Monday, May 09, 2011


BEHIND THE BURLY Q (Dir. Leslie Zemeckis, 2010)

For her directorial debut, Leslie Zemeckis, actress and wife of film maker Robert Zemeckis, takes an informative and amusing look into the world of Burlesque.

"Burlesque was a fabulous, gaudy era in America that's been left out of the history books." Says Marie Lee Evans (stage name: Dixie Evans"), one of many former chorus girls and strippers interviewed in this film.

From it's inception in the mid-1800s to its golden age in the '20s and the '30s, we get vintage footage, photos, and showbills, but best of all are the anecdotes.

Alan Alda, only identified as "son of Robert Alda," tells about having to stay with his aunts in Delaware because his show biz parents were on the road transporting around a pig they used in their act. Alda: "I hated this pig. This pig was stealing my parents from me."

Infamous stripper/actress Tempest Storm has some of the best moments, with her claims of having an affairs with JFK. Storm, recounting about being asked what Kennedy talked about in the bedroom, replied: "It certainly wasn't politics."

There's a lot of funny stuff about the comedians and who performed in and between (and sometimes during) striptease numbers. Many of them, like Abbott and Costello, developed material that they used in their movies at Burlesque shows.

We also get the story of Blaze Star, subject of the 1989 movie BLAZE starring Lolita Davidovich and Paul Newman, who had an affair with Louisiana governor Earl Long ("He was a dirty old man" remembers Joy Pelletier aka "T.T. Red").

"Behind The Burly Q" boasts a wealth of juicy material that brings alive a vibrant era with a lot of entertaining insights. It also has a lot of nudity in it too.

I can't think of a better recommendation for a historical documentary than that.

Bonus Features: Three Featurettes: "The Reunion", "Memorabillia & Costumes", and "Behind The Scenes." Bonus Interviews, Burlesque Timeline, Photo Gallery, and the Original Theatrical Trailer.

More later...

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