Mrs. Henderson Presents

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

This comedic drama is inspired by a true story about a wealthy English widow, Mrs. Laura Henderson (Judi Dench), in 1937. Out of boredom, she resurrects a vacated theater in the West End of London and hires Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) to run it. The two clash as eccentric Mrs. Hendersons meddling and criticisms fail to intimidate the confident Mr. Van Damm. Much to his dismay, she insists on spicing up the show with nude showgirls. The results are hilarious, and her Windmill Theater becomes the toast of London. Colorful musical numbers performed by professional dancers and singers against a backdrop of statuesque nude women bring the house down, especially for the young soldiers fighting for England as World War II escalates. The volatile business relationship of Mrs. Henderson and Mr. Van Damm slowly evolves into a friendship of mutual respect and admiration.

The only way the Windmill Theater can get a license for nudity is for the nudes to remain perfectly still, as statues in an art museum. When the voluptuous young women hired refuse to disrobe for their first rehearsal because the stagehands are watching, the men enthusiastically remove their clothing, shocking everyone. Then the girls start chanting for Mr. Van Damm to do likewise, and he too obliges. Another time, a mischievous man releases a mouse onto the stage, creating mayhem as the nude women scream and run off, and the audience roars with delight. Mrs. Henderson cares deeply for her girls, making sure they are safe during the Blitz. Both she and Van Damm treat them as family and demand respect for them. Mrs. Henderson uses the only two strong obscenities spoken. And while the nudity is not lewd or in a sexual context, the frequency of it and full-frontal male exposure is shocking and offensive.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
The Weinstein Co.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once moderate (b-stard 1)

Obscene Language: Few (2) times strong (f-word 1, other 1)

Profanity: Once moderate (MG 1)

Violence: Few times mild (sounds of bombs exploding); moderate (London blitz almost destroys theater, one killed)

Sex: None

Nudity: Many times moderate (showgirls bare breasts and buttocks posing as statues on stage); strong (full-frontal male nudity when stagehands and director undress to put showgirls at ease about their own nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (discussion of extent of nudity in stage production, man tries to refer to female genitals in clinical terms); strong (woman responds with crude term; woman makes remark about mans nudity by saying, I see you are Jewish)

Drugs: None

Other: Man lashes out at woman who insults his wife, demanding her apology; woman defends the nudity as her tribute to young soldiers who have never seen a nude woman; strong spirit of loyalty, patriotism and compassion shared by entire cast, stage hands and directors

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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