My friends Crystal and Virginie from The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and The Wonderful World of Cinema blogs have invited me to participate in the Barbara Stanwyck blogathon. I said yes, of course. How could I not? I absolutely love her! I think she was unquestionably one of the greatest actresses who ever lived. Certainly the most versatile. She’s done everything you can possible think of: noir, screwball comedy, romantic comedy, melodrama (including THAT soap), westerns… And she was always fantastic.
And so, I’m not going to go for the obvious Double Indemnity (1944) or The Lady Eve (1941), even though I LOVE them both. I decided to write about one of her lesser-known films, Lady of Burlesque (1943), directed by William A. Wellman. It’s not a ‘classic’ or a ‘masterpiece’, but it is indeed a charming movie. It’s a mix of murder mystery, comedy, musical, what have you. It doesn’t really fit into any genre and that’s what’s so great about it. You don’t know what to expect!
The plot revolves around the murders of two strippers in a burlesque theater in New York City. It starts off as a charming, lovely film that quickly turns into a great murder mystery and a very surprising ending.
Written by James Gunn, based on the novel The G-String Murders by Gyspy Rose Lee, Lady of Burlesque is quite a unique movie, that frankly should be a lot more famous. I’m not saying it’s one of the greatest movies ever or anything, but it’s really quite good and if you’re like me, and you’ll watch ANYTHING Barbara Stanwyck is in, you should get your hands on this, if you haven’t seen it already.