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Chicago (2002)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 141,935 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 1,000 user | 212 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.

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(screenplay), (book), 2 more credits »
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Title: Chicago (2002)

Chicago (2002) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Won 6 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 58 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cliff Saunders ...
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Bruce Beaton ...
Roman Podhora ...
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Robert Smith ...
Newspaper Photographer (as Rob Smith)
Sean Wayne Doyle ...
Reporter
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Prison Clerk
Robbie Rox ...
Prison Guard
...
Nickie
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Storyline

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 Debpp322

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | fame | vaudeville | jail | 1920s | See more »

Taglines:

If You Can't Be Famous, Be Infamous. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and dialogue, violence and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicago: The Musical  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$929,809 (Japan) (18 April 2003)

Gross:

$170,684,505 (USA) (29 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Became Miramax's highest grossing film when its domestic box office hit $171,000,000. See more »

Goofs

When Velma is talking to Mama in her office about finding a place to perform, you see Mama's badge is on the left side of her jacket (from our perspective). When she comes out to talk to Roxie, it's on the right side. See more »

Quotes

[at the entrance to the jail cells]
Matron Mama Morton: Hey, you must be that Hart girl.
Roxie: Yes, m'am
Matron Mama Morton: Aren't you the pretty one.
Roxie: Thank you m'am
Matron Mama Morton: Call me mama. Now don't worry 'cause we're gonna take care of you. You'll be staying on E-block. "Murderess Row" we like to call it.
Roxie: Oh... Is that nicer?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title "CHICAGO" appears as a "C" in the middle of a zoom of Roxie's eye, then the rest of the letters light up around it. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Roxie
(1975)
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Performed by Renée Zellweger
Published by Unichappell Music, Inc. (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Charged, exhilarating, a treat and a surprise.
8 December 2002 | by (Venice, CA) – See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the current Broadway stage revival of Chicago -- the Kander and Ebb original, with Bob Fosse choreography, opened in 1975, starring Gwen Verdon (Roxie), Chita Rivera (Velma) and Jerry Orbach (Billy), all proven musical theatre talents. I saw the revival fairly early in its current run, starring Ann Reinking (Roxie), Bebe Neuwirth (Velma) and James Naughton (Billy), who are all proven in musical theatre as well.

The casting of this new film adaptation had me wondering -- Renee Zellwegger (Roxie), Catherine Zeta Jones (Velma) and Richard Gere (Billy)? Sure, they can act, but can they sing and dance?

Big time. The strength of their performances alone is almost enough to carry the film. Whether the stars come by these moves and voices easily, or were rehearsed within an inch of their lives, it's clear they come by them naturally -- they each perform their own songs, and the dance moves are both fluid and stylistically true to the Fosse choreography. Attention to choreographic integrity in this film is to be expected: director Rob Marshall is a choreographer by trade. The sizzling staging of Velma's and Roxie's "Finale" is practically a Fosse quotation from beginning to end, and is razzle-dazzling beyond the stage version, via the cinematography and editing techniques that only the film medium provides.

I was prepared for a watered-down Hollywood take on the wildly popular, 6 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival, but sans the stage talents that got it there. But I actually liked the film BETTER. The film's screenplay adaptation, by Bill Condon, fleshes out the narrative to allow an emotional connection to the characters in a way that I didn't experience in the theater. The film integrates the songs to the story by cutting between an electrifying staged rendition and the 1920's Chicago world of the narrative. This technique gives the characters space for an inner emotional life thus letting the audience better connect with them.

I did have a few quibbles. The song "Class", a personal favorite, was cut, likely to keep the momentum up as we rush toward Roxie's sensational jury trial, which delivers several musical treats of its own, and is the dramatic apogee of the story. And, while I found John C. Reilly a most pathetic but sympathetic Amos, I felt that Joel Grey evoked those qualities much more effectively in his Broadway rendition of "Mr. Cellophane."

The story, while providing an opportunity for some juicy songs and sharply funny characters, is more than just eye candy. Its portrayal of cynical manipulation of the criminal justice system by creating a celebrity-hungry media circus (the raison d'etre of Richard Gere's Billy Flynn) is more than apt today. But if there's any moralizing going on here, it's with a wink and a flash of leg. Chicago is a treat.


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