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Encyclopedia > Chicago (2002 movie)

Chicago is a movie musical released in 2002 about celebrity and money in Jazz age 1920s Chicago.

Velma Kelly is a nightclub star whose celebrity is only increased by her double murder of her adulterous husband and her sister. Roxie Hart is a nobody who dreams of the fame of and wealth of a singing career. When she shoots her abusive lover, who lied about his ability to get her a job as a performer, she is sent to murderess' row. There she meets Velma Kelly. Facing death row, Roxie hires Billy Flynn, Chicago's best lawyer, who promises to turn her case into a celebrity murder trial and get her acquitted. Flynn manipulates the press and the public and Roxie becomes famous. When Billy recognizes Roxie's potential, Roxie and Velma become locked in a rivalry to outdo each other in stardom.

The show was inspired by the musical Chicago which enjoyed a successful revival in the mid-1990s. The theater production's musical numbers are staged as vaudeville pieces. This made the picture somewhat difficult to adapt from stage to screen. The movie version interpreted this by presenting the musical numbers as occurring in Roxie's fantasies.

The movie starred Renée Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Queen Latifah (Matron 'Mama' Morton), Catherine Zeta_Jones (Velma Kelly), Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), and Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine) and was directed by Rob Marshall.

It won six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones.

All principal actors did their own singing and dancing in the film. Zeta_Jones and Latifah previously had professional music careers and Reilly and Baranski had had musical theater experience. Gere was the most experienced of the leading cast in that area, and required only minimal rehearsal, however, Zellweger had never sung or danced professionally. Gere did, however, require tap dance instruction prior to shooting his court room tapdance routine.

The film was released December 10, 2002 and runs 113 minutes.


  • "And All That Jazz"
  • "Funny Honey"
  • "When You're Good to Mama"
  • "Cell Block Tango"
  • "All I Care About"
  • "We Both Reached for the Gun"
  • "Roxie"
  • "I Can't Do It Alone"
  • "Mister Cellophane"
  • "Razzle Dazzle
  • "Nowadays (Roxie)"
  • "Nowadays"
  • "I Move On"

An additional song, "Class", performed by Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta_Jones was filmed, but it was cut from the movie. The footage was later included on the DVD release and the song was included on the soundtrack album.


The movie is based on the Kander and Ebb Broadway musical, Chicago, in its turn based on the Maurine Watkins play, Chicago, which was in turn based on the stories of two Jazz-era killers, Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.

External links

  • Miramax Chicago homepage (http://www.miramax.com/chicago/)
  • Chicago (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0299658/) at the Internet Movie Database

  Results from FactBites:
MIM Movie Review (801 words)
"Chicago" strives hard to be "sexy" while integrating older Amerikan music forms, a mixture of things as far back as the 1920s, but it does this retro act in the context of something that is far from a dead issue--the criminal justice system and the death penalty in particular.
The movie is about their characters' pursuit of fame along these lines in show business.
It is the fact that "Chicago" touches on such substantial issues of the criminal justice system while muddying the line between entertainment and violence that makes "Chicago" both as a Broadway play and as a movie awkward from beginning to end.
  More results at FactBites »



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