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Queen of the Blues (1979)

A seedy striptease club in London's West End becomes the target for unpleasant crooks. The club's owners are blackmailed into paying out large wads of cash, but star attraction Mary Millington saves the day with her energetic stripping.



(as Joe Ireland)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Millington ...
Mary, Queen of the Blues
Rosemary England ...
John M. East ...
Mike Carter
Allan Warren ...
Tony Carter
Uncle Fred (as Ballard Barclay)
Lynn Dean ...
Felix Bowness ...
Cindy Truman ...
Nicola Austin ...
Lydia Lloyd ...
Rosalind Watts ...
Pat Astley ...
Faith Daykin ...


The Carter brothers buy a failing gentleman's club in Mayfair using money provided by their randy Uncle Fred. "The Blues Club" appears to be on the road to success until the local mob boss sends his goons to muscle in on the business, demanding protection money. Just when things seem darkest, help comes from an unexpected quarter. Written by Ocoee96

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Mary Millington is Queen of the Blues!




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Release Date:

26 July 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mavile Kralice  »

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Did You Know?


The last film of Milton Reid. See more »


During Nicola Austin's onstage striptease, a cutaway to the audience shows her sitting applauding herself. See more »


References The Glass Key (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

Stage Door Johnnies
23 December 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

SPOILERS 'Honestly girls-I'd of thought when you'd seen one pair of tits you'd seen the lot' remarks one philosophising stripper in Queen of the Blues, a plea that clearly fell on the deaf ears of director Willy Roe and producer David Sullivan- two men responsible solo and collectively for exploitation hits Come Play With Me, The Playbirds and Emmanuelle in Soho. There's very little to Queen of the Blues other than a bunch of strip-acts filmed at a downmarket Soho club- which all glitter balls, garish colours and faded glamour is the perfect locale for Roe and Sullivan's sensibilities. Just as The Playbirds was derivative of 50's shocker Cover Girl Killer, what little plot there is sandwiched in-between the turns in Queen of the Blues has echoes of B-movie crime cheapies of the Fifties, as well as Old Compton Street melodramas like The Shakedown (1959). Brothers Mike and Tony Carter buy up a fading strip-club- a venture funded by their porn-obsessed uncle (Ballard-Berkeley). It's a roaring success until a pair of villains, played by jockey-sized Felix Bowness and burly, bald Milton Reid muscle in on the business demanding protection money. They're a classic double act, Reid whose career in playing heavies dates back to the time when he still had hair has a face made for gurning and snorts on an inhaler throughout. While Bowness spends most of his screen time eying up strippers and making observations like 'what a little charmer.Corr.I'll have some of that'-dialogue he was probably never asked to repeat on Hi-De-Hi. Like the Anti-hero of The Kinks' Preservation concept albums, Mike Carter models himself on the comedian Max Miller. He even takes to the stage, as a sort of stripper's compere, treating the audience to jokes that even the man who pens gags for Christmas crackers wouldn't like to have on his conscience. The rest of the film monotonously alternates between strips-acts, scenes of Bowness and Reid bullying, ugly soft-core fumblings, excruciating routines from the pseudo-'Cheeky Chappie', West-End street scenes and awkwardly inserted shots of the strip-club's audience, till the whole thing expires around the hour mark. The brothers are eventually sold out by one of the strippers, and the villains beat them around a bit but everything is all right in the end. Queen of the Blues was clearly envisioned as a star vehicle for Mary Millington who plays the film's eponymous head stripper but very little in the final-result bears out that interpretation. She's given next-to-nothing to do than mutely gyrate on stage, and although her character is spoken about such revered tones as 'a local girl that all the fellas are trying to mate' you'd never guess she was meant to be the star of the movie. The strippers' dressing room chit-chat is funny in a crude and bitchy way ('have arse will travel''every-time she blinks its like a flock of pigeons taking off') but Roe whose direction on The Playbirds was at least competent, slips to the low ebb of the ladder in filming the backstage scenes which are crippled by poor sound and static camerawork. If Sullivan hadn't dug deep into his pockets to hire well known actress/models for these roles (Nicola Austine, Rosemary England) you'd swear Roe had shot the film fly on the wall with real strippers rather than actresses and improvised rather than scripted dialogue. Despite the below the belt tone the only thing of interest backstage is the stripper's encounters with a skeleton-man spectre that haunts the stripclub 'if we had it off together' one girl points out 'all I'd get would be a phantom pregnancy'. Eventually the ghost is revealed to be nothing of the sort, but part of an almost Scooby-Doo like hoax to drive the strippers from the club (you half-expect the culprit to remark 'I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those pesky strippers'). At one point the 'ghost' terrorises one of the strippers as she's coming off-stage, a prank surprisingly not played out on the Queen of the Blues herself but on Rosetta aka actress Pat Astley. No one played dumb blondes quite like Pat Astley and there are few British sex films that don't feature her, though you'd never know it since most her roles were bit parts that entail her being murdered in the opening seconds (The Playbirds) or featuring in nude or sex scenes (nearly everything else). Her name if spelt right would always end up near the bottom of cast credits, but Blackpool's premiere exploitation starlet did occasionally break out of the also-ran rut. Astley's career highlight was the video-era horror film Don't Open Till Christmas, where she had the dubious honour of being touched up by a Christmas hating madman and flashing at veteran actor Edmund Purdom. Her other moment in the spotlight came from an even more unlikely source-throughout the Seventies magazine Films and Filming would illustrate their covers with side-by-side stills from two of the months new releases indiscriminate of how varied the contents of the two films were (Taxi Driver meets The Dog Who saved Hollywood- anyone?). Bafflingly half of the cover of their February 1978 issue was dedicated to Pat balling away in Let's Get Laid, a nice bit of publicity considering she's only in that film for about five seconds. And the movie doing battle with Pat Astley for the cover and the attention of Films and Filming readers that month? just some little known film called Star Wars! Sadly Queen of the Blues is only sporadically entertaining, and despite being little more than a 60 minute recording of the most famous bums and bosoms of the day still is a chore to sit through. If there's anything to be gained by watching latter day Sullivan productions its the realisation of all the time, money and effort he spent on the comparatively epic Come Play With Me and The Playbirds, everything that came afterwards was a cost cutting, penny counting exercise with ever more diminishing results.

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