7.1/10
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180 user 135 critic

Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(idea), (idea) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Thelma Barlow ...
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Doris
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Frances
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Thomas Allen ...
Eric Woodburn (as Sir Thomas Allen)
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Ambrose
Ralph Nossek ...
Camille O'Sullivan ...
Doraly Rosen ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The show must go on, but the clothes must come off. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mrs. Henderson Presents  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£752,394 (United Kingdom), 27 November 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,344, 11 December 2005

Gross USA:

$11,034,436, 28 May 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(US prints)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While talking with the girls who will perform the nude tableaux, Vivian Van Damm compares them to works of art. "You are the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa..." When Maureen says the Mona Lisa wore a dress, Van Damm replies, "Some do, some don't." In the film, Mona Lisa (1986), Bob Hoskins played a chauffeur for an expensive London call girl, whom he came to think of as his "Mona Lisa." (Hoskins received his only Oscar nomination for the film.) See more »

Goofs

The rain was falling down on the windshield in such a manor that was not realistic when Vivian and Bertie were searching for their English Rose. Their car and Vivian's driving were obviously done with green screen or in studio. The lighting of the car also gives away the phony look of the performance. See more »

Quotes

Laura Henderson: Tommy, you're so literal. You're thinking bosoms, but I'm thinking breasts.
Lord Cromer: And what, my dear, is the difference?
Laura Henderson: Ah, the difference is in your soul.
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Connections

Referenced in Comedy Connections: Dinnerladies (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll String Along with You
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
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User Reviews

 
The Perfect Escape...Cinematic Fun
11 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

As the closing feature of the 2005 St. Louis International Film Festival, "Mrs. Henderson Presents" was shown to a nearly full theatre. Coming from the United Kingdom, the film is not a drama nor is it a comedy. "Mrs. Henderson Presents" is best described as a "dramedy" mixed with a musical. Judi Dench dives into her usual role with ease, playing Laura Henderson. As an upper-class widow left with heaps of money, she decides to purchase a theatre, which she names The Windmill. Through the love-hate relationship between Mrs. Henderson and her theatre manager (the terrific Bob Hoskins), they present the most revolutionary program in England: nude women on stage. "Mrs. Henderson Presents," constantly switches from drama to comedy, but is so skillfully directed by Stephen Frears that it maintains a fluid and graceful tone. This is a film that is told through the eyes of its main character, Laura Henderson, so an unrealistic sense of optimism exists. The message lies in the naïve buoyancy Mrs. Henderson grabs from the continuous tragedy and sadness.

Stephen Frear's new film is truly heartbreaking and tragic, but ironically, is incredibly fun. In "Mrs. Henderson Presents," The Windmill Theatre stands tall like a knight in shining armor to the soldiers and crowds of England. It is also a pleasurable escape that certainly deserves more than one visit.


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