Recently widowed well-to-do Mrs. Laura Henderson (Dame Judi Dench) 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 (Bob Hoskins) to run it, despite the fact the two don't seem to get along 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, Lord Rowland Baring, 2nd Earl of Cromer (Christopher Guest), who licenses live shows in Britain, is likely to have something to say about this. Luckily, Mrs. Henderson is friends with him.Written by
According to Director Stephen Frears, Dame Judi Dench was always slightly nervous, so they would edit her speeches as she had learned them. During the "sherry-sipping" party before the opening of the theatre, at two points, Lady Conway (Thelma Barlow) prompts her in her speech ("Bread line... Employment"). This wasn't in the script, but Frears thought it was funny, so he included it in the final cut. See more »
Alec Henderson (Mrs. Laura's son, killed by a German attack on France in 1915) is said several times to have been born in 1894, and this date is shown on his headstone. In fact he was born in 1888, and his headstone does not list any date. See more »
What a commotion!
They think the theater ecourages what they call overcongregating. It seems that we're too popular.
Do you mean we'd stay open if we were a failure? How ridiculous!
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I seem to be on a Judi Dench role this week, first having seen Ladies in Lavender and now Mrs. Henderson Presents. Such a lovely actress. Bob Hoskins is another favorite having played a wonderful part in the Dunera Boys, a lesser known but excellent movie. They were so well matched in this movie and all the other parts were played with equal professionalism. I really cannot fine any flaws in the film. I am a big fan of musicals so that might have helped and might put some people off, but the numbers were well staged. Enough wry wit, drama and storyline for most people. This is what I would term, a small film. No blood and guts, no massive video effects but rather old war footage, no massive attack scenes. Just a story about life during WW2 on the West End of London.
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