7.3/10
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13 user 17 critic

Chicago (1927)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 23 December 1927 (USA)
Based on a true crime story, the movie is about a wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart who kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her, and how she finagles her way out ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Urson

Writers:

Maurine Dallas Watkins (play), Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Phyllis Haver ... Roxie Hart
Victor Varconi ... Amos Hart
Virginia Bradford ... Katie
Robert Edeson ... William Flynn
Eugene Pallette ... Rodney Casley
Warner Richmond ... Asst. District Attorney
T. Roy Barnes ... Reporter
Clarence Burton Clarence Burton ... Police sergeant
Julia Faye ... Velma
May Robson ... Mrs. Morton - Matron
Viola Louie Viola Louie ... Two Gun Rosie
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Storyline

Based on a true crime story, the movie is about a wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart who kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her, and how she finagles her way out being convicted. Remade once as a movie, and as a Broadway musical. Written by Jonah Falcon <jonahnynla@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He loved his wife madly and slaved for her, but she repaid his devotion with treachery and when when he vainly sought to shoulder her crime, she upbraided and accused him of double-crossing her-the dramatic story of a jazz-crazed wife who slew then laughed at law and justice. (Print Ad- Daily News, ((Batavia, NY)) 16 April 1928) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicago ilusaim naismõrvar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$264,397 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,053,300
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final budget of $264,397 in 1927 is equivalent to $3,566,716 in 2017. The original playwright, Maurine Dallas Watkins, sold the rights for $25,000 which would be $337,250 in 2017. See more »

Connections

Version of Roxie Hart (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

The Original Roxie Hart
30 July 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Chicago (1927)

*** (out of 4)

The first screen adaptation of the Broadway hit has Phyllis Haver playing Roxie Hart, a morally questionable young woman who murders her lover (Eugene Palette) in cold blood when he says he's leaving her. Her husband (Victor Varconi) must try and raise money to hire a lawyer (Robert Edeson) but even he is quite crooked and things don't get any easier once the trial becomes a media sensation. CHICAGO was turned into an Oscar-winning musical in 2002 and Ginger Rogers played the role in a 1944 film (ROXIE HART) but this silent version has been pretty difficult to see up until a few years ago when UCLA restored it. There was a lot of hype going into this movie because so many people have talked it up to be something terrific and while it really didn't reach that level, it's still a pretty entertaining little movie. Frank Urson does a nice job directing the film and I really enjoyed that free-spirited, Jazz-like feeling he brings to the movie. There are some very strong moments including the opening murder sequence, which I've read was extended here compared to what was on the stage at the time. The way the murder scene breaks down was quite interesting visually and the way they show the murder was pretty ambitious. Another terrific sequence happens when Roxie enters the jail and is introduced to the various characters in there. May Robson plays one of the women and does a nice job but the cat-fight that breaks out between Roxie and another woman was very well done and quite a lot of fun. Then, there's some nice drama as the husband is forced to do some crooked things just to protect the wife who was cheating on him. The entire cast does a nice job but there's no doubt that the picture belongs to Haver. She's perfect as the freewheeling girl and I really loved the breezy nature she brought to the character. I thought the way she just floated on screen really brought the character to life and just look at the way she brings out that flirtatious nature. Edeson is just fine as the crooked lawyer and Varconi really stands out as the husband. Palette would become a very well-known character actor and it was a lot of fun seeing him in this early bit. CHICAGO does have a few problems with one of them being that it runs a tad bit too long. I think a few of the scenes just run on and on and a little bit of editing would have helped. Producer Cecil B. DeMille's stamp is all over the picture but at the same time I can't help but wonder what he might have done with the subject matter.


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