Customer Reviews: Lady Of Burlesque (DVD-R)
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on October 9, 2010
I am being dead serious here...99.9% of all copies of this film are nothing more than cheap public domain prints. Most are shoddy, fuzzy copies that will only disappoint you. Furthermore, if you are like me, you're not interested in a synopsis of the plot - you want to find the best quality copy out there.

I can do better than that - I have found the STUDIO ORIGINAL !! Just look where it says "product details" and look for "studio". If the "studio" listing is for "Image Entertainment", then you have the original print! All the other copies are fakes...this is what fools everyone. Unfortunately they just take a guess, buy from the wrong studio release(one of those companies that makes cheap bootleg-quality copies), & get ripped off. If you found my review before buying, then you will be spared from all the guesswork! And your copy will look as good as a normal Turner/MGM release (like Casablanca!)

Remember to look where it says "studio: Image Entertainment" - that is the original film. William Wellman made this as an independent release, so you won't see a familiar name like Warner, Fox, Universal, etc(your guarantee you aren't getting a cheap bootleg copy). That is what makes getting a decent copy of this film so hard. But don't worry....Image Entertainment is the partner of none other than the incredible Criterion Collection company, & also produces dvds for NBC/Universal(like "Little House on the Prairie)...I really hope my review will be of help to you!
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The most surprising thing about LADY OF BURLESQUE was that it got made at all. Burlesque was all but dead by 1942, shut out of most towns and cities by relentless moral crusaders, and Hollywood itself was mired in the infamous "production code," which put a heavy lid on what could and could not be shown on screen. But burlesque had spawned a number of stars who remained favorites with public, and in 1941 the legendary Gypsy Rose Lee penned a book called THE G-STRING MURDERS. It proved extremely popular, and a year later United Artists took a chance on the film project.

True enough, the movie couldn't show the strippers in action or play out the bawdy comic sketches so popular in burlesque, but writer James Gunn turned in a superior script, and director William Wellman and his cast gave the whole thing tremendous dash and style. The result was a movie that captured the seedy, underworld-edged world of burlesque without actually causing censors to yank it from distribution.

In theory, LADY OF BURLESQUE is a murder mystery, but mystery takes a back seat to the brawling backstage antics of crossed love affairs and star rivalry. Barbara Stanwyck endows star stripper "Dixie Daisy" with her own memorable brand of tough class--and although she can only be shown from the waist up when she bumps and grinds, she still manages to tear strips off her musical number "Play It On The G-String." The rest of the cast is equally memorable, many of them burlesque stars in their own right. Pinky Lee (Mandy) is memorably teamed with Marion Martin (Alice Angle) to delightful effect; Iris Adrian (Gee-Gee)is the gum smacking brash blonde to end all gum smacking brash blondes; and such memorable character actors as Michael O'Shea (Biff), Gloria Dickson (Dolly), and J. Edward Bromberg (Foss) round out the cast superbly.

Sad to say, LADY OF BURLESQUE has fallen into public domain, and it has not been well preserved. I have seen several releases of the film, and all of them are plagued with breaks in the film and the soundtrack. This particular DVD release, however, is definitely "as good as it gets;" unlike some other versions, the picture is sharp and clear and the sound is extremely good. LADY OF BURLESQUE may never be regarded as a "great" film, but it is an extremely entertaining one, particularly for those who already know something about the now-lost world of burlesque. As one character says, "Makes me want to leave the wife!" Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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on July 28, 2002
Yes, Barbara Stanwyck sings and dances in her very first scene in the backstage story of burlesque performers involved in murder called LADY OF BURLESQUE. Based on Gypsy Rose Lee's silly, charming novel "The G-String Murders," the movie is a guilty pleasure for me. I have never stopped loving it since the first time I saw it. Stanwyck is, to me, one of the best actors Hollywood has ever produced: top of the line in comedy (see THE LADY EVE) and in serious drama (see DOUBLE INDEMNITY). Watch her tame Gary Cooper in BALL OF FIRE and weep along with her in STELLA DALLAS. William Wellman who also directed superb films such as WINGS, PUBLIC ENEMY AND BEAU GESTE has a fine time with the various backstage types in this grainy black and white tribute to a dead art form.
There has never really been a perfect edition of the movie for public consumption. I've even seen an edition minus any credits whatsoever and usually the editing seems like it was done with a pinking shears. This DVD version is probably the best one can buy right now and there are no special features, unless you consider Stanwyck performing "Take It Off The E String--Play It On The G String" a special feature. It is. She bumps, she grinds and the camera stays chastely above her waist.
There are several musical numbers and a few comic sketches that give us a taste of what burlesque must have been. The supporting cast is terrific. It includes Pinky Lee as a comic, Iris Adrian as a tough but friendly stripper and Michael O'Shea as Stanwyck's love interest. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for show business fans. If you're looking for a good murder mystery, look elsewhere.
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on October 10, 2002
This must be the film where Barbara Stanwyck proved she could (and would) do almost anything. Based on Gypsy Rose Lee's book "The G-String Murders", strippers in an old Opera house turned burlesque theater are being strangled with their G-strings. And our heroine Dixie Daisy (Stanwyck), the headliner, smells a rat. Fending off advances from a third-rate comic, she sets out to find the killer. Much cattiness and attitude from the other strippers pepper this delightful black comedy as Dixie tries to keep the show going while putting together clues and trying to save her own neck. Lee relied on her own personal experiences as a burlesque queen to give this story the realistic touches it has. And when Stanwyck hits the stage in a VERY scanty outfit (that must have given the censors fits) she's right at home singing a little bump & grind ditty called "Take It Off The E-String, Play It On The G-String". She's surprisingly sexy and has the necessary old-style panache that makes her performance a delight. The DVD from Image is immaculate and this is a must have for Stanwyck fans. Supporting cast is excellent and the characterizations are right on the money. A fun, fun movie worth watching over and over. My favorite line (and there are many): Man to Dixie,"Did I startle you?"....Dixie to Man: "Are you kidding? I've been startled by EXPERTS." Don't miss this one. It's just pure pleasure all the way.
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on February 19, 2011
Can't choose on this one. Both releases have splicy dialogue and missing snippets of footage here and there. These issues are in different scenes and if they would just do a little restoration they could easily make one good print out of two. I expect better from Image and Roan, but am often disappointed.
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on May 30, 1999
She sure did have legs, and she shows them in this video. She also sings a rather funny song entitled "Take It Off the E-String, Play It on the G-String," which never fails to bring a snicker. There's an incredible dance sequence in which she does the Russian squatting dance (whatever it's called, I don't know), and then actually does something like breakdancing. This is a thoroughly entertaining film, and I recommend it.
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on February 21, 2006

How did this film get past the censors? Nevertheless, an excellent film featuring a very young and steamy Barbara Stanwyck -- 63 years ago!


This dark comedy-drama-mystery, Directed by, William Wellman was also known as "Striptease Lady" or "The G-String Murders", based on the book of that title by Gypsy Rose Lee. Producer, Hunt Stromberg, who purchased the rights for the film, was also the Producer of "The Thin Man" film series. The atmosphere of this film did have a resemblence to that series, but "LADY OF BURLESQUE" is much grittier, and less class-conscious in every respect. Nevertheless, the melding of backstage atmosphere, and burlesque-vaudeville style, stage entertainment, gave the film an urgent immediacy, and a texture of surreal reality, which is hard to create, especially in the era of film censors. For those reasons, this film is rather special, and certainly worth a look. The bonus comes in the form of Barbara Stanwyck [Dixie Daisy] who plays the provocative headliner, and who comfortably goes through the film as scantily clad as a "James Bond Girl". Of course, the murder-mystery is set at the burlesque house itself, which works rather well, and eventually leads the police and Ms. Stanwyck to the killer.


-----*- Barbara Stanwyck - Dixie Daisy

-----*- Michael O'Shea - Bitt Brannigan

-----*- J. Edward Bromberg - S.B. Foss

-----*- Iris Adrian - Gee Gee Graham

-----*- Marion Martin - Alice Angel

-----*- Gloria Dickson - Dolly Baxter

-----*- Pinky Lee - Mandy

-----*- Victoria Faust - Lolita La Verne

-----*- Stephanie Bachelor - Princess Nirvena


-----*- William Wellman - Director

-----*- Hunt Stromberg - Producer

-----*- James Gunn - Screenwriter

-----*- Gypsy Rose Lee - Short Story Author

-----*- Robert de Grasse - Cinematographer

-----*- Art Lange - Composer (Music Score)

-----*- James Newcom - Editor

-----*- Joseph B. Platt - Production Designer

-----*- Bernard Herzbrun - Art Director

-----*- Edith Head - Costume Designer

-----*- Natalie Visart - Costume Designer


Excellent old film that has been very well transferred to DVD in both sound, and video.
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VINE VOICEon September 12, 2011
this is a great Barbara Stanwyck movie. She is a comedy act in a burlesque theater when people are started to be murdered. It is a comic who dun it movie. And she is trying to figure out who the killer is while at the same time she is trying to not be the next victim.
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on May 28, 2013
Good Barbara Stanwyck mystery. Someone is killing the strippers of a burlesque house. This version I received is a DVD-R. I don't know if this is how it was originally put out, but the quality is good and I have no complaints. I prefer DVD though. The film itself is good classic Barbara Stanwyck.
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on April 5, 2015
Burlesque, not the way it really was, but the backstage atmosphere, wisecracks and mystery from Gypsy Rose Lee's novel "The G-String Murders" make it worth your time. (The book is more complicated, with several twists at the end that aren't here, but isn't that always the case with books turned into movies?) Star Barbara Stanwyck began as a dancer on Broadway and her challenge dance with Pinky Lee to cover up a backstage brawl is astonishingly good. This babe could could do it all! The cast is wonderful: Michael O'Shea as Rags Ragland-type comic,the hilariously sublime Iris Adrian as Stanwyck's gal pal, Stephanie Bachelor as "The Princess Nirvina," J. Edward Bromberg as the cop investigating the crimes, Gerald Mohr as a gangster and glorious, lisping blonde Marian Martin as the danseuse Pinky Lee fancies. Stanwyck gets a funny, gritty song: "Take it Off the E-string, Play it on the G-String." This is a movie I can -- and do -- watch again and again.
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