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Micro budget showgirl drama made in a tiny studio in suburban Sydney wedged between a cargo rail link, a highway and a rhinestone jewellery factory, BELINDA is almost as much a product of its studio location as it is the story of writer director Pamela Gibbons. This blonde leggy showgirl, a little on the drag queen side in stage looks was a staple TV and nightclub appearances in the 1960s. She was the local Julie Newmar of her day. It is her teen years explored here with newcomer (and gone-er) Deanne Jeffs as the ballet student who drifts into out of tune sleazy back alley antics of Kings Cross, the stripper hub of Sydney. Nastiness and rudeness is hurled at her as she tried vainly to have a career start. It is probably ripe for a remake and given a more CABARET/CHICAGO musical treatment or even a HAIRSPRAY style John Waters makeover. It borders on self parody at times and might seem laughable if it wasn't all probably true. In the years far before MOULIN ROUGE here is one little Oz backstage Ruby Keeler attempting to shed being a youngster to try being a star. Well she gets belted for trying - and by other horrible showgirls. It is a curiosity and well worth a DVD release if only to be studied by film students and considered for a bigger budget remake. The 1947 Marilyn Monroe burlesque musical LADIES OF THE CHORUS is a close US counterpart.
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