Behind the Burly Q

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Behind the Burly Q
Behind the Burly Q.jpg
Directed by Leslie Zemeckis
Produced by
Written by Leslie Zemeckis
Music by Phil Marshall
Cinematography Sheri Hellard
Edited by Evan Finn
Mistress, Inc.
Distributed by First Run Features
Release dates
  • April 23, 2010 (2010-04-23)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $23,889[1]

Behind the Burly Q is a 2010 film documentary examing at the golden age of American burlesque in the first half of the 20th century.[2][3]


This documentary film about the heyday of burlesque includes interviews with exotic dancers of the time April March, Lorraine Lee, Taffy O’Neill, Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm, and Kitty West; Mike Iannucci, stripper Ann Corio’s husband and producer of “This Was Burlesque”; journalists and authors Nat Bodian, Rachel Schteir, and Janet Davis; and actor Alan Alda, whose father Robert Alda was a burlesque singer and straight man.


Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 78% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 27 reviews, with an average score of 6.5/10.[4] Emily Hourican of the Irish Independent lauded the film as "an absorbing, moving and cleverly constructed look at the tradition of American burlesque."[5] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times was less enthusiastic, claiming the film "settles too easily for an editing formula which alternates talking heads, too cursory performance footage and montages of headlines and photographs."[6] Ronnie Scheib of Variety said the film's "stories run from raunchy to touching to funny to flat-out incredible.”[7]


In 2013, Skyhorse Publishing released a companion book by Zemeckis, also called Behind the Burly Q.


  1. ^ "Behind the Burly Q (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Leslie Zemeckis (Director) (2010). Behind the Burly Q (DVD). First Run Features. ASIN B004I45MUC. 
  3. ^ Gelt, Jessica (6 July 2013). "'Behind the Burly Q' a revealing portrait of burlesque's stars". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Behind the Burly Q at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ Hourican, Emily (March 7, 2010). "Leslie takes peek behind burlesque curtain". Irish Independent. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (18 August 2010). "Behind the Burly-Q". 
  7. ^ Scheib, Ronnie. "Review: ‘Behind the Burly Q’". Variety. 

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