Based on The G-String Murders, a best-selling novel by famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, 1943’s Lady of Burlesque is a delightful comedic collaboration between director William Wyler and screen legend Barbara Stanwyck. To audiences in the day, the seductive shakes, splits and cartwheels performed by Stanwyck, coupled with the behind-the-scenes antics of a “grindhouse”, seemed very risque. The revealing outfits and bawdy atmosphere of the film even attracted the attention of the ever-watchful eye of the Hays Office.
Stanwyck plays wise-cracking lead stripper Dixie Daisy, who works at S.B. Foss’s Old Opera House, a popular burlesque joint, spending her time rebuffing her fellow performer Biff Brannigan, until a fellow stripper is found strangled by her own G-string. When a second victim is found, Dixie looks like a suspect, but must join together with Biff to search out the real killer. Dixie and Biff narrow down the list of suspects while coming up with a plan to snag the murderer in classic whodunnit style.
Lady of Burlesque also stars J. Edward Bromberg, Charles Dingle and Frank Conroy.
Arthur Lange’s music score received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Music Score. So This is You, by famed songwriters Sammy Cohn and Harry Akst, is one of the featured songs, as well as the sizzling musical number Take It Off The E-String, Play It On The G-String.