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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Female "Rocky", but it's real

Author: tombaker from U.S.A.
13 May 2004

I get the feeling the producers had seen "Rocky" recently.

Cinemax put this into their late night, dirty movie lineup a decade or so ago, and it sounded interesting so I watched it. Definately memorable, I've thought a lot about it since, recommended it to people, and no I don't remember much of the naked women (they would strip down to a G-string, I recall.)

Instead it was great to see people in one of the less-well-regarded professions, eagerly competing to be "the best!" for different personal reasons, not the least of which was to just be the best. A lot of planning, and psyching up, and working out, and along the way telling life stories.

One asks her boss, the night club owner, for a few days off to be in the contest. Maybe he didn't realize that she would be a much better draw after being a "world class contestant", because he said no. She had to quit to go, and the viewer wonders how that will work out when the contest is over.

Whether it's titallating is up to you. A memorable sequence is the dancer who hired a personal trainer, got up early every morning, put on a sweat suit, and did a long distance run/job to tone up and slim down. Lot of pounding the pavement, boring exercising, not really too stimulating for the viewer, right?

Or the two that were working a route in Canada, taking the train from one mill town to another. Interesting how they could get off the train, and get to talking to the men in the town quickly, asking really old geezers "you're going to come see my show tonight, right?"

The one who talked about her finances -- strippers don't have that long (maybe to age 40) to make their money. She had been doing okay, but witlessly signed her money over to a scum-boyfriend, now long vanished with the loot, and now she works because she has a little girl. Winning the contest might help her recover financially.

Truthfully, I loved the stories here, maybe you will, too. It plays like a female "Rocky", only "Stripper" was the real thing.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

An Interesting Documentary

Author: Ewi
11 December 1999

This movie was interesting to me because it showed the behind-the-scenes of strippers' life, which I knew nothing about. I just thought it was a sleazy profession that degrades women, and never thought about the women themselves. I found the story of the single mother especially touching.

This movie revealed to me the sad and human, and sometimes satisfying, side of this profession. There was, of course, some peeping in watching it, but I didn't get aroused by the naked women - it is Not a porno movie, it is a Documentary.

I'm not saying that I'm going to be a stripper myself after I've seen it, but that I view strippers more humanly. All I need now is to watch a movie about the motives of men watching strippers, and maybe that'll change my mind about them too.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I'm of two minds about this movie...

6/10
Author: (groucho@rcn.com) from Chicago, Il.
2 April 2008

Basically it's about several different strippers that are gearing up to participate in a competition at a stripper convention in Las Vegas. The documentary filmmakers follow the girls, get their back story, and watch how things turn out for them at the big show.

In many ways, it prefigures a lot of the "reality" TV stuff that would come out twenty years later. The hook is to develop rooting interests in each of the contestants and see how it all unfolds.

To that end, "Stripper" has both good points and bad points. The good is that the production values are high and it is moderately entertaining to get invested in the dancers' ambitions. It could have been much more exploitative but tries gamely to be, well, a documentary. To a point, it succeeds. The bad is that, like much reality-based drama, many of the scenes feel manufactured and staged for the cameras. The final competition might just as well have been assembled for the purpose of making this film.

A fair amount is superficial and can't be taken seriously. It's the softest of the soft core porn, so those looking for arousal should look elsewhere. But there's more than a glimmer of entertainment and human insight to be had, especially considering that this was done a generation before every empty-souled schnook looking for attention went on reality shows and both producer and viewer alike knew what to expect.

This film does it well back before people started doing it poorly.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

If you're a documentary filmmaker, its a must

10/10
Author: surf-14 from Micanopy, FL
27 October 2005

Director Jerome Gary produced "PUMPING IRON" (which put 'Arnold' on the map) and writer Charles Gaines also wrote "PUMPING IRON" and "STAY HUNGRY" (1975). - Cinematographer Ed Lachman needs no introduction, and Academy Award winner Haskell Wexler did the 2nd unit photography, among others. - My favorite line was, "Hey Buddy, how's your LUNCH!?" It came with a great set-up, which kept me laughing for days. - As another reviewer here said, this isn't a sex-film but a documentary; and another reviewer called it a female "ROCKY." I agree with both. - This is not a cheaply made film, as you can see by reading the end credits. Didn't count everyone but there must have been over a hundred people on the crew. And it shows. - This is about as well-made as they come. One of the best. - KC Remington Micanopy, FL

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of a kind

9/10
Author: RavenGlamDVDCollector from South Africa
18 April 2014

Here's ol' RavenGlamDVDCollector@gmail.com again reviewing something he saw decades ago, and therefore cannot vividly recall, and there is but a snowball's chance in hell to ever see this on DVD. I encountered something like an offer to digitally download this, but you have to be a subscriber and you'll need a computer and installations and technical know-how and if anybody out there could help me, I'd gladly reward you, name your price.

STRIPPER is a documentary featuring girls competing for the Golden G-string award, not for this in itself, but as a springboard for their careers, be that as models or dancers, and with hindsight I didn't have back then, I suppose as porno stars or high- class call girls or whatever. Point is, these girls are all psyched up to win that trophy (while it is, of course, something of a questionable honor, especially to their more well-off fortunate sisters). Us menfolk do not complain, we got to see lots of bare flesh, but the real nudity in this one is the girls' tormented souls. Which makes for quite a view. This is the forerunner of reality shows, a prototype that could hardly be lived up to, as this is the really real thing, and involves bare skin by the score.

By today's standards, judging from snippets seen on the Net, the hairstyles are totally outdated, and this does make it seem like antique material, but, gee whiz oh golly shucks, what I wouldn't give to see this again, wow!

She's got style, she's got grace, she's got long, long legs, she's got savoir faire... I remember that song clearly, although it's been about 23 years since I last saw the film. It was released on the South African video circuit around 1991, I think. At a time when our very strict, absolutely Draconian censorship laws were cooling off. There was no chance whatsoever to see it here legally during it's year of origin. Americans have no idea how fortunate they are to have grown up with freedom of choice.

To try and get back to an actual review, there is this very emotional scene at the end with a shattered dream, a dashed hope, a contestant being consoled by her mother. Ain't no reality show ever which can beat that, people!

Yet, for some reason, this screen gem is mostly just collecting dust somewhere. Release it on DVD, aim it exclusively at the video rent market as a classic of a by-gone era, just ensure there's a pretty girl on the box cover... (sigh, sob)

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

An interesting documentary

7/10
Author: Dr. W. Anchor (w_anchor@hotmail.com) from Vienna, Austria
28 August 1999

This is a "documentary" about female strippers who are taking part in a stripping contest. (Do such contests exist?) Most of the women who are featured in the film are reasonably good-looking, and you do get to see them perform. This is definitely one to be watched with one finger on the pause button, if you know what I mean.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Video Store Hit

Author: Schlockmeister from Midnight Movie Land
3 June 2001

I remember when this video hit the old time Mom & Pop video stores in the mid 80s. It had a big promotion, large posters on the walls. Places that would not carry the harder sex videos carried these, or, if you were too embarrassed to go into the "back room", you could still rent this from the front. That's primarily it with this video. It was marketed that way and the box made it look like sleaze. Various strippers are shown and, as filler, we get to see the bahind the scenes of their lives. If it was JUST stripping, it wouldnt qualify as a hoity-toity "documentary" and would have been in that fabled back room. A Stripper's Convention was put together obviously by the video producers (It's a "First Annual"...c'mon ) as an excuse to have a grand stripoff at the end. It's a good look at where stripping was at back then. This was just before "Gentlemen's Clubs" became little more then steroid and silicone driven hard-body gynecology lessons. The ladies are pretty, the dancing may seem a little tame by "Showgirls" standards (which it would make a good double-feature with, call it the "Fast-Forward Film Festival").

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You have better things to do with your time

3/10
Author: june-69 from United States
6 September 2005

I stumbled across this bit of nonsense on Fox Movie Channel. It did not appear to have been edited for broadcast. There is nudity and some strong language, at least in terms of what you expect to show up on a non-pay-per-view or premium satellite channel. This movie is like a train wreck -- you know what's going to happen, but you just can't seem to look away. The whole stripper contest premise is incredibly hokey and pretty obviously drummed up by the filmmakers. The movie is essentially light weight soft porn, trying to capitalize on the "flash dance" craze of the early to mid 80's. I do have to give the film makers credit for women who look real, even if they are much more physically fit than most of us.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

not sure if this is a spoiler or not

2/10
Author: jinx_malone from United States
7 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

but.

it's got a writing credit, and it plays like a TV movie of the week. has anyone else noticed this? each of the featured strippers is horribly clichéd--the broken down mom who's hard on her luck, the young hopeful who really thinks she's going to make it (and doesn't), the confident and sweet young thang (who does).

seriously, this feels a lot less like a doc than a thinly veiled attempt by the producers to drum up interest in a one-time-only competition that they could have put on themselves.

the shot to watch for--and what really clinched it for me being scripted and not real? the guy staring in phony awe at the stage and s-l-o-w-l-y mouthing the words 'oh my god'. overall, i'd say it's pretty bad stuff.

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