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Roxie Hart [VHS]
Top Customer Reviews
Adolph Menjou is great as Billy Flynn. Menjou is sometimes today remembered more for his nonscreen activities than his acting. He cooperated with the House Un-American Activities Committee in the forties in ferreting out "communists" in Hollywood, which has placed him historically in a rather poor light. He is also remembered for being one of the best dressed men of the 20th century, appearing regularly at the top of lists of the best dressed men in the world for years. He was a star of the silent screen, but while he made a number of very good films in the sound era (including a tremendous role as a corrupt French officer in the great Stanley Kubrick anti-war film PATHS OF GLORY), his success was haphazard.
This is a very satisfying film, and one can enjoy it either on its own merits or by comparing it with the recent Oscar-winning musical and Tony-winning stage musical. Either way, it is a film that the more recent versions shouldn't make us forget.
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.
This 1942 film has the title character as a woman on trial for shooting a man who is strongly implied to be her lover. Unlike the Roxie Hart in Chicago, this Roxie is innocent and only on trial for publicity to bolster her show business career. Rogers is a lot of fun and chews the scenery as the gum snapping Roxie. In retrospect, it seems a natural that this story became a musical. Aside from a brief tap dance sequence, it's too bad Rogers couldn't show off her musical talents here.
Make note to watch for the totally different but funny ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The predecessor to "Chicago". It's not a musical, but this IS Ginger Rogers, who still does a little tap dancing on steel prison stairs. Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. Collins
This well done musical with Ginger Rogers was produced before the remake of "Chicago" starring Renee Zellweger.Published 20 months ago by Julia A. Davis
Ginger Rogers, as always, is someone even years after her passing you can fall in love with.Published 22 months ago by John
I love Ginger Rogers and I love the musical Chicago. This is a great movie.Published on June 29, 2014 by S. White
This movie is so wonderfuly done, it's Ginger Rogers at her best. Great cast and very entertaining. We'll be watching this over and over.Published on January 26, 2014 by Clawja
Same story line as the more recent "Chicago" but made many years earlier and in black and white which doesn;t diminish its enjoyability. Ginger Rogers is terrific as Roxy... Read morePublished on December 20, 2013 by david erickson
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