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Behind the Burly Q
Directed by Leslie Zemeckis
Produced by Leslie Zemeckis
Sheri Hellard
Written by Leslie Zemeckis
Music by Phil Marshall
Cinematography Sheri Hellard
Editing by Evan Finn
Distributed by First Run Features
Release date(s) 2010
Running time 97 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

Behind the Burly Q is a film documentary looking back at the golden age of Burlesque - one of America's most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century.

This documentary film reveals the story of burlesque by telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it. Featuring dozens of interviews with performers, musicians and authors including actor Alan Alda, whose father Robert Alda was a handsome “tit singer” and a straight man; Nat Bodian, journalist who wrote and saw burlesque at the Empire in Newark in the 1930’s; Lorraine Lee, who used to dance for Bonnie and Clyde and Pretty Boy Floyd and “earned a quarter”; Tempest Storm, who still performs today and claims to have been lovers with Elvis and JFK; the notorious Blaze Starr, who escaped a life of poverty to rise to the heights of fame, and became involved with Governor Long; Kitty West, aka Evangelina the Oyster Girl, the Bourbon Street star, who entertained busloads of tourists as she “came out of her oyster”; Taffy O’Neill, who performed at night, and spent the days taking her young son, stricken with polio to treatment; Mike Iannucci, star stripper Ann Corio’s husband and producer of “This Was Burlesque”; Rachel Schteir who wrote the book Striptease, a comprehensive history of the art of stripteasing; and Janet Davis, author of the extensively researched book on Tiny Kline, who Walt Disney himself discovered and made her the first Tinker Bell when she was in her 60s.


Filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis is a veteran of stage and film. She is the creator of the one-woman burlesque-inspired show, "Staar: She's Back and Mistresser Than Ever!" that has been performed at various clubs throughout Los Angeles. Zemeckis recently produced the feature "Staar" starring Carrie Fisher and Jeffrey Tambor and also produced the short film "Enfants Terribles," which she stars in opposite Peter Facineli and Christopher Lloyd and which was an official selection of the Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Chicago Film Festivals in 2005 – 2006. Her acting credits include "Deterrence" for director Rod Lurie, “Sacrifice” with Michael Madsen, “Blowback” with Mario Van Peebles, and “Polar Express” opposite Tom Hanks. She co-starred in “Beowulf”, directed by her husband Robert Zemeckis, starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.

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