While Magic Mike is in theaters we're celebrating memorable movie strippers.
Though Sin City (2005) plays like a compilation of short films rather than a traditional narrative feature, the story that's barely tying it all together features an old cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) with a heart condition and his life-changing rescue of a kidnapped a little girl named Nancy Hallaway. Hartigan is punished for his good dead, framed as her rapist by a powerful senator and rots in prison. Nancy writes him weekly as "Cordelia". She grows up to be Jessica Alba. And as Hartigan says observantly in voiceover once he's out of the slammer and in her club...
She grew up. She filled out.
The club in question is a "lousy saloon" called Kadies, specializing in Booze & Broads. It advertizes this way: "liquour upfront" and "poker in the back". [Ahem] Given Sin City's horny adolescent boy sexuality, it's impossible not to read that euphemistically.
Given the Alba Mania circa 2005 you'd think her strip routine was the end game of movie stripteases but she doesn't actually take anything off.
The movie leaves the actual nudity to braver ladies / better actresses (Carla Gugino. Holla!). Nevertheless it's Alba that the film worships most among its broad array of "broads".
Her strip routine is very short and doesn't involve stripping so much as lassoing, though she never attempts to catch anything. Nancy sees Hartigan watching and leaps over the drooling customers to plant a kiss on him, ending her routine and giving herself a way to the film's grotesque yellow villain (Nick Stahl, currently a missing person sadly).
This kiss and her subsequent declarations of life long devotion unnerves the scarred cop. "I'm old enough to be your grandfather," he protests. His funniest Guilt-Ridden voiceovers occur once they've temporarily escaped the villain and are holed up in a hotel.
Hartigan: V.O. I've never been all that good with people. When it comes to reassuring a traumatized 19 year old i'm as expert as a palsy victim doing brain surgery with a pipe wrench.
[To Nancy after she makes the moves] There's wrong and then there's wrong and then there's is. For gods sake you're just a kid!"
Are his protestations meant to be funny or merely indicative of Sin City's very specific heterosexuality (in the Madonna/Whore spectrum, let's just say there are only whores. And most of them are worshipped like Madonnas). To LOL or Not to LOL. That's the great mystery of a great many silly genre pieces that take themselves seriously. I recently giggled through Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter but, like Sin City, I kept changing my mind about whether or not the film wanted me to.
What kind of tips do you think Nancy earned at Kadies? I'm guessing crinkled up $1s. That crowd doesn't look like big spenders.