Taxi dancer Charity continues to have Faith in the human race despite apparently endless disappointments at its hands, and Hope that she will finally meet the nice young man to romance her ... See full summary »
Liza Minnelli stars in a television concert directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. She performs such songs as the title number, "Liza with a 'Z'" and "Son of a Preacher Man". The concert ... See full summary »
Peggy and Bill are high society lovebirds, but their marriage plans are put on hold while Peggy spends most of her summer straightening out her wayward parents and her unlucky-in-love ... See full summary »
Paul Robaix is a well known director, married to Lucy Dell, a famous movie star. Robaix wants to make a movie of the classic play Madame Butterfly, but he doesn't want his wife to play the ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson
Sally was an orphan who got her name from the telephone exchange where she was abandoned as a baby. In the orphanage, she discovered the joy of dancing and has been practicing since. ... See full summary »
John Francis Dillon
Joe E. Brown
Ellory Bugs has offered a huge donation to his old alma mater, Taylor Tech, which is to be paid only if his son, Jimmie "Doodle" Bugs, becomes a football hero. But "Doodle" tips the scales ... See full summary »
Taxi dancer Charity continues to have Faith in the human race despite apparently endless disappointments at its hands, and Hope that she will finally meet the nice young man to romance her away from her sleazy life. Maybe, just maybe, handsome Oscar will be the one to do it. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The original Broadway production of "Sweet Charity" opened at the Palace Theater on January 29, 1966, ran for 608 performances and was nominated for the 1966 Tony Award for the Best Musical. John McMartin reprises his role in the movie. See more »
In the "Aloof" movement of "The Rich Man's Frug," two of the male principal dancers walk down the stairs to light a woman's cigarette, while the others dance behind them. The background choreography in this shot leads directly to the triangle formation of the next shot, and the two men are now in the middle of the group, although there was no time for them to reach that position. See more »
Sure, Bob Fosse sometimes indulges in trendy late-60's stylistic touches like freeze-frames and crash-zooms. Some of the jokes by Neil Simon are corny, and Shirley MacLaine can be a little hard to take sometimes. The film also suffers from the bloated, over-produced quality that infected most 60's major studio musicals.
The dull non-musical scenes are a chore to sit through, but when one of Fosse's amazing production numbers begins, Sweet Charity soars into the sublime. Fosse was quite simply a genius, and the great showcase numbers such as "Hey Big Spender" and "Rich Man's Frug" are as brilliant as any dance numbers ever put on film.
Shifting configurations of dancers, contorted body poses, dance steps that are by turns awkward and graceful, a studied contrast between clustering dancers and separating dancers -- it is hard to describe the magic of the Pompeii Club sequence. I've always felt that Fosse's choreography has the same sense of space and volume as Cubist painting.
Fosse's camera placement and camera movement capture an ideal "in-the-round" feeling of choreographed numbers that one cannot experience in the theater. For a first-time film director, Fosse revealed an amazing facility for the form. Usually theater directors don't take to the medium of film as quickly as Fosse did. Usually, theater directors make visually unexciting films that feel stage-bound. Not Fosse -- Sweet Charity, despite some flaws, doesn't play like a filmed stage play, it has the visual panache of Fellini and Godard.
Sweet Charity was just a warm-up, Fosse's personal film school at Universal's expense, before he truly mastered the form of film-making with the classic Cabaret.
15 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?