Has a movie featuring full-frontal female nudity ever been this goody-goody? Luckily, Judi Dench is around to spice up this World War II period piece. Dame Judi is the life of the party as Mrs. Henderson, the real British widow who enlisted Vivian Van Dam (a solid Bob Hoskins) to help her open a London theater featuring nudes. Lord Chamberlain gives his OK, as long as the babes don't move. Sadly, director Stephen Frears doesn't shake his bazongas, either. The subplot involving a tragic romance between a soldier and one of the living statues (the lovely Kelly Reilly) is hell on the humor and on a movie that stays content to do the trite thing.
From The Archives Issue 355: October 29, 1981