Sassy Dixie Daisy is the hot new attraction at a former opera house that's been turned into a burlesque theater. She's popular with the customers, although not with Lolita La Verne, a stuck-up diva who was hoping she'd get the top spot. Also complicating matters is the return of the Princess Nirvena, the show's former star who once had a fling with the boss. When the Princess blackmails her way into the top spot, Dixie is none too pleased. When both Lolita and the Princess are murdered, Dixie becomes a prime suspect. She then sets up a trap to nail the real killer. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
According to October 15, 1941 news item in Hollywood Reporter, producer David O. Selznick had taken out an option on Gypsy Rose Lee's novel for $1,000 against a $25,000 purchase price and that he was to test Lee for the starring role in the film. Other Hollywood Reporter news item indicate that Selznick was planning to loan producer John Houseman to Unitied Artists for production, that the book option was later picked up by United Artists for $25,000 asking price, and that Joseph Cotten was considered for a lead role in the film. See more »
Dixie comes off stage in one costume and goes to the dressing room where the body is found. When the performers are questioned by the police, Dixie is in an entirely different costume. See more »
Grand opera never brought crowds like this into the lobby. Girls, that's what the public wants.
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I'd never seen this film, and now I'm sorry it's taken me so long to catch up with it. It's a wonderfully rich look at life in a burlesque house, with Barbara Stanwyck as the star stripper and a great supporting cast of chorus girl types (including the incomparable Iris Adrian as her best friend). Stanwyck sings, I think for the only time on film, and dances with an impressive athleticism. And the scenes backstage and during the police interrogation, with the performers in a variety of outlandish costumes, have a wonderfully surreal quality reinforced by the films hermetic qualities (even the exteriors were shot on the sound stage).
But what's really wonderful about the film is the depiction of the burlesque people as an extended family who overcome their differences and pull together when the future of their theatre is threatened. With the preponderance of women in the dressing room, the film is also surprisingly ahead of its time in its depiction of female bonding. It really deserves the same cult status as Dorothy Arzner's "Dance, Girl, Dance."
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