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A Chorus Line (1985)

Michael Douglas , Terrence Mann , Richard Attenborough  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins, Yamil Borges, Jan Gan Boyd
  • Directors: Richard Attenborough
  • Writers: Arnold Schulman, James Kirkwood Jr., Michael Bennett, Nicholas Dante
  • Producers: Cy Feuer, Ernest H. Martin, Gordon Stulberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008973A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,793 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Chorus Line" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Marvin Hamlisch: From Broadway to Hollywood" featurette

Editorial Reviews

Michael Douglas stars as a choreographer who subjects 16 dancers to a grueling audition in this Academy AwardÂ(r)-nominated* adaptation of the landmark Broadway musical. Featuring Marvin Hamlisch's OscarÂ(r)-nominated* music and Jeffrey Hornaday's (Flashdance) sizzling choreography, this thrilling portrayal of life behind the velvet curtain is truly "One Singular Sensation"! After narrowing down hundreds of Broadway hopefuls, Zach (Douglas) leads a select group of dancers on the tryout of their lives. In an audition twist, Zach asks each performer personal and intimate questionswith results that powerfully affect not only the young performers but the hardened stage veteran as well. *1985: Original Song, Sound, Film Editing

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
254 of 288 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bennett - 10, Attenborough - 3 May 26, 2003
The day the film version of "A Chorus Line" opened across the country, director Richard Attenborough was interviewed by Jane Pauley on the Today Show. "And what's this film really about?" asked Jane. Sir Richard answered, "It's about kids trying to break into show business."
And there you have everything that's right and wrong about the film. Some have enjoyed this film (as you can see from some of the other reviews), and even been inspired by the inside look at young professionals trying to make it to the top, or even just get in the door. I'm very happy for them.
The only problem is, that's NOT what A Chorus Line is about - at least the Pulitzer prize winning stage musical conceived by the late Michel Bennett. And if the movie's director is that far off base, well what you end up with is confusing series of characters and stories that don't seem to have a lot of point to them, other than all these folks are auditioning together one afternoon.

Kids breaking into show business? No, A Chorus Line is (was) about top-of-their-career professional dancers trying to get one more lousy job to keep food on the table and injuries at bay, letting them work one more year. And asking the question "Is it really worth the physical pain, humiliation, and invisibility?" Most had already let go of the dream of being a star - that would have happened by now if it was in the cards. No they were dancers - but what did that mean?
Although the creators thought they were putting a project together in workshop that would appeal only to the Broadway community - audiences strongly identified with the dancer's stories. The audition became a metaphor for any place where people are treated as interchangeable commodities, whether its on a stage, in an office, or in a factory.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oy Vey July 25, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Good Lord, where do I start?
I've held out seeing this "film" because I've seen the Broadway production, as well as a worn-out black and white beta-video version of the original cast, and I'm afraid little was left of the original in this "screen version". I also have a story in my head told to me by an acting teacher who saw the original production at The Public in NY before it moved to Broadway. He told me he'd seen it with a friend and both walked around the Village, down to the Financial District and then home to 46th Street in silence because they'd been so moved by what they saw.
The film version is a good example of what too much success can do to something. As other people have suggested - it might have been better to film the stage version, or better yet make a documentary about the ground breaking "work-shopping" the show went through in development. It revolutionzed the way plays and musicals were conceived.
I don't mean to diminish the talent of any cast member, (well... I could have done without Judy Landers - too obvious a choice, and a little too clumsy a performance, as well as Mr. Boring-Hollywood himself, Michael Douglas) as they all, of course, excellent dancers and singers - I think some were pulled from the Broadway cast. I liked the actress who plays Cassie very much, but I didn't like Michael Douglas, and I really hated the fact that they chose to focus on the "Love Story" of Zach & Cassie. Get over it! It was an unbalanced relationship! They probably would be at each others throats during the rehearsals for the show Zach is directing, and when the show ends I imagine Cassie saying to Sheila (her new best friend) "Thank God THAT'S over! I mean... ZACH! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!"
Other reviews have captured a lot of things I could say.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kiss Today Goodbye September 23, 2006
This is a 1985 release, and stars Michael Douglas as a Broadway director casting dancers for a large production. I enjoyed the movie, yet completely agree with others that the stage version is much better and makes more sense of the story line. Many people saw the stage version first. I do understand their frustration with the film; in particular, it skews the number "What I Did For Love" into emphasizing the love story between Cassie and Zach. What it's really about is the love and dedication dancers have for what they do, through all the blood, sweat and tears.

I went out of order and saw the movie first, and wound up thoroughly enjoying the stage version, a positive experience last rather than the generally negative reception from those who sequenced the other way. Best strategy is to enjoy each, the stage version and film version, for what they are - entertainment.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good grief September 1, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A Chorus Line is a truly great show, when performed onstage keeping true to the original *ahem* SONGS, but the movie kind of failed in the attempt to re-create the magic. I mean, "Music and The Mirror" is a perfect example. Did they think it was too subtle for the movie-watching American public? Did it really have to be replaced with something as blunt as "Let Me Dance For You"? Puh-leaze. And they cut out the entire montage, which really helps in exploring the character's personalities, etc. Why did Cassie seem like such an...annoyance? She did interrupt "I Can Do That". She did harass him into giving her a role. She didn't seem graceful, like in the stage version. (ie, falling while getting into the taxi) I really liked the Sheila, and I loved Terrance Mann. I also found the drag show monologue very well done. It's good, but not even close to the singular sensation it was onstage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories
Watched this over and over as a child
Published 1 day ago by Amanda
5.0 out of 5 stars number one
A fun film
Published 2 days ago by Davis D
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie!
Published 21 days ago by Kerri
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
As much as I love this musical, I forgot what a rotten production this was. Many of the singers had pitch problems. The dramatic stuff with the lead characters just fell flat.
Published 25 days ago by Christy M. Hubbard
1.0 out of 5 stars It should have stayed on the stage
The original show on Broadway was sensational. It was bold, different and despite a mediocre score, a thrilling theatrical package. Read more
Published 28 days ago by addison de witt
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
Great story, great music, GREAT DANCING. I wasn't expecting this to be such a good movie. It depicts the trials, tribulation and drive of dancers trying to make the cut for a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. L. Hanson
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!!!
Boring and extremely badly acted.
Published 1 month ago by Carol Hanscom
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
How can you not like Chorus Line!!!
Published 1 month ago by AnnR
5.0 out of 5 stars Great musical! Classic.
Want a movie with outstanding music? This is it..I saw it on Broadway. It's a great show. I assume it gives you some insight as to what actors go through when thousands apply... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Anyone who likes dancing has to love this film.
Published 1 month ago by Hugh
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