"(Comics) They’re shiftless, dame-chasing, ambitionless..."
Description: Barbara Stanwyck as Deborah Hoople, a sassy burlesque performer known as Dixie Daisy puts down comedians in the motion picture Lady of Burlesque (1943).
"Grand opera brought crowds like this into this lobby? Girls! That's what the public wants." - S. B Foss
Exotic dancer/singer Dixie Daisy ("The Darling of Burlesque") is the headliner at the Old Opera House on the Great White Way in New York City, along with "50 - Fifty- 50" beautiful showgirls. During her opening "bump and grind" number, Dixie sings:
"Whenever I'm applauded, you're rewarded...Each time the drummer jumps... I start breaking out in bumps...Brother I'm making my eggs and beacon earning my pay, just by shaking this way...I know what you're waiting for, and I have a mind to do some more, but I don't want to break the law, cause listen brother I've got a mother, old and gray, I support her this way, four-shows a day."
During the performance, the police raid the theater and then the lights go out. As the rest of the performers try to get away, Dixie runs down a staircase and is attacked. She later reports the incident to her coworkers at a dinner after being released on bail from the police.
"When the lights went out...somebody grabbed me and tried to strangle me. Those hands were long and thin and they knew what they were doing.They were strong enough to make me black out." - Dixie Daisy
When Lolita and The Princess, two members of a burlesque house are murdered (strangled with their G-Strings), Dixie Daisy joins forces with fellow performers to uncover the identity of the killer before he strikes again. By staying alone in her dressing room as bait when all the girls left for the night, she hoped to lure the killer into the open.
The killer turns out to be 'Stacchi' Stacciaro (Frank Conroy), an elderly employee of the Burlesque Theater who hated the idea of such trashy entertainment filling the halls of such a grand old operatic establishment. When he discovered that his own granddaughter was a burlesque showgirl, he set out to discredit the owner and close the place down. As he tried to kill Dixie, Biff Brannigan jumped through the window and tackled the old man who was arrested and taken away.
Throughout the film, comedian Biff Brannigan (Michael O’Shae) tries to get a date with Dixie, who wants no part of him, saying, "The only date I make with a comic is with the Sunday Funnies" and "When I dress for date with you, it will be a suit of armor and brass knuckles."
Later when Biff asks “What’s the matter with comics?” Dixie says, “I went into show business when I was seven years old. Two days later the first comic I ever met stole my piggy bank in a railroad station in Portland. When I was 11 the comics were looking at my ankles. When I was 14 they were...just looking. When I was 20 I’d been stuck with enough lunch checks to pay for a three-story house. Naw, they’re shiftless, dame-chasing, ambitionless...”
After saving her life, Biff proposes and Dixie decides to marry the "comic" and invites all of her coworkers to a wedding breakfast with donuts.
NOTE: The film is based on the book "The G-String Murders" written by Gypsy Rose Lee.