Lady of Burlesque
|Lady of Burlesque|
|Directed by||William A. Wellman|
|Produced by||Hunt Stromberg|
|Written by||James Gunn|
|Based on||The G-String Murders
by Gypsy Rose Lee
|Music by||Arthur Lange|
|Cinematography||Robert De Grasse|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||91 minutes|
|Box office||$1,850,000 gross ($650,000 profit after theatre circuits deducted their ticket sales share)|
Lady of Burlesque (also known as The G-String Murders and in the UK, Striptease Lady) is a 1943 American musical comedy-mystery film starring Barbara Stanwyck and Michael O'Shea, based on the novel The G-String Murders written by strip tease queen Gypsy Rose Lee (with ghost-writing assistance from mystery writer Craig Rice). Directed by William A. Wellman, produced by Hunt Stromberg, costumes by Edith Head, and filmed on a 21 day shooting schedule on (rented) sound stages at RKO's Encino movie ranch, this feature grossed a respectable 1.85 million dollars upon its initial release.
The backstage plot concerns the murder of two strippers of a New York burlesque theatre and the detection of the killer. A faithful, if sanitized due to the censorship of the time, adaptation of the original novel, although Gypsy Rose Lee, who appears as a character in her own book, is here renamed "Dixie Daisy" (Stanwyck). Michael O'Shea plays her romantic interest, comedian Biff Brannigan, and Iris Adrian portrays a worldly showgirl. Pinky Lee, a burlesque comic in real life, is another notable supporting player, as is Gerald Mohr as villain Louie Grindero. The film depicted as much as censors would allow with respect to precise nature of "bumps & grinds", and slapdash nature of burlesque shows. Songs include "Take it off the E string, play it on the G string", rendered by Stanwyck.
The film earned a hefty profit of $650,000.
- Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 339
- Lady of Burlesque at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Lady of Burlesque at the Internet Movie Database
- Lady of Burlesque at AllMovie
- Lady of Burlesque at the TCM Movie Database
- Lady of Burlesque is available for free download at the Internet Archive
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