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Mrs Henderson Presents - Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher guest, Stephen Frears

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

The show must go on, but the clothes must come off.

Set in pre-World War II London, Judy Dench plays the eccentric society figure Laura Henderson who, at seventy years old, finds herself widowed and at loose ends. She decides to buy an abandoned Soho cinema and turns it into what would become the historic Windmill Theatre. knowing nothing about theatre, she hires the irascible Vivian van Damm (Bob Hoskins) to run it and comes up with an inspired idea to get audiences in: produce a nude revue. She sidesteps censorship laws by creating tableaux vivants - permitting entirely nude girls on stage provided they didn't move a muscle.

Penetrating, lively and invigorating, Mrs Henderson Presents is a love note to a famous London theatre, a homage to Britain's wartime experiences and an evocation of the great musicals that lit up the screen during the thirties and forties. Add a captivating duel played out by two of Britain's finest actors in Dench and Hoskins and you have an uplifting tale likely to live long in the memory of audiences everywhere.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Mrs Henderson Presents imageMrs Henderson Presents image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film theatre biography World War II Britain Soho Windmill Laura Henderson revue censor

Persons of interest

  • Anna Brewster .... Doris
  • Judi Dench .... Laura Henderson
  • Christopher Guest .... Lord Cromer
  • Rosalind Halstead .... Frances
  • Bob Hoskins .... Vivian Van Damm
  • Camille O'Sullivan .... Jane
  • Kelly Reilly .... Maureen
  • Sarah Solemani .... Vera
  • Natalia Tena .... Peggy
  • Will Young .... Bertie
  • Shona McWilliams .... Gracie Kramer
  • Martin Sherman .... Screenwriter
  • Stephen Frears .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Mrs Henderson presented a delightful show and a lovely life. Mrs henderson Presents is both delightful and lovely as well as jolly and moving. Judi Dench is a scream (more camp than a row of tents) and is clearly having an absolute ball. Bob Hoskins is the pleasantly grumpy, stumpy English bastard of the type we have come to know and love - as one character says, "He thinks he's Winston Churchill". The shows are fabulous in a campy kitsch, soft porn kind of way. Lots of titties but nothing by which to be affronted (ie you can take your grandmother; heck, she was probably in it).

Running all through the film is a scampish, almost larrikin attitude to which we Australians can easily relate. Some of that is black British humour, some is Mrs Henderson herself and the rest is the "Up yours, Herr Hitler" attitude that served Britain so well during World war II. If you want to laugh, if you want to cry, if you want to reminisce, Mrs Henderson Presents is the film for you. enjoy.

Security censorship classification

M (Nudity, infrequent coarse language)

Surveillance time

99 minutes (1:39 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 26 December 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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