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 ...
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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 »
The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early-1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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