Before Magic Mike XXL: 7 Male-Stripper Movies We Can’t Forget

In case you’ve been living in a cave without a wireless connection, you know that Magic Mike XXL opens July 1, and you better believe we’ve got our tickets. We’ve been dying to see even more skin from Channing Tatum, Matt Bomber, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez than we saw in the original film three years ago.

It’s been a long time since male strippers have captured the cinematic zeitgeist. Too long, really. Partially it’s because women realized how cheesy it was to have Zorro shake his blade in your face. And partially because of the death of that campy pop-culture staple, the made-for-TV movie.

But back in the 1980s, when male studio heads finally realized women possessed sexuality, they green-lighted some real gems for fans of male pulchritude. These flicks were usually thrillers — the idea being danger is sexy — and always aimed at red-blooded American women. (Us fags had to appropriate them for our own use.)

By the turn of the new millennium, society was so comfortable objectifying men, that the admitted corny genre became unnecessary. Still, we have our memories — and blessed YouTube. After the jump, check out Queerty’s roundup of seven of our fave male-stripper movies.


For Ladies Only

Though this made-for-TV movie originally aired in 1981, it’s all about the Disco Era, with Trapper John hunk Gregory Harrison playing a wet-behind-the-ears actor from Iowa looking for fame in the big bad city. He gets a job as a waiter at an all-male stripper palace, Club Max, and ends up on stage. (Do they ever not?) Stardom, such as it is, enables Harrison to embark on a series of wild adventures, including romances with Lee Grant and Louise Lasser. Yes, One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest Nurse Rached. Mary Hartman herself.



A backhanded insult to feminism, Ladykillers features Marilu Henner as a ballsy police detective whose hunky boyfriend/lieutenant (Melrose Place‘s Thomas Calabro) goes undercover at a male strip club to find a sadistic killer.

This made-for-TV clunker from 1988 never came out on DVD, and VHS copies are rarer than a chest hair on Matt Bomer. An episode of Murder She Wrote has more erotic tension, but Calabro was quite fetching in a g-string. (Apologies for the lousy image quality—take our word for it, he was fine.) Campy turns by Susan Blakely and Lesley-Anne Down (as the delightfully named “Morganna Ross”) are just icing on a big slab of beefcake.

The Chippendales Murder (2000)

Most people associate Chippendales with gyrating himbos and screaming housewives, but there’s blood on that g-string: This based-on-true-story flick reveals how Indian-American businessman Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Lost’s Naveen Andrews) started the wildly successful revue and then hired someone to knock off his troublesome choreographer. Heavy stuff — but this raunchy striptease by Victor Webster will soothe your troubled soul.


Just Can’t Get Enough (2002)

This 2002 drama, and we use the term loosely, treads the same territory as The Chippendales Murder, but focuses more on the partying lifestyle the dancers were seduced into. Think of it as Boogie Nights meets The Thunder From Down Under.


Summer School

Granted, this Mark Harmon vehicle isn’t really a stripper movie — it’s more like Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets Mr. Holland’s Opus.  But we just had to include this scene with criminally hot Ken Olandt as Larry Kazamias, a student whose nocturnal activities are killing his academic life.

The Full Monty

We included this 1997 British flick—which inspired a successful Broadway musical—because it’s a damn good movie. But, really, would you stuff bills in any of these guys’ pants? Here ecdysiasm is just a plot device to get the guys — out-of-work British steel workers emasculated by their failures—to emotionally reveal themselves. Great movie, but when it comes to the stripping, fellas, you can leave more than your hat on.


A Night in Heaven

We saved the final slot for the Citizen Kane of stripper movies. It’s 1983 and The Blue Lagoon‘s Christopher Atkins is Ricky, a lithe college student who moonlights as an exotic dancer. When his teacher (Lesley Ann Warren) accidentally catches Ricky’s provocative show, it sparks an attraction that leads to erotic passion, loss of innocence and tragedy. (Well, that’s what happens to cougars!) Would you believe director John G. Avildsen also helmed Rocky and Karate Kid? Watch Atkins seduce Warren below.


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  • timncguy

    Queerty FAILS again. Louise Lasser had nothing to do with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. That was Louise Fletcher. Louise Lasser was “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”.

    And, the costume worn bu Thomas Calabrio was not a G-String, it was a speedo-type of undergarment. Look at your own picture, his ass isn’t hanging out. It’s covered by the full back of the garment, there is no “string” up his butt.

    Does anyone read any of your articles for accuracy before just throwing them up on the web site?

  • Nick

    How could any gay man confuse Fletcher and Lasser? Sexuality fail.

  • Daez

    @Nick: My guess would be that they were simply born after 1960.

  • bruce

    Magic Mike is completely NOT gay-friendly. There is no male homosexuality at all except for some passing reference. There is no male-male relationship or sexuality – nothing.

    However, the director Steven Soderbergh – in what appears to be your typical liberal homophobic double standard way – includes a scene where a man and woman have had sex with a woman and enjoyed it. Imagine if it were the other way around, with a man and woman saying they enjoyed having sex with a man! Wouldn’t get past Hollywood’s selective homophobes.

    Don’t got and see it. It is NOT gay-friendly in the slightest.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I remember watching “For Ladies Only” with my oldest sister when it first aired. How gay is that?

    And of course, “One Night In Heaven” was my first taste of male nudity on late night TV. Thank you CityTV! It was breathtaking! I wish I still had that tape.

    I’m sure in 30 years, a new generation of gay men will be sitting around laughing at “Magic Mike”.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    Agreed with what you wrote. For all claims that gays control Hollywood, I haven’t found it any less anti-gay than the rest of America. And considering how many studio heads donated money to Meg Whitman’s California office bid, it’s safe to say that the people who really run Hollywood are as anti-gay as any flyover state bigot.


  • LadyL

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Around the time of the 1995 release of the film version of “Jeffrey,” play and screenwriter Paul Rudnick gave an interview to Movieline magazine (when, alas, it still was a magazine). Among other things, Rudnick ruminated on the rampant internalized homophobia of Hollywood, likening it to the self-loathing and fear of the Jewish film moguls of the Golden (and deeply anti-Semitic) Era. (Unfortunately the Rudnick article doesn’t seem to have been posted online, or at least I haven’t yet found a link to it.) Rudnick’s observations are nearly two decades old, yet it does seem that fear and acquiescence continue to rule mainstream moviemaking.

  • ken

    yall forgot the 1999 movie “Trick”

  • Marc

    I remember the nudity in One night in Heaven as well on late night Canadian Tv. its funny that tv here back then did not have any problems showing Penises. I remember when CBC would show penises at 7 pm.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    Yep! Showcase was also a great venue for male nudity. What happened?

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    Great comment, LadyL. There really does seem to be a “don’t rock the boat” mentality among Hollywood gays.

  • Barca

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Very true. Common knowledge that studio execs are still very homophobic, though most everyone else in Hollywood is supportive.

    Side note, I feel like one of the few that has no desire to see Magic Mike. Not when it was announced and not now. Have fun y’all…

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    Well my hubby and I will be going tomorrow and expect to enjoy this movie a lot. The New York Times gives it a great review.

    I am not sure how a movie about straight guys stripping in front of women is anti-gay; and yes, I know many male strippers at women’s bars are gay, so I’ll wait to see if and how they tackle it.

    Way too many of you act as though this is the one and only movie opportunity to make some sort of statement of gay life; its just a movie , though, and its intention is to provide a couple of hours of almost naked hot guys. You’ll making much ado about nothing.

  • wayne

    You forgot Perfect, with John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis. There’s a scene where John Travolta goes to a Chippendales club for a Rolling Stone article, and they keep him sequestered from the ladies like a cloistered nun because they can’t have gayness at a male strip club.

  • Chris


    Trick was a really cute film.

  • wayne

    Does anyone remember the sweeps episode of CHiPs with the stripper cop who looked like Ponch?

  • Carl 1

    I don’t get the dissing of The Full Monty cast. Yes, the guys aren’t models, but that’s the whole point. They are just ordinary guys, hard up and out of work. At least Queerty got it right in saying its a great movie, because it is. It wouldn’t have worked had the guys all been super buff and toned.

  • DuMaurier

    Maybe I haven’t been following this Magic Mike story closely enough, but I’m really not getting some of the hostility I’ve seen. It’s not “gay-friendly”, there’s no “gay content”? My impression is that it’s a movie about male strippers who perform for heterosexual women–why would anyone expect gay “content” or think it’s homophobic that there isn’t any?

  • Steven Housman

    I must say, for entertainment “news,” I’m constantly baffled by the numerous errors on this website. I am an entertainment reporter and the first order is to do your research and fact-check, unless you’re Fox News, which in that case, those requirements are all thrown out the window.

    C’mon, Queerty! If you want to be taken seriously, get your act together. BTW – Are all the writers and editors in their teens and early twenties? I feel as these articles are school reports more than actual journalism.

  • Tom

    @Carl 1: Besides, I personally think Mark Addy is kinda hot myself. Woof.:)

  • Geoff


    Many of the people who comment here are either 12 or not very bright. Or both. Equating the absence gay content with not gay friendly is sometimes what passes for logic around here.
    “Mike” has also received great reviews in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter and at McClatchy.
    As I stated on the last “Mike” post, I believe this film will make serious money (even if they have to count the overseas take) I’ll be looking forward the numbers as soon as they are released. Um, Spike, for you I’ll saute some fresh crow. And you might want to read my response to your thoughts on Soderbergh.

  • Bryan James

    Queerty managed to find all the white stripper movies, the best strangely being Summer School and A Night in Heaven. I recommend Lino Brocka’s Macho Dancer, Burlesk King, and Midnight Dancers for starters.

  • Lano

    I’ve got Ladykillers on DVD. You can find it online if you search hard enough…that movie convinced me of my gayity.

  • Jaroslaw

    Anyone know where you can get “For Ladies Only” on DVD? Many thanks.

  • Gus

    @bruce: Get a grip. It IS a chick flick. We do not need two characters to be gay , fall in love, run off to Iowa to get gay married, travel to China to adopt a baby daughter, and live happy-ever-after…….just so we have a reason to justify watching a film.

  • NsOmNiAc

    Matt Bomer not Matt Bomber … SERIOUSLY ?!?!?!!!!

  • Steven Housman

    The incorrect spelling, the incorrect grammar, the incorrect facts, etc., are just overwhelming on this site. It’s ironic that I received an email from Queerty.com today to support them. Their final sentence was, “So help us bring you even more agenda-free news, entertainment and snark.” Please. I would vote for them if they could hire some real journalists and give the site a complete overhaul. I really do wonder what the median age is that is employed by this site.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @ken: Ah but “Trick” is a genuinely GAY stripper movie.

    And truly wonderful

  • Chuck

    What about Alex Rodriguez from CSI Miami? He is not invisible in the movie

  • Making up stuff is fun!

    @Chuck: Alex Rodriguez is a baseball player. You’re thinking of Adam Rodriguez.

  • Gene in L.A.

    @bruce: As long as there are hot men showing skin it’s gay-friendly. Not every movie has to have a gay relationship. Most of the strippers who do it for women are straight anyway. Ebert likes the movie. That’s good enough for me.

  • Chris

    @bruce: Ok, first of all, just because a movie includes heterosexual sex, that doesn’t make it not gay friendly, that’s an idiotic thing to say.

    What are all the haters of this movie saying now that it has an 80% rating on rotten tomatoes, had great pre sales, and the tracking for the weekend is excellent. Still gonna keep up with what a hateful fail this movie is?

  • Stewart

    Why on earth was Magic Mike promoted on gay websites? There was nothing gay-friendly about it! No sensuality between any of the men, no relationships between any of the men…it was a completely gay-free zone.

    Save your money and go see another movie. Magic Mike is far from gay-friendly.

  • stevie B

    The funny thing is that there is more female nudity than male nudity in Magic Mike. The male stripping scenes are extremely brief and often darkly-lit. It’s as if Steven the director, Steven Soderbergh, was unwilling to have his movie appeal to gay men to any great degree.

    It’s as if he and his producers got together and just added different components according to a check-list with the over-riding requirement of “don’t make it too appealing to gay men”.

    Overall, incredibly disappointing.

  • Stewart

    I wasn’t expecting a huge gay or bisexual male theme but it would have been nice if the director had added a nice sub-plot about gay or bisexual men. I personally know 4 men who strip for women and 3 of them call themselves bisexual. Magic Mike would have you believe there are no gay or bisexual men in the business.

    The whole movie just has that air of hypocrisy about it. A friend of mine who went to see Ted says that Ted is funny and gay-friendly, albeit coarse. I think I should have gone to see Ted instead.

  • James

    I don’t know if Magic Mike is homophobic but it looks to be just another movie about straight guys scoring chicks with about 3 minutes of male stripping scenes thrown in.

  • Chris

    @Stewart: Again, gay friendly does not mean that there is gay content in the movie, any more than a gay friendly hotel has pictures of naked men in the rooms, as compared to an actual gay guest house, which just might. it simply means that there is content that some segment of the gay population may enjoy. Period.

  • Analog

    @ken: Trick is one of my favorite films ever. :)

  • ross sayer

    How many men and youngsters will tak steroids to gt a sexy body especially actors who use them to enhance themselves for a part in a movie or tv show. mostly it is the producers as they want them to look attractiv no fat ugly or hair as they never can get a women to love them so they have to go without for the rest of their lives. Women love to yelly whistle and scream at the good looking guys with e nice body and god looks but when a guy is ugly he gets verbal and physical bused for it.

  • Geo

    The reason Magic Mike is not gay friendly is not that there’s an absence of any gay material– there IS actually a scene involving gayness, it’s just that the scene is one of Hollywood’s typical “gay panic is hiii-larious” scenes, where one of the stripper’s sisters freaks out because she thinks her brother might be gay (because he’s shaving his legs, etc.). She refers to it in that scene BTW as “sexual preference.”

    So why “Magic Mike” is not gay friendly is because if the director/producers etc. were absolutely determined to make this a film that didn’t include even any small gay subplot, character, etc., then why didn’t they also exclude yet another of Hollywood’s umpty-millionth “ohmigod this guy might be gay” jokes?

    They’re NOT pretending that gays don’t exist in the male stripper world, they’re just suggesting that if the idea that someone might be gay surfaces, it’s inherently hilarious. It’s 2012, so I’d say if you’re gonna include yet another joke of this type– particularly in a movie that’s specifically about male sexuality– you damn well better at least also include some other scene that balances it in some way, or, yeah, you have a distinctly “gay unfriendly” film.

  • James M. Martin

    “A Night in Heaven” bombed at the box office and was a critical flop, but Chris Adkins by then had a gay cult based on his quiet, boy-next-door manner, his charm, and his good looks: he was introduced to us by an out gay filmmaker in the film, “The Blue Lagoon,” where he appeared throughout either nude or semi-nude, and by the time he made “Heaven,” his body had matured to perfection, if he was not much more sure of himself as an actor. He was Brad Pitt before Brad made “Thelma and Louise.” But he was somehow more “wholesome” and would never have done the Pitt snicker. Chris Adkins was hot.

  • Chris

    @Geo: Isn’t it time we maybe stopped looking for things to be offended by. Right now politicians are desperately trying to take away our rights, 40% of homeless youth are lgbt, and many communities don’t protect any of our rights. And you spend your time trying to find a single line in a stripper movie to take offense.

    It’s a movie, the people are characters, people who are homophobic exist, portraying them in a movie is not a homophobic act. The way the sister reacted was in CHARACTER, it was not a political statement.

    There is nothing not gay friendly about this movie, unless you watch it determined to find something at which to be offended.

  • ross sayer

    Just again from new zealand – we have a television soap opera in new zealand Shortland street a few years ago the actor Tim alme was in th programme playing Greg Feney a whil after he appeared in it – A woman wrote into our tv guide and said he was ugly and oozes
    with slim. But in real life he actually is married with two children to actress Katie Wolfe and also has an older son by a previous relationship. We do have gay actors in new zealand ad gay famouse people who appeared on tv and movies but they keep it secret perhaps our two well known gay people are tamati Coffey who is gay and marrid another man. also David Hartnell who writes about hollywood trivia and has met many well known celebrities like Phyliss Diller who must be well into her 90’s.

  • Chris

    @Spike: Well as of right now it is projected to be #2 with an opening weekend of 43 million….are you going to try to spin that into a fail?

  • Comixbear

    @Carl 1: A-Men! I liked the entire group who stripped in the Full Monty and would gladly find some bills for any of them!

  • Carl 1


    “why do they call you horse?”


    “…………. Gentlemen, the lunch box has landed.”

  • Wendykahn

    I will not pay to see this homophobic male stripper film. This is a bullshit film about the male stripper scene and is too clean – the real deal is male strippers are hustlers and they fuck around with men too. They do side jobs on the side with men to take care of their needs and wants. Men pay more than women…

    Considering how Channing Tatum made it to the top in Hollywood – rumors has it he had some top hollywood men in bed that’s how his rise to fame happened. Always Hollywood sugar coating everything when Hollywood has the biggest Hollywood male stars sucking cock to get to fame. DONT WATCH THIS SHIT this is crap.

  • Christ Goldman

    What’s with the hate for Full Monty? I love Queerty as the ‘idiotic comic relief’ in my LGBT News section of Google Reader, but the body shame has got to stop. Bullying is a major part in gay teen suicide, but I remember when I was a suicidal gay teen and most of what I was tormented by wasn’t the bullying from homophobes (although in SW Virginia, it was omnipresent and stifling) but the body-shaming and even bullying from other gay kids and from the gay media. I’m not fat enough to be considered a bear, not muscular enough to be considered a jock, and not skinny enough to be considered a twink. All three communities shamed (and still shame) my body and that in-bullying hurt (and still hurts) so much more than most of the out-bullying I suffered. I don’t care what homophobes think about me, but you’re my own goddamn people.

    “But, really, would you stuff bills in any of these guys’ pants?”
    “but when it comes to the stripping, fellas, you can leave more than your hat on.”

    This is bullying and body-shaming and it isn’t funny. Please just fucking stop alienating average-bodied people.

  • Gene in L.A.

    @Wendykahn: SOME male strippers are hustlers. Your post in its categoric put-down and your pity-party is one of the more self-homophobic on this thread.

  • ross leonard sayer

    I would not like magis mike as thy all took antibiotic sterods to get a body like that how we all wish we all had a nice body and heaps f sheilas have sex I would be a funny world if all the men look exactly like Mathew Mc Caughney or even any of the others take a look at the movie universal soldiers when al of them took steroids. even in fireman calendars and other calendars all the men look attractive and nice body and take steroids That is what Adolph Hitlet and the nazi party were trying to make a prfect world they tried to round up
    the not perfect people – Jews Homosexual lesbian mental defective people Seven day Adventist
    Murders russian sldiers and then they tried to study Identical twins to try and learn about cloneing people just like other places they do especially in the USA when A Man donates his sperm he must not be ugly as they do not want ugly nanies.

  • ShowMeGuy

    @ken: Not really, they provided a link to a video clip of it and listed it as “Just Can’t Get enough”. HAHAHA

  • MarionPaige

    I don’t know that Magic Mike per se can be labeled homophobic because, what kind of gay men would be interested in seeing it? There is at least one website featuring male strippers (from Stock bar in Canada) stripping and having sex, why would any gay man be excited over Magic Mike?

    What is offensive is this pimping of this infamous women / gays demographic apparently by gay media. This argument is that women and gay men have the same interests and that women and gay men together constitute this massive audience that can make a movie.

    The thing is that some gay bloggers are so far gone they apparently can’t even see how offensive it is to gay men for someone to claim that gay men are automatically interested in whatever is “interesting” to women.

  • lykeitiz

    @Steven Housman: Preach it, Brother! I am constantly stunned by the lack of editing on this site. The graphics & page layout are great, but once you start reading…..look out!

    I do more fact-checking when I’m just posting in the comments section…….and I can spell! I once commented jokingly about Queerty not actually having editors, and the comment never posted. I tried 3 times.

    So, they are out there……they are watching OUR content……just not their own.

  • stranded

    That scene in Summer School blew my prepubescent mind. They showed that movie all the time in the mid 90s, I’d watch it all the time. Well it would depend on whether i knew if that scene was shown yet. lol. i’ve completely forgotten about it though.

    I agree about Magic Mike. I knew it was going to be poring fluff, and after watching it on HBO i my theory was confirmed. What i wanted was Players Club, but with guys. That movie, though campy now, was pretty dramatic and covered so many different highs and lows of the stripping business.

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