The True Story of the Ashley-Mobley Gang. Then it was Too Soon to Laugh, Too Late to Cry before becoming Little Laura and Big John.


    Crown International bought the rights to the movie which was not released until 1973.

    The film marked the first time Fabian was credited as "Fabian Forte."


    Little Laura and Big John Wikipedia
    Little Laura and Big John IMDb Little Laura and Big John