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After her husband shoots a burglar in their apartment, Roxie Hart (Ginger Rogers) is talked into pretending she did it by a newsman and a theatrical agent who promise to sign her for a vaudeville tour. Realizing she'll become a household name overnight, Roxie agrees and becomes the center of an outrageous trial.
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Ginger Rogers does an excellent job portraying the rather vulgar & low-brow, but very appealing Roxie Hart, who is being judged for shooting a man, something she, in fact, didn't do...but, which oddly enough, she must pretend she did, in order to gain public notoriety & "stardom", in the late `20s Chicago!
She has to convince a Jury (integrated by men-only) to acquit her not-guilty, the poor young thing! (Rogers), helpless, shy, "demure", ...she just had to fight for "her honor"....and in the process she (hilariously) displays (in front of the Jury) many-a-smile and lots of "legs" (and batting eyelashes too!), to obtain it!!
Adolphe Menjou is excellent as her attorney, the "best in town", guiding her through all kind of schemes to gain both the acquittal and the press-coverage she so desperately needs to show "her talents" and become a "public name"...BTW, you have to watch Rogers dance the blackbottom!
George Montgomery is good as a young reporter who falls for Roxie, and the rest of the cast is filled with great character actors like Lynne Overman, Nigel Bruce, Spring Byington, William Frawley, Sara Allgood, Phil Silvers,...all of whom give expert and flawless performances.
The story was filmed before as a silent in 1927, as "Chicago", with Phyllis Haver as Roxie Hart.
Fox's DVD edition is great, giving us a great, sharp, crisp (in glorious Black & white) copy of the film.