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Hopefuls try out before a demanding director for a part in a new musical.

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(screenplay), (concept: musical "A Chorus Line") | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Blevins ...
Mark Tobori
...
Diana Morales
...
Connie Wong
...
Kim
...
Richie Walters
...
Zach
...
Paul San Marco
Tony Fields ...
Al DeLuca
Nicole Fosse ...
Kristine Evelyn Erlich-DeLuca
Vicki Frederick ...
Sheila Bryant
...
Beatrice Ann 'Bebe' Benson
...
Judy Monroe
Pam Klinger ...
Maggie Winslow
...
Val Clarke
...
Larry
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Storyline

A director is casting dancers for a large production. Large numbers of hopefulls audition, hoping to be selected. Throughout the day, more and more people are eliminated, and the competition gets harder. Eventually, approximately a dozen dancers must compete for a few spots, each hoping to impress the director with their dancing skill. But, is this really what the director is looking for? Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One singular sensation See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Musical

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chorus Line  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,832,625 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lea Thompson revealed in an interview with Nerdist Podcast that she was offered the role of Kristine DeLuca but turned it down to appear in Back to the Future (1985). See more »

Goofs

Several of Larry's dance directions were repeated as background noise behind other scenes. One example is during the opening credits when the auditioning dancers are lined up outside the theater Larry's voice is heard counting down and making calls such as "walk walk walk" and he gives these exact same calls in the next scene. Another is when Cassie is reminiscing in the dressing rooms Larry can be heard saying, "Make it strong, guys" when he has just said this in an earlier shot of the auditions. See more »

Quotes

Connie: Connie Wong. Always Wong, never Wight.
[Zach looks up]
Connie: Bad joke. I was born in Chinatown, lower east side.
Zach: How old are you?
Connie: I was born December 5th, four thousand six hundred and forty two, the Year of the Chicken.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Rocketship X-M (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Dance for You
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Ed Kleban
Performed by Alyson Reed
See more »

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User Reviews

A classic example of how to do everything wrong in a stage-to-film adaptation
2 February 2003 | by (San Marcos, CA) – See all my reviews

Richard Attenborough's totally ordinary and exasperating screen version of Michael Bennett's brilliant stage musical "A Chorus Line" is a classic example of how to do everything wrong in a stage-to-film adaptation.

First off, hire a director who has absolutely no idea how to stage a musical or judge musical talent. Allow him to hire a cast based on looks and youth as opposed to actual talent, update the setting from 1975 to 1985, then let him throw out the original production's ground-breaking choreography as being "dated" and hire the "Flashdance" choreographer to create '80's style dance routines that will look ridiculously dated 20 years later. And don't worry if the director doesn't even understand the meaning and purpose of the original show; after all, the show really isn't about aging dancers hoping for one more show so they can cling onto their dreams for a while longer. No, no, no. As he said at the time, the show is about "kids trying to break into show business." As a result, he doesn't have to even think about hiring the original cast as they are "now in their thirties and forties." (Note: all this is recounted in the book "On the Line" by Thommie Walsh and Baayork Lee.)

Then, to top it off, allow him to change the focus from the dancers themselves to a corny backstage love story between Zach the choreographer and Cassie, the fallen "star," who has come back to beg her old flame for a job. Finally, take the show's showstopper, the beautiful and unforgettable "What I did for Love" away from Diana, give it to Cassie, and turn it from an anthem about giving up your life for your dreams into a love song to a jerk. And make sure you cast a star like Michael Douglas as Zach and then cut to a reaction shot of him a dozen times during the dance numbers even if it is incredibly distracting. After all, people came to see him and not the dancing.

I could go on and on, but why bother? The truth is, with a couple of exceptions, nobody in this cast sings or dances convincingly on a Broadway level, and my bet is most wouldn't make it on the dinner theater circuit either. The exceptions? Vicki Frederick is a hoot as Sheila, the senior (and most cynical) of the dancers. Gregg Burge has a fun dance solo in the original tune "Surprise, Surprise," but then they ruin it by having him joined by the rest of the cast. And Alyson Reed is very good and convincing as Cassie, the star. But why, oh why did they replace Cassie's brilliant solo "The Music and the Mirrors" with the terrible original tune "Let Me Dance With You?" This and the bowdlerization of "What I Did For Love" alone sink the film. Not to mention that the show's other showstopper "Dance Ten Looks Three" is ruined by the terrible performance of Audrey Landers, who was obviously hired due to her gorgeous looks rather than her obvious lack of talent.

Any way, "A Chorus Line" is an major disappointment, especially now that Rob Marshall and company have shown us how to adapt a musical with his marvelous film version of "Chicago" which seems headed for a Best Picture Oscar. Ironically, both musicals debuted on Broadway the same year (1975) and while "A Chorus Line" was the bigger hit, because they got the film version of "Chicago" right and this one so wrong, "Chicago" seems destined to go down in history as the better production. Maybe if they'd waited for a more appropriate director with a real vision for this film, things would be different. Oh, the possibilities--- ** (out of *****)


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