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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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 »
Bob Fosse's first opportunity to direct a movie was the 1969 film version of his own Broadway musical SWEET CHARITY, a musical based on the film NIGHTS OF CABERIA, with a book by Neil Simon and music by Cy Coleman and Doothy Fields. The story is best described by the film's subtitle: "The Adventures of a Girl Who Wants to be Loved". Shirley MacLaine, taking over the title role from Fosse's wife and muse, Gwen Verdon, plays Charity Hope Valentine, a pathetic thing who has worked as a taxi dancer in the Fandango Ballroom for eight years and has basically been a doormat to men all her life. As her friend Nickie (Chita Rivera) explains, "You run you heart like a hotel...you got men checking in and checking out all the time." The story is told in a series of amusing and touching vignettes which lead to Charity meeting the possible man of her dreams, a milquetoast named Oscar Lindquist (John McMartin, reprising his Broadway role). This film died at the box office in 1969 and I'm not sure why except for the fact that this was a period when musicals just weren't being made anymore and that's a shame because the movie is extremely entertaining, thanks to the bravura performance by MacLaine as Charity and the extraordinary choreography by Bob Fosse. I can watch this movie over and over again just to watch the dance numbers. The raw sensuality of "Hey Big Spender"...the angular, disjointed and pointed moves of "Rich Man's Frug"...the Broadway exuberance of "There's Gotte be Something Better Than This", exuberantly danced by MacLaine, Rivera, and Paula Kelly...the brilliant jazzy classic Fosse moves of "Rhythm of Life"..and the pure joy of "I'm a Brass Band." All of Fosse's choreographic signatures are present here...the hats, the gloves, the turned in feet, the disjointed body parts, the expressionless dancer faces, it's all here to be watched and studied and marveled over. For dance purists and Fosse devotees, SWEET CHARITY is a must.
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