Lady of Burlesque

Lady of Burlesque (also known as The G-String Murders and in the UK, Striptease Lady) is a 1943 American musical comedy-mystery film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Michael O'Shea. It is based on the novel The G-String Murders written by strip tease queen Gypsy Rose Lee.

Lady of Burlesque
DVD cover
Directed byWilliam A. Wellman
Produced byHunt Stromberg
Written byJames Gunn
Based onThe G-String Murders
1941 novel
by Gypsy Rose Lee
StarringBarbara Stanwyck
Michael O'Shea
Iris Adrian
Music byArthur Lange
CinematographyRobert De Grasse
Edited byJames E. Newcom
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 1, 1943 (1943-05-01)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,850,000 gross ($650,000 profit after theatre circuits deducted their ticket sales share)[1][2]


The backstage plot concerns the murder of two strippers of a New York City burlesque theatre and the detection of the killer.

Differences from novel

A faithful, if sanitized due to the censorship of the time, adaptation of the original novel.



The film was produced by Hunt Stromberg, costumes by Edith Head, and filmed on a 21-day shooting schedule on (rented) sound stages at RKO's Encino movie ranch, this feature grossed a respectable $1.85 million on its initial release.

The film depicted as much as censors would allow with respect to the nature of "bumps & grinds" as well as the slapdash nature of burlesque shows.


Songs include "Take It Off the E String, Play It on the G String", sung by Stanwyck.


The film made $2 million[3] and earned a hefty profit of $650,000.[4]



  1. Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3. p203
  2. "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
  4. Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 339
  5. 1944 Academy Award nominations and winners for films released in 1943 at

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