To try and kick-start her show-business career, our heroine admits to a Chicago murder. But although Cook County don't seem to let dames swing, and even with top slippery lawyer Billy Flynn... See full summary »
To try and kick-start her show-business career, our heroine admits to a Chicago murder. But although Cook County don't seem to let dames swing, and even with top slippery lawyer Billy Flynn, it's all something of a gamble. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The storyline had to be changed in this version in order to placate the Hays Commission code; both the silent (Chicago (1927)) and modern (Chicago (2002)) versions are more faithful to the original 1926 play. See more »
"To all the beautiful women in the world who have shot their husbands full of holes..."
Comedy fracas from Maurine Watkins' play "Chicago" (filmed previously in 1927, and remade as a musical in 2002) has gum-snapping, would-be showgirl Roxie Hart, wife to a real schlub in jazz-era Chicago, talked into putting herself at the center of an apartment shooting--because, after all, Chicago courts are sweet on dames. Satire of legal justice (and the theatricality of the law and the press) is pungent and funny without being terribly memorable. Ginger Rogers is very good in the lead, yet winking director William Wellman keeps repeating the same gags over and over; while frantically trying to stay one step ahead of the audience, Wellman tramples all comers--sapping Rogers' good will too soon. A few wonderful stand-outs remain: the jailhouse dance with the reporters, the lively courtroom antics, and the clever final tag. The story is framed in awkward flashback, the sub-plot about moll Two Gun Gertie is introduced and then dropped, and there's a semi-romance that never rises to a boil, but the film still has some big laughs and a lot of energy. **1/2 from ****
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