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
Acting debut of singer Will Young, as Bertie, the Windmill's leading male singer. See more »
Laura Henderson's husband died in 1919, she purchased the Palais de Luxe and turned it into the Windmill Theatre in 1931, and introduced the nude "tableaux vivants" in 1932. The movie depicts all these events as occurring after 1937. See more »
Laura Henderson: "We've had some good shows, but they're not daring enough. Let's get rid of the clothes."
A wealthy widow, Mrs. Laura Henderson (Judi Dench) buys an old London theater and comes up with the brilliant idea to turn it in a performance hall with the non-stop shows featuring nude girls during World War II. Bob Hoskins plays Vivian Van Damm, her business partner, who is as stubborn and opinionated as she is but somehow they manage to stay friends and to maintain the respect and admiration for each other. I liked this little movie very much. It's a well crafted dramedy with nice musical numbers, nudity, touching story, and it is based on the real events. Dench and Hoskins are marvelous together.
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