The scorching drama that ruined Elizabeth Berkley’s career


On paper, the 1995 drama “Showgirls” sounded like a sure-fire success. He brought together the team behind “Basic Instinct,” director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, and brought a beloved former teenage actress ready to take on adult roles.

But the film, which follows Elizabeth Berkley Nomi’s character as she climbs the Las Vegas hierarchy to become a showgirl, ended up being a flop. “Showgirls” ended up making a lot less than the production budget at box office and received frankly scathing reviews for the unintentionally hilarious dialogue, absurd tone, and geometrically impossible sex scenes. In a typical 1996 review, William Thomas de Empire wrote that the film was “about as exciting as intricately choreographed naked cattle.”

Verhoeven, at least, continued to make films such as “The Hollow Man,” while Berkley was quickly abandoned by her agent and was unable to land another film (via the Los Angeles Times). The story has a somewhat happy ending, as “Showgirls” has been rightly adopted as a camp classic over the years, and Berkley has become an icon for her role as Nomi. However, she recognized how difficult it was for her upon her release. “1995 was such a different time, when taking such risks was not accepted. They were laughed at. They were publicly humiliated. Being a young girl at the center of it all was quite enough. difficult, ”she said during a 20th edition. – anniversary screening of the film, via TooFab.