Lady of Burlesque

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Lady of Burlesque
Lady of Burlesque.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by William A. Wellman
Produced by Hunt Stromberg
Written by James Gunn
Based on The G-String Murders
1941 novel
by Gypsy Rose Lee
Starring Barbara Stanwyck
Michael O'Shea
Iris Adrian
Music by Arthur Lange
Cinematography Robert De Grasse
Edited by James E. Newcom
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • May 1, 1943 (1943-05-01)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,850,000 gross ($650,000 profit after theatre circuits deducted their ticket sales share)[1][2]

Lady of Burlesque (also known as The G-String Murders and in the UK, Striptease Lady) is a 1943 American musical comedy-mystery film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Michael O'Shea. It is based on the novel The G-String Murders written by strip tease queen Gypsy Rose Lee.


The backstage plot concerns the murder of two strippers of a New York City burlesque theatre and the detection of the killer.

Differences from novel[edit]

A faithful, if sanitized due to the censorship of the time, adaptation of the original novel.



The film was 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 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 made $2 million[3] and earned a hefty profit of $650,000.[4]



  1. ^ Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3.  p203
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
  3. ^
  4. ^ Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 339

External links[edit]

Media related to Lady of Burlesque at Wikimedia Commons