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 »
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
1896, Montmartre: the Can-Can, the dance in which the women lift their skirts, is forbidden. Nevertheless Simone has it performed every day in her night club. Her employees use their female... See full summary »
Colonel Ryder, the publisher of a magazine, dies while on vacation. Tony, his swinging nephew, inherits the magazine and takes over. Presently, the magazine is planning to expand and to do ... See full summary »
American Anna Vorontosov teaches in a rural school on New Zealand's North Island. Her class of younger students is comprised largely of Maoris. She feels that western methods are not the ... 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>
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 »
There ain't no use flappin' your wings, 'cause we are stuck in the flypaper of life!
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.
17 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?