Behind The Burly Q
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Although its origins derive from France, Great Britain and Greece, burlesque became a wildly popularAmerican form of art that thrived in the early to mid part of the 20th century. Because of the sexualinnuendo and the barely-there costumes it has largely been left out of the history books.In the 1840s burlesque was applied to a wide range of comedic plays that entertained the lower and middleclasses in Great Britain. Coming to America, burlesque evolved into shows performed by scantily-cladbeauties. It thrived, appealing to the masses of working class people who weekly stormed the theatres… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Settles too easily for an editing formula which alternates talking heads, too cursory performance footage and montages of headlines and photographs."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Informative and fannish burlesque doc is shapeless compared to its curvy subjects."
‑ John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
"Revealing doc tells all about the sassy gals of the vaudeville stage"
‑ Corey Hall, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"At once amusing, raucous and poignant, Leslie Zemeckis' Behind the Burly Q is the most comprehensive documentary on burlesque ever made, smoothly incorporating rare vintage stills, interviews and footage."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Baltimore Sun
"A fun-filled tribute which elevates the Golden Age of Burlesque to its rightful place in history while belatedly restoring a little dignity to its underappreciated, socially-ostracized performers."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
"More than a dozen of the burlesque performers featured here have died since they were interviewed in 2006, making Zemeckis's slapdash survey definitive by default."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"Many of the women who speak on camera, a number of whom have since died, were doing so for the first time, and their desire to set the record straight, or at least semistraight, is palpable."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"This documentary from Leslie Zemeckis affectionately tells everything you ever wanted to know about the golden age of burlesque. The standout interviewee is Alan Alda."
‑ Keith Cohen, Entertainment Spectrum
"A fun and affectionate look at a lost American pastime that continues to fascinate generations. Exhaustive research and respect for the subject practically puts the viewer within reach of the twirling tassels."
‑ Diva Velez,
"From the beginning, the film displays a distinct lack of focus that only grows more pronounced as it moves along."
‑ Ethan Alter, NYC Film Critic
"Too scattershot to present a truly coherent picture of the burlesque experience, docu nevertheless provides a privileged front-row seat to sample several of the form's most memorable practitioners."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"It's great that she immortalized these women, some for the final time. But this is history as nostalgia."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Behind the Burly Q is a mess, but an enjoyable one."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"Although the subject might seem to be purely about titillation, burlesque is shown to have been a financially winning and socially indispensable form of entertainment in the days before televisions came into every family's living room."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Once-over-lightly history, but a fabulous showcase for the colorful recollections of dozens of burlesque dancers, comedians, chorus girls, musicians and novelty performers."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, Miss FlickChick
More reviews for Behind The Burly Q on Rotten Tomatoes