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Behind the Burly Q

A film by Leslie Zemeckis

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Burlesque was one of America’s most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century. Gaudy, bawdy and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week. And yet the legacy of burlesque is often vilified and misunderstood, and left out of the history books. By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance.

Watch the Trailer

What the Critics are Saying

"Leslie Zemeckis has preserved for us a lively, lovely corner of American life."
- Richard Schickel, Film Critic & Historian

"Charming...a delight! It‘s great that Zemeckis immortalized these women."
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"A privileged front-row seat to the history of burlesque! Glorious ladies in their heyday...their long-ago stripteases still pack a sensual, sassy, what-the-hell punch, while juicy anecdotes run from raunchy to touching to funny to flat-out incredible."
- Ronnie Scheib, Variety

"Insightful, fascinating, utterly entertaining! Enough to make fans of classic erotica swoon." - Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice

"Smart, brassy, sassy and charming!" - Jennifer Merin,

"Critics' Pick!" - New York Magazine

"Affectionate and engaging! Wonderful vintage footage...a fascinating glimpse into a corner of American history." - New York Daily News

Recommended Reading

Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America by Leslie Zemeckis

The Queens of Burlesque: Vintage Photographs of the 1940s and 1950s by Len Rothe

Burlesque: A Living History by Jane Briggeman

Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens by Liz Goldwyn


See details about this film's theatrical run.

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:

  • Three Featurettes: The Reunion / Memorabilia & Costumes / Behind the Scenes
  • Bonus Interviews
  • Burlesque Timeline
  • Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • 16:9 Presentation / 5.1 Audio / Closed Captions

Format: DVD
Release Year : 2010
Running Time: 98 minutes
Color: Color & b/w
Language: English

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