Steve Rogers is a sickly young man who has always been bullied in the streets of 1940's Brooklyn because of his weight. He applies for World War II military duty in an attempt to toughen up but is rejected as 'unfit for duty' because of his frailness. Steve isn't put off, however and attempts to enlist again, despite dissuasion from his friend, 'Bucky' Barnes.
The film opens on Mrs. Henderson, played by the indomitable Judi Dench as an imperviously imperious lady of vast wealth and even vaster arrogance, dealing with all the troublesome nonsense of burying her husband. Having spent most of her life in India, she seems at odds in prewar London, with the money to do practically whatever she wants but no patience for the typical pastimes of the upper-class widow (needlepoint, charities, and so on). On a lark, she decides to buy the decrepit Windmill Theater and is well into refurbishing it before realizing she doesn't really know what kind of shows she'll put on. That's where Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) comes in. A crusty old showbiz type with nice suits, big cigars, and even bigger ideas, Van Damm realizes what he's up against when Henderson announces to him, "Of course you're Jewish - look at you!"
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