7.1/10
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13 user 17 critic

Chicago (1927)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 23 December 1927 (USA)
Based on a true crime story, the movie is about a wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart who kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her, and how she finagles her way out ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Urson

Writers:

Maurine Dallas Watkins (play), Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Phyllis Haver ... Roxie Hart
Victor Varconi ... Amos Hart
Virginia Bradford ... Katie
Robert Edeson ... William Flynn
Eugene Pallette ... Rodney Casley
Warner Richmond ... Asst. District Attorney
T. Roy Barnes ... Reporter
Clarence Burton Clarence Burton ... Police sergeant
Julia Faye ... Velma
May Robson ... Mrs. Morton - Matron
Viola Louie Viola Louie ... Two Gun Rosie
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Storyline

Based on a true crime story, the movie is about a wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart who kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her, and how she finagles her way out being convicted. Remade once as a movie, and as a Broadway musical. Written by Jonah Falcon <jonahnynla@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She betrayed her husband and slew her "angel," then laughed at the law--- See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicago ilusaim naismõrvar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$264,397 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Frank Urson is credited as the director, it was widely known (and even publicized) at the time that producer Cecil B. DeMille directed most of the film (including 11 days of re-takes). DeMille took his name off the picture because his Biblical epic, The King of Kings (1927) was also playing in theaters at the time. Reportedly, DeMille's friend, theater owner Sid Grauman, convinced the director that audiences wouldn't want to see an amoral crime drama with an adulterous heroine so soon after seeing DeMille's film about the life of Christ. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Before Bob Fosse, There Was This
20 October 2006 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

I suspect that Mr. Rob Marshall watched this 1927 silent before making his recent screen adaptation of the smash-hit Broadway musical. The non-musical scenes in his version look an awful lot like this exceptional film.

Phyllis Haver provides a marvelously witty and sexy characterization as Roxie Hart, that ultimate gold digger who shoots her lover for jilting her and then becomes a media sensation. Haver puts all sorts of unique touches on the role, and her scenes during the murder trial are small gems of comic acting. The handsome Victor Varconi, looking for all the world like Liam Neeson, has a much larger role as Amos, Roxie's long-suffering husband, than any subsequent version would give that character. He's still a bit of a sap, but he's a much sharper sap than later incarnations would allow. This original version focuses much more on the domestic relationship between these two -- the roles of Billy Flynn and Mama Morton, treated so colorfully in the musical, are much diminished here, and the character of Velma Kelly is absent altogether.

The recent stage revival and movie have blunted the impact of this story's critique on the modern media and the public's responsibility in enabling our media to peddle trash. It's surprising that a film that came out nearly 80 years ago makes the same point just as candidly; one can only imagine how forceful this message must have seemed at the time.

Grade: A


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