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Chorus Line 1985 PG-13 CC

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

Starring:
Michael Blevins, Yamil Borges
Runtime:
1 hour, 57 minutes

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Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD
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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7 Comments 296 of 340 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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.
2 Comments 28 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on July 25, 2003
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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Comment 69 of 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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