Behind the Burly Q Image
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Burlesque and vaudeville acts were America's most popular form of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century - until cinema drove them from the mainstream. To add insult to injury, the art of burlesque became vilified and misunderstood, and was largely left out of our cultural history. 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. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. The best commentator is Alda, whose rueful memories of being raised as a boy in burlesque are the film's highlight. "It was a form of abuse," he says of those days, but without rancor. It was, after all, the only childhood he knew.
  2. A charming, uncritical, often entertaining jumble, the documentary was written and directed by Leslie Zemeckis.
  3. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    70
    Leslie Zemeckis's slightly ramshackle but utterly entertaining Behind the Burly Q is a painstakingly researched love letter to the women and men who once made up the community of burlesque performers.
  4. 60
    Though frustratingly superficial and shot through a nostalgic, rose-colored lens, this enthralling 2010 doc opens a wider window on forgotten world of burlesque shows than anything I've previously seen.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    60
    Behind the Burly Q traces that history all the way back to the early part of the 20th century, but doesn't really come into its own until Zemeckis can interview the stars themselves rather than their children.
  6. The real stars of this film are the same ones who stole every show -- women who once boasted names like Tempest Storm, Candy Cotton and Lady Midnight. Their stories are alternately tragic and inspiring, and often very funny.
  7. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    40
    The sauciest of anecdotes are illustrated with faded vintage photos, all tiresomely filtered through the Ken Burns roving-cam effect and making for one chaste and unsexy cultural portrait--the biggest tease of them all.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

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