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Based on a true crime story, the movie is about a wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart who kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her, and how she finagles her way out being convicted. Remade once as a movie, and as a Broadway musical. Written by
Jonah Falcon <email@example.com>
The Broadway play, "Chicago," which inspired this film, 1942's Roxie Hart (1942), and the Tony-award winning musical and Oscar-winning 2002 film, was based on a true story. The characters of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly were inspired by the real-life cases of two Chicago women -- Beaulah Annan and Belva Gaertner -- who each murdered their lovers in 1924. Both women were tried in separate cases, which became media sensations in Chicago, and both were acquitted. Playwright Maurine Dallas Watkins covered both trials as a reporter for the "Chicago Tribune," and adapted her experiences into the play, "Chicago." See more »
In this modern Amerikan city reside the Hart's, a young married couple, who adapt to the spirit of the big city. Herr Amos Hart works in a tobacco store and Frau Roxie Hart does absolute nothing but to be unfaithful to her husband with an old man. The old-timer accommodates her whims although this is coming nearly to an end. So when Frau Roxie hears this news; she, who is a bad, bad girl ( besides a peroxide blonde with no brains ... excuse this Herr Graf for such obvious remark ) kills her lover in her apartment.
Desperate over what she has done, she calls for help to her husband telling him that the old man tried to get advantage of her. Herr Hart who is a good man but not stupid at all, discovers what really happened in there. But his love for Roxie is so important to him that he decides to help her by taking the services of a famous, greedy and unscrupulous advocate ( excuse again this Herr Graf for such an obvious remark ); this in order to defend his wife from the death penalty. However, such favour has an expensive price 5.000 grand that obviously Herr Hart doesn't have.
During a visit to his greedy advocate, he finds out where he hides a lot of money in his bureau and during the night steals the money ( an honourable deed indeed, to rob an advocate ). Meanwhile Frau Roxie Hart's famous trial is nearly begun.
"Chicago", a film directed by Herr Frank Urson in the silent year of 1927, was based in a Broadway play which in turn was based on a true story ( occurring in a real city! ). Reminiscences of the original stage play in its primal concept can be seen in the film, when the director uses a few sets ( the Hart's apartment, the jail or the trial court ) in order to develop the story as it were different acts of a play. This is especially during the first part of the film during the dramatic development at the Hart's apartment and at the end of the movie during the trial. However, Herr Urson makes fairly good use of the proper characteristics of the cinema film narrative in "Chicago" by, constructing excellent visual metaphors ( the jury's feet responding Frau Roxie charms, the tabloid paper going down the gutter ). There are also important and sibylline sexual remarks that are present during the whole film (ah, that garter bell belt). And let's not forget the social realism that can be seen in the film ( Chicago daily life or the Hart's apartment ). Especially outstanding is the power of the yellow press in those old days ( and unfortunately in these modern days too ); the sensationalist journals build up stories on innocent celebrities that certainly have few merits. Naturally this happened with the madcap Roxie, a situation depicted in "Chicago" in a raw and effective way.
Another merit of "Chicago" is the combination of comedy and drama in equal terms highlighting Frau Roxie's stupidity, selfishness and easy living in contrast with her self-sacrificing husband who suffers the acts and nonsense of his wife. He's a man who honestly cares about and loves his wife enough to steal and lie for her although this affection and emotion is not returned.
Starring as the couple are two excellent and not well-known actors who handle their roles considerably well. Herr Victor Varconi as Herr Amos Hart is the lovingly and humiliated husband. Frau Phyllis Haver shines and takes all the credit in the picture thanks to her brilliant performance as Roxie Hart, a madcap, simple and selfish modern girl who has no scruples combined with no brains ... who will have a moment of glory as a famous killer thanks to the help of the yellow press ... who will meet her end on the end of a rope a woman who lives her own life caring for no one except the money.
"Chicago" is an excellent silent movie for all those reasons mentioned above by this German count. Don't forget also a modern one added recently featuring a superb musical score compiled by Herr Rodney Sauer and "The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra". They capture the spirit and mood of the roaring twenties of the last century.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must to return to the Schloss from the Windy City.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com
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