Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Showgirls (1995)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Showgirls (1995)

In director Paul Verhoeven's (teamed up again with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas) big-budget, exploitative, misogynistic, guilty-pleasure, show-biz related adult film - a sexploitation drama that flopped at the box office; it was the first attempt of Hollywood to mass market a studio film with an NC-17 rating (since the failure of Caligula (1979)), yet it failed miserably, but it was one of the most notorious films of the 90s, later finding an audience among cult film-goers (although it reportedly destroyed the career of star Elizabeth Berkley, earlier noted for her role in the late 80s TV show Saved By the Bell).

It had lots of controversial content - and was loaded with very frequent nudity, sexuality, notorious dialogue, and campy sleaze in a drama about the sex industry - an uncensored look at the backstage show-biz world of Las Vegas strip clubs and shows:

  • the unintentionally cheesy acting and dialogue, and rampant nudity (almost boring)
  • the scene of Al Torres (Robert Davi), manager of the topless, pole-clinging dancers at the Cheetah, detailing requirements for a lap dance to new girl Penny (Rena Riffel): "Fifty bucks a pop, you take 'em in the back. Touch and go. They touch, they go. You can touch them. They cannot touch you...Now if they come, that's okay. If they take it out and come all over you, call the bouncer, unless he gives you a big tip. If he gives you a big tip, it's okay. You got that?...lf you want to last longer than a week, you give me a blow job. First l get you used to the money, then l make you swallow"
  • the sequences of naked dancing at two contrasting locales in Las Vegas - the low-class Cheetah and the higher-class hotel shows and headliner dancers at the Stardust
  • the love-hate relationship and rivalry between bi-sexual "Goddess" headliner Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon) at the Stardust Hotel and aspiring Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) and their unbelievable dialogue and discussion about their breasts: (Cristal: "You've got nice tits. I like nice tits." Nomi: "I like having nice tits")
  • the bare-breasted "Chorus Line" showgirl audition sequence, with Tony Moss' (Alan Rachins) introduction of himself: ("Okay, ladies. I'm Tony Moss. I produce this show. Some of you have probably heard that I'm a prick - I am a prick. I got one interest here, and that's the show. I don't care whether you live or die. I want to see ya dance and I want to see ya smile. I can't use you if you can't smile, I can't use you if you can't show, I can't use you if you can't sell"), his threat to one of the losing contestants: ("Come back when you've f--ked some of this baby fat off. See ya!"), and his insulting comment to Nomi: ("You got something wrong with your nipples?...I'm erect. Why aren't you erect?")
  • Nomi's extended lap dance sequence offered by Cristal to her boyfriend for $500, the Stardust Hotel's talent director Zack Carey (Kyle MacLachlan)
  • and her orgasmic thrashing sex romp in the pool with Zack


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