There’s a lot of movies about strippers, former strippers, exotic dancers, nekkid cha-cha dancers, what-have-yous. Because it’s very intellectual movie fodder, obvs, the peeling off of ladies’ attire to rowdy crowds.
Always trying to stay on our stripper movie game, TSJ staff and interns were recently screening Lay the Favorite, the story of Beth Raymer, who leaves her gig at a Florida strip club to make herself over into a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Pretty Beth is hardly the first dancer dancer to long for a life away from the pole, or the first to find one, we agreed among ourselves, vehemently.
Check out our top 10 women who share Beth’s longing for something more in this retrospective look on dancing girls and their big girl dreams…
1. Striptease – Erin Grant (Demi Moore)
Erin Grant, a single mom stripper, takes her dalliances into politics… Yikes!
2. Flashdance – Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals)
Who could forget Alex Owens covered up in water and a few pieces of fabric? This small town, steel mill girl really did just want to be a dancer.
3. Showgirls – Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley)
Nomi Malone wants to make it to the big screen in Hollywood…she just has to take care of a few things in Las Vegas on the way.
4. From Dusk Till Dawn – Santánico Pandemónium (Salma Hayek)
Santánico Pandemónium is a stripper who longs to just be her true self…the Vampire Queen of the Titty Twister.
5. The Hangover – Jade (Heather Graham)
Jade hits the stripper jackpot in Vegas, and finds a well-to-do dentist to snatch her away from the pole and take care of her infant child.
6. Sin City – Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba)
Nancy Callahan is a stripper at Kadie’s Bar. Her lasso not only brings in the men and the money, but is also ropes her into the city’s underworld of crime.
7. The Wrestler – Cassidy (Marisa Tomei)
Cassidy is a seasoned professional, wise with her years, but like most strippers she wrestles with personal and professional dilemmas.
8. Planet Terror – Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan)
Cherry Darling leaves her low-paying job in search for more. The first leg of this journey proves to be quite terrorizing…
9. Coyote Ugly – Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo)
Violet Sanford is a Jersey Girl with big New York dreams of being a songwriter, making her way as a dancer at the Coyote Ugly.
10. Lay the Favorite – Beth Raymer (Rebecca Hall)
There are so many more we love — from Dancing at the Blue Iguana to Closer to Exotica to Blue Powder… You’re gonna wanna collect them all. Meantime, check out Lay the Favorite on DVD/Blu-Ray as of March 5, 2013.