Nomi Malone, a mysterious young girl with the ambition to dance embarks on a journey to Las Vegas to become a showgirl in a high-class hotel show. There she meets Molly, a seamstress at the Stardust Hotel and the two quickly become good friends. She gets a job as a lap dancer at the seedy Cheetah Club but after a chance meeting with Cristal Connors, the star of Goddess, the current show at the hotel where Molly works, Nomi manages to secure an audition for a spot on the chorus line.However she soon realises that fame comes with a price as her friendships, her morals and her soul are put to the test as she works her way up the ladder and eventually becomes the star of the show, stealing Cristal's part. She begins to wonder if all of her work was for nothing and if she can reclaim her life back before it is too late. Written by
Director Paul Verhoeven made a deal with the studio unheard of at the time: he would get complete creative freedom to deliver an NC-17 rated movie from the beginning. Up to that time, the NC-17 rating had never been intentional, and was always given after screening of the movie by the MPAA. The deal did include that Verhoeven gave up 70% of his 6 million dollar salary, and he would only receive the remaining 30% if the movie was a success. See more »
When Cristal falls down the stairs at the end, she is nearly at the bottom when she is pushed, yet the next shot shows her falling from much nearer the top. See more »
Along with "Valley of the Dolls", "Reefer Madness," and "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," "Showgirls" belongs in the pantheon of bad film. But don't take that wrong. This film is so bad, that it's fabulous.
From the deer in the headlights performance of Elizabeth Berkley, to the so far over the top that you need a telescope to look down at it dialogue, this film is a camp masterpiece. Never before have so many cliches and ridiculous scenarios been gathered in one film.
The plot? A simple girl with big dreams travels to the big city to become A STAR! She struggles against the odds, only to achieve her BIG BREAK! She rejects it all when she realizes that fame is hollow and disallusioning. Sounds like every show biz movie every made except in this version, the big dream is to be a topless showgirl, the big break involves literally breaking the competition's leg and fame involves wearing three sets of false eyelashes and sparkles as clothing. The movie dislikes women so much that there is no female character in the whole of it that isn't either wildly catty or completely witless. Men in this film don't fare much better, but no male is subjected to a gang rape as the lone sympathetic female character is.
If I remember correctly, Joe Esterhaus was paid a ridiculous amount of money for the screenplay for this film. As penance for creating this abomination, he should be required to wander the earth, giving money to anyone who sat through it.
Nonetheless, I recommend this film as a laugh riot for the sheer lunacy of it.
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