Chicago

Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.
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Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Roxie Hart: Renée Zellweger
  • Velma Kelly: Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Billy Flynn: Richard Gere
  • Matron Mama Morton: Queen Latifah
  • Amos Hart: John C. Reilly
  • Kitty Baxter: Lucy Liu
  • Bandleader: Taye Diggs
  • Harrison: Colm Feore
  • Mary Sunshine: Christine Baranski
  • Fred Casely: Dominic West
  • Mona: Mýa
  • June: Deidre Goodwin
  • Annie: Denise Faye
  • Hunyak: Ekaterina Chtchelkanova
  • Liz: Susan Misner
  • Stage Manager: Cliff Saunders
  • Mrs. Borusewicz: Jayne Eastwood
  • Police Photographer: Bruce Beaton
  • Sergeant Fogarty: Roman Podhora
  • Newspaper Photographer: Robert Norman Smith
  • Reporter: Sean Wayne Doyle
  • Prison Clerk: Steve Behal
  • Prison Guard: Robbie Rox
  • Nickie: Chita Rivera
  • Bernie: Joey Pizzi
  • Ezekial Young: Scott Wise
  • Wilbur: Ken Ard
  • Hunyak’s Husband: Marc Calamia
  • Veronica: Niki Wray
  • Charlie: Gregory Mitchell
  • Al Lipschitz: Sebastian La Cause
  • Billy’s Assistant: Brendan Wall
  • “Gun” Reporter #1: Cleve Asbury
  • “Gun” Reporter #2: Rick Negron
  • “Gun” Reporter #3: Shaun Amyot
  • Billy’s Secretary: Eve Crawford
  • Newsreel Announcer: Bill Corsair
  • Auctioneer: Bill Britt
  • Sailor: Gerry Fiorini
  • Perfume Lady: Elizabeth Law
  • Harry: Joseph Scoren
  • Bare Woman #1: Monique Ganderton
  • Bare Woman #2: April Morgan
  • Groin Reporter: Marty Moreau
  • Doctor: Conrad Dunn
  • Bailiff: Jonathan Whittaker
  • Jury Foreman: Rod Campbell
  • Harrison’s Assistant: Brett Caruso
  • Judge: Sean McCann
  • Court Clerk: Jeff Clarke
  • Newsboy: Patrick Salvagna
  • Woman Shooter: Kathryn Zenna
  • Club Owner: Jeff Pustil
  • Female Dancer: Roxane Barlow
  • Female Dancer: Jocelyn Dowling
  • Female Dancer: Melanie A. Gage
  • Female Dancer: Michelle Johnston
  • Female Dancer: Charley King
  • Female Dancer: Mary Ann Lamb
  • Female Dancer: Vicky Lambert
  • Female Dancer: Tara Nicole Hughes
  • Female Dancer: Cynthia Onrubia
  • Female Dancer: Karine Plantadit
  • Female Dancer: Jennifer Savelli
  • Female Dancer: Natalie Willes
  • Female Dancer: Karen Andrew
  • Female Dancer: Kelsey Chace
  • Female Dancer: Catherine Chiarelli
  • Female Dancer: Theresa Coombe
  • Female Dancer: Lisa Ferguson
  • Female Dancer: Melissa Flerangile
  • Female Dancer: Michelle Galati
  • Female Dancer: Sheri Godfrey
  • Female Dancer: Brittany Gray
  • Female Dancer: Karen Holness
  • Female Dancer: Amber-Kelly Mackereth
  • Female Dancer: Jodi McFadden
  • Female Dancer: Faye Rauw
  • Female Dancer: Rhonda Roberts
  • Female Dancer: Leigh Torlage
  • Female Dancer: Robyn Wong
  • Male Dancer: Ted Banfalvi
  • Male Dancer: Harrison Beal
  • Male Dancer: Paul Becker
  • Male Dancer: Jean-Luc Côté
  • Male Dancer: Scott Fowler
  • Male Dancer: Edgar Godineaux
  • Male Dancer: Bill Hartung
  • Male Dancer: Darren Lee
  • Male Dancer: Troy P. Liddell
  • Male Dancer: Blake McGrath
  • Male Dancer: Robert Montano
  • Male Dancer: Sean Palmer
  • Male Dancer: Desmond Richardson
  • Male Dancer: Martin Samuel
  • Male Dancer: Jason Sermonia
  • Male Dancer: Jeff Siebert
  • Male Dancer: Sergio Trujillo
  • Acrobat: Stacy Clark Baisley
  • Acrobat: Megan Fehlberg
  • Acrobat: Rachel Jacobs
  • Acrobat: Rebecca Leonard
  • Acrobat: Erin Michie
  • Acrobat: Danielle Rueda-Watts
  • Female Ensemble: Dana Calitri
  • Female Ensemble: Kate Coffman-Lloyd
  • Male Ensemble: Curtis King Jr.
  • Female Ensemble: Laura Dean
  • Female Ensemble: Margaret Dorn
  • Female Ensemble: Capathia Jenkins
  • Female Ensemble: Audrey Martells
  • Female Ensemble: Sara Ramirez
  • Female Ensemble: Nicki Richards
  • Male Ensemble: Dennis Collins
  • Male Ensemble: Darius De Haas
  • Male Ensemble: Willie Falk
  • Male Ensemble (uncredited): Timothy Shew
  • Male Ensemble (uncredited): Alfonzo Thornton
  • Male Ensemble (uncredited): Eric Troyer
  • Theatre Personnel (uncredited): Michael Sercerchi

Film Crew:

  • Original Music Composer: Danny Elfman
  • Costume Design: Colleen Atwood
  • Director of Photography: Dion Beebe
  • Executive Producer: Bob Weinstein
  • Executive Producer: Harvey Weinstein
  • Executive Producer: Meryl Poster
  • Co-Producer: Don Carmody
  • Stunt Coordinator: Steve Lucescu
  • Editor: Martin Walsh
  • Wigmaker: Erwin H. Kupitz
  • Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • Casting: Laura Rosenthal
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Randall Balsmeyer
  • Screenplay: Bill Condon
  • Production Design: John Myhre
  • Choreographer: Rob Marshall
  • Producer: Martin Richards
  • Casting: Ali Farrell
  • Art Direction: Andrew M. Stearn
  • Executive Producer: Craig Zadan
  • Executive Producer: Julie Goldstein
  • Key Hair Stylist: Judi Cooper-Sealy
  • Visual Effects Editor: Andrew Weisblum
  • Executive Producer: Neil Meron
  • Line Producer: John M. Eckert
  • Executive Producer: Jennifer Berman
  • Book: Bob Fosse
  • Music: John Kander
  • Sound Effects Editor: Richard P. Cirincione
  • Hairstylist: Colleen Callaghan
  • Theatre Play: Maurine Dallas Watkins
  • Key Makeup Artist: Jordan Samuel
  • Lyricist: Fred Ebb
  • Production Manager: Joyce Kozy King
  • Makeup Artist: Cindy J. Williams
  • Makeup Artist: LuAnn Claps
  • Boom Operator: Denis Bellingham
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Dominick Tavella
  • Associate Choreographer: Cynthia Onrubia
  • Set Designer: Thomas Carnegie
  • Unit Publicist: Rachel Aberly
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Michael Minkler
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Mark Dornfeld
  • Camera Operator: Peter Rosenfeld
  • Sound Effects Editor: Eytan Mirsky
  • Supervising Sound Editor: Maurice Schell
  • Hairstylist: Lyndell Quiyou
  • Hairstylist: Karyn Huston
  • Assistant Makeup Artist: Edelgard K. Pfluegl
  • First Assistant Director: Myron Hoffert
  • Second Assistant Director: Grant Lucibello
  • Script Supervisor: Susanna David
  • Hairstylist: Veronica Ciandre
  • Visual Effects Producer: Kathy Kelehan
  • Visual Effects Producer: Wendy Lanning
  • Sound Mixer: David Lee
  • Associate Choreographer: Joey Pizzi
  • Music Editor: E. Gedney Webb
  • Hairstylist: Paula Fleet
  • Assistant Makeup Artist: Patricia Keighran
  • Art Department Coordinator: Beth Gilinsky
  • Music Supervisor: Maureen Crowe
  • Makeup Artist: Kathleen Graham
  • Third Assistant Director: Tyler Delben
  • First Assistant Director: Tom Quinn
  • Makeup Artist: Johanne Boisvert
  • Assistant Hairstylist: Lucy M. Orton
  • Executive Producer: Sam Crothers
  • Negative Cutter: Catherine Rankin
  • Hairstylist: Dale Brownell
  • Makeup Artist: Brian Hui

Movie Reviews:

  • Wuchak: Gazillions of babes frolicking around in showgirl costumes and lingerie

    In mid-20’s Chicago Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) find themselves on death row for murdering their lovers and fan the fame that will keep them from the gallows with the assistance of a slick lawyer (Richard Gere). John C. Reilly plays Roxie’s likable but dimwitted husband while Latifah is on hand as the avaricious prison matron.

    People criticize this amusing satirical musical for being sleazy, but it would be hard to lampoon and ridicule the corrupt targets of the media and the legal (in)justice system without showing, um, sleaze. That’s the point of the original 1926 play “Chicago” and all its successive incarnations, including this acclaimed 2002 movie: illustrating and sarcastically denouncing sleaze via a droll musical. “Chicago” without sleaze would be akin to “Apocalypse Now” without war.

    Believe it or not, the movie is based on real women, Beulah Annan (represented by Roxie) and Belva Gaertner (Velma), who were imprisoned for killing lovers in spring, 1924, in two unrelated incidents. The actual accounts were salacious with loads of sex & violence; and both were ultimately acquitted. Maurine Dallas Watkins wrote the original play, which was intended as a stinging satire of the lack of morals in Chicago during the roaring 20s. Watkins was, interestingly, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who covered the popular trials and is represented by Mary Sunshine (Christine Baranski) in the film. Several of the peripheral characters are also based on real-life individuals who played a part in the unfolding drama, e.g. journalists, attorneys, officials and convicts.

    I’m not big on musicals beyond ones like “Moulin Rouge” (1952) and “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), but “Chicago” works for me simple due to the scores of beautiful women prancing around in scanty showgirl apparel of the 20s. It’s the same reason I love figure skating. After the passage of the 19th Amendment, American women were basking in their newfound freedoms and “Chicago” depicts this euphoric emancipation.

    I also appreciate “Chicago” because Gere is great and there are some creative pieces, like the puppet one and the tap-dancing part. All the musical skits are in Roxie’s imagination, except for the opening “All that Jazz” performed by Velma at the club and the climatic one, which features both Velma & Roxie.

    The film runs 1 hour, 53 minutes.

    GRADE: B

  • Zoro DPiece: SPOILERS AHEAD!

    From Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods”) and Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls”) comes this charming satirical stab on celebrity criminals. Based on the 1975 stage play and starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

    Set in the jazz age of Chicago, Illinois. “Chicago” tells the story of two women on murderess row who hope that fame and fortune will keep them out of the gallows. Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones) is a vaudevillian performer who plugs her sister and husband right before a performance. Roxie Hart (Zellweger) is watching the performance while idolizeing Velma and hopes one day to be on the stage just like her. Convinced that with Fred Casely’s (Dominic West) help she will get what she wants.

    But, when Casely turns out to be an abusive lying womanizer Roxie is angered and betrayed. Causing her to kill him as revenge, she tries to convince her husband Amos (John C. Reilly) to take the blame. However, his story does not phase the Harrison (Colm Feore) and Roxie is arrested and learns that she could face the death penalty. Roxie later meets the corrupt but nurturing jail matron Mama Morton (Queen Latifah), who gives her some helpful advice on how to win the court’s appeal. Roxie later finds herself being a client of the corrupt smooth-talking Billy Flynn (Gere), who is determined to help her win her case.

    Billy corrupts the press with a story about how Roxie killed Fred out of self-defense. At the same time she butts heads with Velma after the press starts putting her name in the headlines. Roxie’s fame is almost short-lived until she fakes a pregnancy. Now with a swelled head, she fires Billy convinced she can win the case on her own. Unfortunately, she is forced to take Billy back after seeing that another inmate will be executed. At the same time Amos starts to wonder about Roxie’s “baby.” Convinced that it is not his baby he decides to file for divorce. The day of the trial Billy turns the court room upside down and is able to convince the jury that Roxie is innocent, Amos learns that the pregnancy was a ruse and finally leaves her.

    Now that Roxie is free she tries to make her dream come true, but Velma explains to her that a one woman act is not what Chicago is looking for. Roxie rejects the offer because of Velma’s resentment towards her and the lack of hospitality when they were on murderess row. Velma finally convinces her that they don’t have to be friends in order to be partners. Roxie’s dream becomes a reality as she and Velma are now the hottest act in Chicago.

    But one question remains did it really happen or is it all in Roxie’s head?

    Highly Recommended. This movie has some of the best singing and acting I have ever seen. It deserved all six of the awards.

  • CinemaSerf: Hats off to Rob Marshall for taking a cast not necessarily obvious for this story and moulding them into an entertaining trio. The screenplay has been sanitised a bit, and proves really quite thin: “Roxie” (Renée Zellweger) and “Velma” (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are both convicted murderesses who will do just about anything to escape death row. Using their skills as dancers, and their gifts for attracting publicity they must try to engage dodgy lawyer “Billy Flynn” (Richard Gere) to help get them out of the clutches of prison warden “Mama Morton” (a superb Queen Latifah). That’s all pretty incidental to the stunning look of this film. At times a little confusing as the costumes seems to straddle timelines from the 1920s to things one might see in “Saturday Night Fever”, but it is all about the style; and both principals have it in spades. Zeta-Jones, especially, has a classy sexiness about her performance; Zellweger more of an innocence, and Gere is the perfect man for the job proving he, too, can get his (and our) toes tapping. The original Fosse play remains the bedrock for this and the Kander and Ebb songs performed strongly with “All That Jazz”; Funny Honey” and “Razzle Dazzle” all delightfully choreographed and delivered. I still prefer the intimacy (and grittiness) of the stage production, but as cinematic adaptations go – this is highly entertaining and well worth a watch.
  • CinemaSerf: Hats off to Rob Marshall for taking a cast not necessarily obvious for this story and moulding them into an entertaining trio. The screenplay has been sanitised a bit, and proves really quite thin: “Roxie” (Renée Zellweger) and “Velma” (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are both convicted murderesses who will do just about anything to escape death row. Using their skills as dancers, and their gifts for attracting publicity they must try to engage dodgy lawyer “Billy Flynn” (Richard Gere) to help get them out of the clutches of prison warden “Mama Morton” (a superb Queen Latifah). That’s all pretty incidental to the stunning look of this film. At times a little confusing as the costumes seems to straddle timelines from the 1920s to things one might see in “Saturday Night Fever”, but it is all about the style; and both principals have it in spades. Zeta-Jones, especially, has a classy sexiness about her performance; Zellweger more of an innocence, and Gere is the perfect man for the job proving he, too, can get his (and our) toes tapping. The original Fosse play remains the bedrock for this and the Kander and Ebb songs performed strongly with “All That Jazz”; “Funny Honey” and “Razzle Dazzle” all delightfully choreographed and delivered. I still prefer the intimacy (and grittiness) of the stage production, but as cinematic adaptations go – this is highly entertaining and well worth a watch.
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