For July, I thought that I'd do movies about the art of burlesque starting with Mrs Henderson Presents from a few years ago.
Inspired by the true story of Mrs. Henderson, a rich and eccentric widow in her seventies who decides to get a hobby. She buys the Windmill Theatre and hires Vivian Van Damm to manage it. They put on a musical comedy revue called Revudeville with the novelty of continuous performances. When this fails to make money, Mrs Henderson takes a page from America when vaudeville was on the way out and burlesque was brought in and suggests that they have nudes on the stage. Now, this was unheard of in England, not to mention illegal. Fortunately, there is a loophole in which they can present nude tableaux, that is naked girls who don't move. This turns Revudeville into a smash hit. The Windmill was famous for their motto "We Never Closed" as it was the only theatre in the West End to have never closed, not even during the height of the Blitz.
Mrs Henderson Presents has everything you could want in a vintage inspired movie: gorgeous Thirties and Forties costumes, bright colours, nudity, wonderful lighting, beautiful sets, girls dressed as mermaids, enviable hair and hats, the tragedy of war, wit, dancing chorus girls, delightful title cards and Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins sparring with each other.
That's really all I have to say about the film. You've probably already seen it. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?
And now, on to the screen caps:
I'd love to be Mrs. Henderson when I'm in my seventies, right down to her wardrobe.