A nude woman sits down and looks straight at the camera. Beside her is the tagline "Some people get into trouble no matter what they wear." while the film
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Bergman
Screenplay byAndrew Bergman
Based onStrip Tease
by Carl Hiaasen
Produced by
CinematographyStephen Goldblatt
Edited byAnne V. Coates
Music byHoward Shore
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release dates
  • June 23, 1996 (1996-06-23) (Premiere)
  • June 28, 1996 (1996-06-28) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million[2]
Box office$113.3 million[3]

Striptease is a 1996 American black comedy film written, co-produced, and directed by Andrew Bergman,[4] and starring Demi Moore, Armand Assante, Ving Rhames, Robert Patrick and Burt Reynolds. Based on Carl Hiaasen's novel of the same name, the film centers on an FBI secretary-turned-stripper who becomes involved in both a child-custody dispute and corrupt politics.

Moore was paid a then-unprecedented $12.5 million to star in Striptease, making her the highest-paid film actress up to that time. The film was released theatrically on June 28, 1996, by Columbia Pictures and grossed $113 million worldwide against its $50 million budget. However, it was universally panned by critics, and has come to be evaluated as one of the worst movies ever made.[5][6][7] It won six Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture. The debacle of the film marked a downturn in Moore's career.[7]


Former FBI secretary Erin Grant loses custody of her young daughter Angela to her ex-husband Darrell, a criminal who cost Erin her job. To afford an appeal to get her daughter back, Erin becomes a stripper at the Eager Beaver, a strip club in Miami.

A Congressman named David Dilbeck visits the club and becomes infatuated with Erin. Aware of Dilbeck's embarrassing indulgences, another Eager Beaver patron approaches Erin with a plan to manipulate the congressman to settle the custody battle and help her get Angela back. However, Dilbeck has powerful business connections who want to ensure he remains in office. Consequently, those who can embarrass him in an election are murdered. Meanwhile, Erin retrieves her daughter from Darrell's negligent care.

Dilbeck's personal interest in Erin persists, and she is invited to perform privately for him. He asks her to become his lover and later his wife, despite his staff's concerns that she knows too much. A debate occurs as to whether to kill Erin or simply keep her quiet by threatening to take away her daughter. However, Erin and a police officer, Al Garcia, begin to suspect the congressman's guilt in the murders, and Erin concocts a plan to bring the congressman to justice. She tricks him into confessing on tape, and he is soon after arrested. Thus, Erin regains full custody of Angela, quits stripping, and gets back her job in the FBI. Darrell returns to prison after he is convicted of his crimes.


Gianni Russo and José Zúñiga play father-and-son politicians Willie & Chris Rojo, while Eduardo Yáñez and Antoni Corone appear as bodyguards Chico & Nico. Frances Fisher also makes a small appearance as Lt. Garcia's wife, Donna Garcia.


Castle Rock Entertainment produced Striptease. The film is based on the novel Strip Tease by Floridian crime writer Carl Hiaasen. It was published in 1993 and was a bestseller.

The screenplay itself was written by Andrew Bergman, who also directed. According to one critic, the novel's plot is "quite faithfully followed" by the screenplay, but in bringing the complicated story to the screen, "Bergman forgets to explain persuasively what a nice girl like Erin – smart, spunky and a former FBI employee – is doing in a dump called the Eager Beaver."[8]

Bergman says, "I loved the book, and the funny thing was, [author Carl] Hiaasen loved the movie. He thought it was really, really true to the book, which I wanted to do! I don't regret it. I was treated like a freakin’ child molester for making that movie, but so be it."[9]

"Striptease was hard because the tone was so crazy," said Bergman. "How do you stay true to the tone? You have to be true to those strip clubs. There's always some woman with like 50 triple-Ds, they always advertise, and you have to have someone like that. To actually see it, you’re walking this fine line. I didn't want to sanitize it, and I didn't, and I got my ass kicked for it."[9]


Demi Moore played Erin Grant in the film.
Demi Moore played Erin Grant in the film.

Moore played the main female character, Erin Grant. For the film, she was paid $12.5 million,[10] which was at the time a record for an actress.

Bergman later said, "Is Demi the funniest person in the world? No. Would the movie have been made without her? Probably not. No other major star was willing to take her clothes off, and I was not going to do a TNT version of Striptease with people running around in swimsuits."[9]

To prepare for her role, Moore visited strip clubs in New York City, California and Florida, and she met with strippers. She also read the novel, exercised, and practiced yoga.[11] Moore was cast before other important parts were cast, creating some interest in the project.[12] In the first attempt at filming Moore stripping, two hundred extras were used to portray the audience. Although their salaries were small, many accepted the role to see Moore nude. After waiting for a while, when Moore finally appeared and started dancing the crowd turned so loud and wild that the shooting had to temporarily cease. As Moore said, "After my experience, I felt very confident."[11]

Rhames plays a bouncer named Shad. The filmmakers, in trying actors out for Shad's part, looked for someone "at least 6'2 and physically massive...any ethnicity."[12] Reynolds played Congressman Dilbeck, and he based his performance on politicians he knew in his early life, through his father, a police chief.[13]

Reynolds was not an actor that the filmmakers originally had in mind for the part (they wanted Gene Hackman), but Reynolds pursued it. When Hackman turned the role down, Reynolds contacted Castle Rock head Rob Reiner, and traveled to Miami to audition. "To be honest," said producer Lobell, "we were not enthusiastic at first. There was the hair and his reputation, but we were curious... At the first audition, on the first day, Burt had to take off his toupee in front of six or seven people. It was tough for him, but he did it. It was a very, very humbling thing to do. But by the end of the audition, it was really clear that Burt was the guy."[14] "I knew I could play him," said Reynolds. "I could make him likable and dangerous. There are very few people who can do that. I always played likable and dangerous. I had a persona. Unfortunately, my persona became bigger than my acting."[14] Reynolds accepted a salary of $350,000;[15] lower than what he had been paid earlier in his career.[16]

Moore's own daughter Rumer Willis, who was 7 years old when the film was released, played Erin's daughter Angela. As Moore explained, "she [Willis] wanted it so badly" that Moore asked that Willis be considered for the part. In reality, this required Willis to see Moore dancing topless, for a scene in which Angela sees Erin performing. However, Moore said that this was acceptable, as "[W]e don't shame the body, we encourage the body as something beautiful and natural, and my children bathe with me, and I walk around naked."[17]

The cast included some notable real-world strippers such as Pandora Peaks. "Talk about a happy set", said Bergman. "We were shooting in Miami for six months. It was a gas".[9]

Reshot ending

During test screenings, audiences objected to a scene at the end where Dilbeck becomes violent and attempts to rape Grant, holding a knife to her throat.[15] The scene was reshot five months later to make it funnier, causing a one-month delay in the release,[15][18] but test screenings also turned up less than favorable reactions.[11]


Striptease: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
Various Artists
ReleasedJune 25, 1996 (1996-06-25)
LabelCapitol Records

Striptease: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on June 25, 1996. While the soundtrack did not include every song heard in the film, a notable exclusion were most tracks Erin (Demi Moore's character) danced to in the film, which, aside from "If I Was Your Girlfriend" by Prince, were all sung by Annie Lennox (whether as part of the Eurythmics or solo). While "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was featured on the disc, "Money Can't Buy It", "Cold" and "Little Bird" were left off, as was "Missionary Man", which was played during the end credits. Furthermore, it excluded the song "(Pussy, Pussy, Pussy) Whose Kitty Cat Are You?" by the Light Crust Doughboys which won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song.

Striptease: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack[19]
1."Gimme Some Lovin'"The Spencer Davis Group2:58
2."Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car"Billy Ocean5:33
3."The Tide Is High"Blondie4:42
4."Expressway to Your Heart"The Soul Survivors2:16
5."Green Onions"Booker T. & the M.G.'s2:51
6."Love Child (Halaila)"Laladin3:18
7."I Live for You"Chynna Phillips3:45
8."You've Really Got a Hold on Me"The Miracles2:59
9."Mony Mony"Billy Idol5:03
10."If I Was Your Girlfriend"Prince3:46
11."I Hate Myself for Loving You"Joan Jett and the Blackhearts4:12
12."Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"Eurythmics3:36
13."Return to Me"Dean Martin2:24


Striptease was finally released in the United States on June 28, 1996, after a June 23 premiere in New York City. It opened in Australia, France and Germany in August, and Argentina, Italy, Bolivia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Japan in September.[20]

Nudity was heavily emphasized in advertisements.[21] The Motion Picture Association of America raised concerns regarding a poster that it felt revealed too much of Moore's naked body. A Castle Rock employee disagreed, saying "there are racier perfume ads."[18]

The previous year's film about nude dancers, Showgirls, was generally disliked, so filmmakers feared audiences would pre-judge Striptease on this basis. To avoid any association, advertisements were designed to make Striptease look more comedic than Showgirls, which was a drama.[18] Besides the subject matter, Striptease and Showgirls did have two notable connections. The choreography in these films was by the same person, Marguerite Derricks.[22] Both also featured performances by Rena Riffel, who plays a dancer in each. To promote the film, Moore appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and a Barbara Walters special. In both cases, she danced or otherwise exhibited her body.[18]


Critical response

Striptease holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 72 reviews, with an average score of 3.9/10. The critical consensus reads, "Striptease can't decide whether it is a lurid thriller or a sexy satire - which becomes a moot point as it proves disastrously incapable of pulling either off."[23] In the Carl Hiaasen book of the same name, upon which the movie was based, every character was premised upon being a source of amusement. In the movie, however, there was a major departure, as the main character, played by Moore, was meant to be portrayed differently. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times complimented some of the characters, but ultimately concluded the film failed because "all of the characters are hilarious except for Demi Moore's." He felt the drama surrounding the main character "throws a wet blanket over the rest of the party." Ebert also found the nudity not too sexy.[21] Leonard Maltin was harsher, writing in his book that the film was too depressing, and "Not funny enough, or dramatic enough, or sexy enough, or bad enough, to qualify as entertainment in any category."[24] Barbara Cramer concurred with Ebert that Moore's character was written too dramatically, compared to other characters. She said the film was predictable and would appeal mostly to "post-pubescent schoolboys or closet voyeurs." However, Cramer also cited Reynolds' "best role in years," and said Rhames was "worth the price of admission."[13]

Brian D. Johnson of Maclean's, who thought Moore's acting was terrible, predicted that despite Moore's financial success, her career depended on the success of this film and the film was "tacky, pretentious-and boring." This critic described Striptease as displaying Moore's vanity.[25] Dave Ansen of Newsweek, sharing Ebert's view on Moore's character, also claimed Striptease failed as a drama because it had no mystery, revealing the identity of its villains early. Moreover, the "damsel-in-distress angle generates zero tension."[26] Daniel P. Franklin, in his book Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States went so far as to call Striptease "the worst film ever made"[27] and stated "The film pays homage to Moore's surgical breast enhancement".[27] Nathan Rabin, reviewing the film for his series "My Year of Flops", described the film thus: "Moore's dour lead performance sabotages the film from the get-go. It's as if director Andrew Bergman told Moore she was acting in a serious drama about a struggling single mother...and then told everyone else in the cast that they were making a zany crime comedy filled with kooky characters, sleazy hustlers, dumbass opportunists, and outsized caricatures."[28]

Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B−" on scale of A+ to F.[29]

Box office

Striptease made $12,322,069 in its first weekend, behind The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy, Eraser starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which Moore voiced one of the main characters.[30] Ultimately, Striptease made $33,109,743 in the United States, and domestically it was the 47th highest-grossing film of 1996. It made $113,309,743 internationally,[3] having grossed £2,294,568 in the UK[31] and ¥102,419,500 in Japan.[32]

"That movie did better than almost anything I've been involved with," said Bergman. "All the subsidiary stuff was gigantic. People said, 'I wouldn't be caught dead seeing it,'’ and suddenly when it's available in a rental store, it's 'I'll get Schindler's List and Striptease. [laughs] It's like when you're a kid and you're buying condoms at a drug store, but you buy 12 tubes of toothpaste, too."[9]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Worst Film Won
Golden Raspberry Awards (1996) Worst Picture Mike Lobell Won [33]
Worst Director Andrew Bergman Won
Worst Actress Demi Moore (also for The Juror) Won
Worst Supporting Actor Burt Reynolds Nominated
Worst Screenplay Screenplay by Andrew Bergman;
Based on the book by Carl Hiaasen
Worst Screen Couple Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds Won
Worst Original Song "Pussy, Pussy, Pussy (Whose Kitty Cat Are You?)"
Music and Lyrics by Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery
Golden Raspberry Awards (1999) Worst Picture of the Decade Nominated
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Picture Mike Lobell Won [36]
Worst Actress Demi Moore (also for The Juror) Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Burt Reynolds Nominated
Yoga Awards Worst Foreign Actress Demi Moore Won

Home media

Striptease was released on home video by Columbia TriStar Home Video on May 27, 1997. Warner Home Video owned the rights to this movie on April 3, 2001.[37]


In 1997, Striptease made news again when it was shown in a fourth-grade class in Chicago, Illinois. The teacher claimed the students chose the film but drew criticism since the film was risqué. The violent 1996 film Scream was shown in the same school on the same day, causing further controversy.[38] In 2000 in Ireland, some viewers criticized the Raidió Teilifís Éireann for running Striptease. These viewers questioned the film's appropriateness and some considered it demeaning to women. The station felt it was not pornography and it was aired at night.[39][better source needed]

In 2003, Radioactive Films used a scene from Striptease featuring Moore nude in a video called Hollywood's Hottest. This raised a dispute as to whether the use of the scene qualified as fair use. A lawsuit was launched as a consequence.[40]


  1. ^ "STRIPTEASE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 18, 1996. Archived from the original on November 26, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
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  3. ^ a b Striptease Archived 2019-07-05 at the Wayback Machine, Box Office Mojo, URL accessed 13 August 2006.
  4. ^ Deming, Mark. "Striptease". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Daniel P. Franklin, Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States. Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield, 2006, ISBN 0742538095, (p. 203).
  6. ^ Joe Queenan, Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon: Joe Queenan's America Hyperion Books, 1999 ISBN 0786884088, (p.50 )
  7. ^ a b Schwartz, Terri (December 7, 2009). "Kristen Stewart's 'Welcome to the Rileys' Role Is Only The Latest Fictional Stripper in Hollywood". MTV. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. ^ Schickel, Richard (July 8, 1996). "Only the bare essentials". Time. Vol. 148, no. 3. pp. 66–8.
  9. ^ a b c d e Snetiker, Marc (9 January 2015). "Andrew Bergman on writing 'Blazing Saddles,' 'Striptease,' 'Honeymoon in Vegas' and more". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 December 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Data Stream". Next Generation. No. 24. Imagine Media. December 1996. p. 30.
  11. ^ a b c Cerio, Gregory; Ramsay, Carolyn (June 24, 1996). "Eye of the tiger". People. Vol. 45, no. 25. pp. 88–94.
  12. ^ a b Jacobs, A.J. (May 19, 1995). "HANGING ON THE MEAT RACK". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 26, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Barbara Cramer, "Film reviews," Films in Review, September/October 1996, Vol. 47 Issue 9/10, page 67-68.
  14. ^ a b Hirschberg, Lynn (June 16, 1996). "Deliverance". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on August 28, 2018. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Archerd, Army (May 24, 1996). "Miramax Nabs HBO's 'Nora'". Daily Variety. p. 1.
  16. ^ Fink, Mitchell (July 31, 1995). "The insider". People Magazine. Vol. 44, no. 5. p. 37.
  17. ^ From Correspondent Bill Tush, "Demi Moore puts her all into movie roles Archived 2006-08-27 at the Wayback Machine," June 28, 1996, web posted at: 7:20 a.m. EDT, New York (CNN), URL accessed August 13, 2006.
  18. ^ a b c d Nashawaty, Chris (April 26, 1996). "DEMI GOES UNDERCOVER: MOORE'S 'STRIPTEASE' BUMPS INTO TROUBLE". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  19. ^ "Striptease – Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  20. ^ "Release dates for Striptease Archived 2012-11-08 at the Wayback Machine" the Internet Movie Database, URL accessed 19 August 2006.
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  22. ^ Stanley Kauffmann, "Survivors," New Republic, 7/29/96, Vol. 215 Issue 5, pages 24-25.
  23. ^ "Striptease (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  24. ^ Leonard Maltin, ed., Leonard Maltin's 2002 Movie & Video Guide. A Signet Book, 2001, page 1323.
  25. ^ Brian D. Johnson, "A Demi-talented actor bares all," Maclean's 7/08/96, Vol. 109 Issue 28, page 49.
  26. ^ Dave Ansen, "`Striptease': Demi shows Moore," Newsweek, 7/08/96, Vol. 128 Issue 2, page 67.
  27. ^ a b Daniel P. Franklin, Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States. Lanahm, Rowman and Littlefield, 2006, ISBN 0742538095, (p. 203).
  28. ^ Rabin, Nathan (June 7, 2007). "My Year of Flops Case File # 39: Striptease" Archived 2017-08-09 at the Wayback Machine. The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  29. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  30. ^ WEEKEND BOX OFFICE June 28–30, 1996 Archived 2018-08-05 at the Wayback Machine, Box Office Mojo, URL accessed 19 August 2006.
  31. ^ "UK Top 100 Films Dec 1, 1995-Nov 29, 1996". Screen International. 26 January 1996. p. 61.
  32. ^ "Business Data for Striptease Archived 2005-09-08 at the Wayback Machine" The Internet Movie Database, URL accessed August 19, 2006.
  33. ^ Lister, David (March 25, 1997). "No Oscars, but Demi hits sour note with raspberries". The Independent. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  34. ^ Errico, Marcus (February 10, 1997). "Golden Raspberries Razz Demi". E! News. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  35. ^ "Demi Moore, 'Striptease' Win 6 Razzies for Hollywood's Worst". The Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. March 24, 1997. Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  36. ^ "The Stinkers 1996 Ballot." The Stinkers. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Striptease on Warner Home Video". Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  38. ^ Carla Koehl and Lucy Howard, "What ever happened to `Citizen Kane'? Archived 2015-09-08 at the Wayback Machine" Newsweek 06/02/97, Vol. 129 Issue 22, page 8.
  39. ^ "Viewers Slam Demi Movie," World Entertainment News Network, 13 December 2000.
  40. ^ "Hollywood Studios vs. Hollywood's Hottest," People, 9/22/2003, Vol. 60 Issue 12, page 30.
Awards Preceded byShowgirls Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture 17th Golden Raspberry Awards Succeeded byThe Postman Preceded byShowgirls Stinker Award for Worst Picture 1996 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Succeeded byBatman & Robin