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Sweet Charity

4.2 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Shirley MacLaine gives one of her greatest performances in this spectacular musical based on Neil Simon’s smash Broadway hit. Director Bob Fosse broke new cinematic ground with this freewheeling, visually stunning story of a lovelorn New York dance hall hostess, Charity Hope Valentine, who dreams of old-fashioned romance but gives her heart to one undeserving man after another. MacLaine joins all-star cast members Chita Rivera, Sammy Davis Jr., Ricardo Montalban and Stubby Kaye in belting out thirteen vibrant Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields’ numbers including Big Spender, Rhythm of Life, There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This and the show-stopping If My Friends Could See Me Now. It’s an unforgettable production of an all-time classic.

Special Features

  • Alternate Ending
  • Sweet Charity: From the Stage to the Screen
  • Edith Head's Costume Design: The Art of Exaggeration
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Recommendations

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Shirley MacLaine, John McMartin, Chita Rivera, Paula Kelly, Stubby Kaye
    • Directors: Bob Fosse
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0)
    • Subtitles: 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:
      G
      General Audience
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
    • Run Time: 153 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00007J5VN
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,945 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Sweet Charity" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By A Customer on June 14, 2003
    Format: DVD
    In 1966, Bob Fosse scored one of his greatest personal triumphs when he directed and choreographed the original Broadway production of "Sweet Charity." But when he made his directorial debut with the film version three years later, things didn't go as well. Most critics felt he wasn't so much an auteur as a kid who'd been unleashed in a cinematic candy store, going overboard with zoom shots, montages, and cross-cuts, basically clobbering the delicate, whimsical tone of his Broadway show with slam-bang, razzle-dazzle overkill. And despite a few positive reviews, the film failed at the box office; it would be years before any studio gave him the chance to direct another movie - but as we all know, he would rebound with a vengeance, snaring Academy Award nominations for "Lenny" and "All That Jazz," and winning the Oscar for "Cabaret." And now that it's been released on DVD, a second look at "Sweet Charity" is in order. Were the criticisms directed at the film justified? In some cases, yes. Is it worth buying? Well, if you're a connoisseur of the movie musical - ABSOLUTELY.
    To start with, you've got some seriously talented women working at peak form here. Shirley MacLaine may not entirely fill Gwen Verdon's dancing shoes - who could? - but she makes a delightful Charity nonetheless. If you're looking for proof, simply watch the opening credits; not since Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast At Tiffany's" has an actress so thoroughly nailed a character in her first few minutes of screen time. There may be some overly cute moments here and there (for which the director and/or screenwriter must share resposibility), but there's no denying MacLaine gives a very real and touching performance.
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    2 Comments 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This new DVD release of SWEET CHARITY is a welcome addition to any classic movie collection. Shirley MacLaine stars as Charity Hope Valentine in the celebrated film version of the Broadway hit.
    Charity (Shirley MacLaine) works at the Fan Dango Ballroom, a dingy dime-a-dance hall where the girls give a lot more away than dances. Charity runs her heart like a hotel, and gives her love to one undeserving man after another. Her two best friends Nickie and Helene (Chita Rivera and Paula Kelly) are the ones who help Charity when she is ultimately betrayed by each boyfriend who comes into her life. Ever-hopeful (sometimes impossibly-so), Charity goes through life with wide eyes and wide dreams...
    When Charity meets the mild-mannered Oscar Linquist (John McMartin re-creating his Broadway performance), she believes that she will finally be able to leave her sordid past and profession behind her. But will Oscar be as understanding?
    Shirley MacLaine colors Charity more vividly than Broadway's Gwen Verdon did (or was permitted to do). MacLaine is especially affecting and heartbreaking in the final 15 minutes of the movie, and sings a plaintive "Where Am I Going?".
    Bob Fosse's first big Hollywood film, SWEET CHARITY was a big, if not huge, success when it was first released. The choppy editing and artistic touches that audiences failed to appreciate then make much more sense now, following the success of MOULIN ROUGE. The impressive supporting cast includes Ricardo Montalban, Sammy Davis Jr. and Stubby Kaye.
    This beautiful new Special Edition DVD presents the complete 'Road-Show' version of the film including Overture and Intermission. There are also many extras including the trailer, the original 'Making-of' featurette, a featurette where designer Edith Head takes us through her colorful costumes, and the alternate ending that was never used. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc).
    4 Comments 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: VHS Tape
    "Sweet Charity" will never be regarded as a classic, and that's a damn shame. While most musicals are sugar-coated and meaningless, this is a rare exception. Not only are the musical numbers downright sexual, but they are thrilling to watch. And it's amazing how such a simple storyline could be given so much depth with MacLaine's strong character development. The film is well-paced, and the camera work is amazing. The script is brilliant. At times it came be funny and light hearted, and then be dark and depressing. If you see the film, be sure and see the version with Fosse's orginal ending. The alternate "happy" ending was way too Hollywood and really gave no point to Charity's personal journey. The original ending, however, is one of the greatest conclusions in film history. While some viewers may see it as a downer, it is so inspiring and bestows the overwhelming feeling of hope to both Charity and the audience. With that in mind, isn't that a "true" happy ending?
    Reading the poor reviews of this film can only lead me to believe that those reviewers did not watch this film with an open mind nor an open heart.
    This is truly brilliant filmmaking.
    Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By A Customer on March 5, 2003
    Format: DVD
    Universal has really done a spectacular job on this DVD, giving this underrated musical film the presentation it deserves. The transfer is excellent, with vibrant colors and detail, and rich 4.0 Surround sound. The Overture and Intermission Entr'acte are included in their entirety. And in the supplement department, they give us the unused Alternate Ending, and TWO original featurettes: one revolving around Bob Fosse directing the film, and the other Edith Head and her costumes for the film. Both have lots of behind-the-scenes footage, including costume tests, rehearsals and filming on the New York locations. Universal could have easily charged twice the price for this DVD. Highly recommended. For a DVD NOT marked "Special Edition", this is, at a minimum, the way ALL classic films should be treated on DVD. Bravo, Universal!
    Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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