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Film / Striptease

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A 1996 Sex Comedy written and directed by Andrew Bergman, based on a novel by Carl Hiaasen, Striptease features Erin Grant (played by Demi Moore), a former FBI secretary, who has taken up work as a stripper at the Eager Beaver in order to earn the money she needs to afford an appeal for child custody. She's adored by two of the patrons in particular, one of them an influential Congressman David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) with an election coming up, and a plan emerges to try and blackmail the Congressman about his (ahem) avid interest in Grant, so that she can afford to keep the custody battle going until she wins.

Unfortunately for those involved in the plan, the Congressman's business connections really want him to win the election - no matter who they have to silence in order to make sure his skeletons stay in the closet...


While notable for being one of the (several) roles where Demi Moore appears topless, it's probably more memorable for having been panned by the critics and winning several Razzie Awards, including "Worst Picture of 1996".

Tropes in the film:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The entire subplot regarding the sugar is gone, as are several scenes that introduce us to the lawyer Mordecai and his cousin Joyce. Killian also loses a proper introduction, and Darrel lives at the end.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Chris Rojo is a spoiled party boy involved in bribing Dilbeck in both versions, but the film makes and his father or his uncle a Composite Character and he participates in the debate about whether to murder Mordecai. Chris favors paying the blackmailer and letting him live, but he doesn't stop his father from going through with the murder.
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  • Broken Pedestal: In the book, Garcia's boss voted for Dilbeck in the past, giving him an It's Personal feeling about letting Al take the congressman down after his sins come to light.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Erb Crandall serves as the bagman, bodyguard, and personal assistant of Congressman Dilbeck, who he vainly tries to keep from losing his head over Erin and other strippers.
  • Con Man: Grant's ex-husband, Darrel, is notable for this; the first scene we see him in has him using his daughter to help steal wheelchairs from a hospital, in order to sell them to a medical supply shop...which will, one assumes, sell them right back to the hospital.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Dilbeck, the Congressman in question, has several business connections who want to make sure he stays in office - no matter what it takes. And he's not shy about trying to use his own power to get what he wants.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jerry Killian is a very minor character in the book, but his screen time in the movie is still reduced. The same happens to Joyce Mizner, who is barely there before she bites it (although Joyce is really only there as the fiancée of the man Dilbeck attacks).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the novel, when Congressman Dilbeck goes to ask the judge handling the Grant's divorce case if he would help her out in exchange for a favor - like, say, a federal position - the judge informs Dilbeck he doesn't need Dilbeck's help in that regard. However, he would be able to help Erin out if she gave him a blow job. Malcolm, his campaign manager, is not amused: "The mother won't go for it. Hell, I got no morals whatsoever and *I* wouldn't go for it."
  • Fan Disservice: Half-naked and oiled Burt Reynolds.
  • Fanservice: All of it.
  • Feather Boa Constrictor: One stripper's entire shtick is this. And then she gets an untrained snake...
  • Film of the Book: Based on Hiaasen's novel of the same name. One concession that the critics allow is that the screenplay is pretty faithful to the book.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: The bouncer keeps trying to set things up so that he can launch one in the hopes that he will be given a big cash settlement to shut up.
  • Gag Boobs: Urbana Sprawl, which name is indicative of her bust size, is played by Pandora Peaks.
  • Hollywood Law: A real judge would never even have given a criminal with a record like Darrell's visitation rights, much less sole custody. The book explains it by saying that the local cops buried his record when he agreed to be an informant (which probably wouldn't have happened in real life either).
  • Hypocrite: The Judge awards sole custody to Darrell (a convicted felon in constant violation of his parole) because Erin is a stripper (only because she lost her respectable job as a secretary for the FBI because of Darrel's behavior). Then he becomes a regular at the strip club just to watch her dance because apparently patronizing a stripper is less sinful than being one.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Shad puts a cockroach in a yogurt pot in order to make a phony lawsuit to the manufacturer. The lawyer's secretary eats the thing... and despite the "CRUNCH!" sound, she remains unfazed.
  • Insistent Terminology: Don't call the women working at the Eager Beaver "strippers" where Shad can hear you. Just...don't. They're not strippers; they're dancers.
  • Insult to Rocks: The Eager Beaver. "It's an insult to women, and it's an insult to beavers."
  • Irony: Erin only became a stripper in the first place because Darrell's crimes got her fired from the FBI. Then the judge awarded sole custody to the criminal because she was a stripper, making her even more dependent upon her income as a stripper to continue the custody battle.
  • Loony Fan:
    • Jerry Killian is very fond of Grant, although he's never quite implied to have gone to the point where he'd cross the line from Loony Fan to Stalker with a Crush - although that may be because Shad is quite open about being willing to inflict harm on anyone who seems to be a danger to the dancers. But he is the one who tries to blackmail Dilbeck, to try and get Grant's custody case judged in her favor. It gets him killed.
    • Dilbeck has a piece of lint from Grant's dryer.
  • Mood Whiplash: Erin's story, which revolves around becoming a stripper so she can get the custody of her daughter back, is very serious, in contrast to how silly, outlandish and usually Played for Laughs everything else is. Roger Ebert's review even noted "all of the characters are hilarious except for Demi Moore's."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Grant. And how!
  • One Steve Limit: Lampshaded with the strippers "Monique" and "Monique Jr.".
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: In the book, Mordecai is a cousin of Paul Gruber's fiancee Joyce, while in the film, he's Paul's uncle.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: Subverted; Erin was actually rehearsing when Lt. Garcia came knocking on her door, and he didn't see anything.
  • Single Mom Stripper: Erin, a divorcee trying to regain custody of her daughter, is now working at the Eager Beaver in order to earn the money she needs to fight the custody battle.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Darrell does not get caught in a sugar milling machine in the movie.
    • Joyce/Melissa isn't involved in blackmailing Dilbeck and isn't killed along with Mordecai.
    • Moldowsky is arrested instead of being beaten to death by Darrell.
    • Crandall dies in the book's Where Are They Now epilogue, which is left out of the movie.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Congressman Dilbeck. He even goes so far as to have Grant's dryer lint stolen, so that he can have sex with it while it's still warm. Grant is incredibly creeped out when she finds out.
  • This Is a Drill: Shad's Weapon of Choice when intimidating his attorney is a battery-powered hand drill.
  • Yandere: Dilbeck.


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