Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  17 February 2006 (USA)
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Laura Henderson buys an old London theater and opens it up as the Windmill, a performance hall which goes down in history for, among other things, its all-nude revues.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thelma Barlow ...
Anna Brewster ...
Thomas Allen ...
Eric Woodburn (as Sir Thomas Allen)
Richard Syms ...
Ralph Nossek ...
Camille O'Sullivan ...
Doraly Rosen ...


Recently widowed well-to-do Laura Henderson is at a bit of a loose end in inter-war London. On a whim she buys the derelict Windmill theatre in the West End and persuades impresario Vivian Van Damm to run it, despite the fact the two don't seem to get on at all. Although their idea of a non-stop revue is at first a success, other theatres copy it and disaster looms. Laura suggests they put nudes in the show, but Van Damm points out that the Lord Chamberlain, who licenses live shows in Britain, is likely to have something to say about this. Luckily Mrs Henderson is friends with him. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nudity - Variety - High Society See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for nudity and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mrs. Henderson Presents  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£752,394 (UK) (25 November 2005)


$846,112 (New Zealand) (26 May 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(US prints)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mr. Van Damm announces that Bertie has been kept out of military service by his heart murmur, and everyone present (including Bertie) reacts as if this is a great joke. This suggests that it's an official cover story. Homosexual acts were a crime in Britain at the time, although they were usually covered up rather than prosecuted. The presence of obvious homosexuals in the army was considered bad for morale, so it was common for perfectly healthy men of that nature to enlist for service and be turned away. Since recruiting officers often refused to even admit that homosexuality existed, they paid doctors to publish falsified medical reports naming such a disability as the pretext for why the volunteers were turned away. See more »


Vivian van Damm is portrayed as being in his mid-60s during the bombings. In reality he was only in his late 40s. See more »


Jane: [sung] So you lie awake just singing the blues all night, goody goody! So you think that love's a barrel of dynamite!
See more »


Referenced in Mrs Henderson Presents: Making Of (2006) See more »


La Marseillaise
Music and Lyrics by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (uncredited)
Arrangement by George Fenton
Published by Pathé Fund Ltd/Shogun Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gently amusing British wartime film with superb music
4 December 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I cannot believe how badly this lovely film has been savaged on IMDb.

Apart from spectacular vaudeville staging, Judi Dench plays her eccentric, mischievous widow to perfection and the excellent Bob Hoskins is cast surprisingly out of type as a reserved, rather complex, gentlemanly but iron-willed theatre manager. Their argumentative relationship is amusing without being overbearing, as the film is essentially a nicely balanced ensemble piece. Dench's character Laura Henderson turns out to have a very touching motivation for her desire to stage daring musicals for brave young men off to war. Will Young gives an astonishingly strong vocal performance throughout. His mannered vocal style is perfect, and he looks every inch the part on stage. His few brief moments of acting are nothing to blush over either. Kelly Reilly, the star of the naked girlie reviews, is quite simply mesmerising to watch, and ultimately her character is full of pathos.

And if none of that were enough to engage you, you've got an interesting wartime plot, based on true events in the history of the Windmill Theatre, which in current circumstances feels highly topical and relevant for Londoners. 9/10

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