Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn't going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn't going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago. Written by
The lead role was offered to Hugh Jackman but he declined because he felt he was too young for it. Later he admitted that he regretted declining the role after seeing the movie. See more »
During the scene "I can't do it alone" there is one shot where Velma cartwheels over the chair, and we can see Roxie looking straight at her. But in the very next shot, Roxie is looking down at a paper, and just giving Velma a small glance with one eye. See more »
But look at that soul. I tell ya that hole is a whole lot greater than the sum of his parts. And if you knew him like me. I know you'd agree.
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There's no opening credits, save the title "CHICAGO". See more »
Banal old-time variety show linked by a comic book script.
Two women are thrown behind bars to await trial for the slaying people that have betrayed them, but in the 1920's Chicago world of sensation, slick lawyers and tabloid newspapers is this their downfall or their making?
This is such a stupid plot that any sort of analytical discussion of it should be reduced for fear of making my cheeks redden. Before seeing this I thought the musical Tommy had a silly and unbelievable script! There are bits here that make the Warren Beatty/Madonna/Al Pacino film Dick Tracy (with which this film shares art Stalins) look like Hamlet!
For the record, a lot of what takes place is set in a strange surreal prison where conditions are harsh outside of the hair and make-up department. The Chief Warder is a top heavy black lesbian - played by Queen Latifah - presumably because that is what the cliché demands?
(The stretch leather/plastic/PVC hot-pant outfits the dancing prisoners wear are about as 1920's as the Apollo space programme!)
From what I've told you already the only things that can save this is great song and dance. Sadly it falls in to the middle ground. All That Jazz is the nearest we have to a classic and they know it too - spinning it out and repeating it at the end.
The dancing is, however, passable - especially when the CO-leads Zellweger and Jones do a double hoof.
Richard Gere seems to have learnt from his Cotton Club (a total flop musical and yet more fun viewing than this Best Picture Oscar winner!) experience and got himself wide awake before someone shouted "action" - although his song and dance is pure village hall.
Let me tell a little secret about Catherine Zeta Jones - she used to be on a TV programme called Junior Showtime here in the UK. This involved little children pretending to be adults and was cast in the form of an old time music hall review. The Muppet Show borrowed the format. While the show-biz brats loved it I know of no one of my age that could stand it. I have dark suspicions as to why it stayed on air so long!
I am not one to spoil anyone's fun, because I am sure that there are people that love this kind of thing, but Cabaret and even the Sound of Music had a life outside of the song and dance. This is as limp as a boiled noodle as soon as the music stops.
The whole thing plays like an evening flicking channels between a dreadful 2 AM B picture and a big budget variety show from the 1970's.From what I read this is purely intentional.
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