“ Genre: Musicals & Classical / Theatrical Release: 1969 / Parental Guidance / Director: Bob Fosse / Actors: Shirley MacLaine, John McMartin, Chita Rivera, Paula Kelly, Stubby Kaye ... / DVD released 2004-07-26 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Dubbed, PAL „
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I did a college production of this back in 2009 and the whole group was made to watch the film (this was before the audition process so we then knew what parts we wanted to play - I played Rosie - the new dance hall girl)
Yes, I'm not a huge fan of musicals!
The film was only good to help me get a better idea of characters and stories.
The story is about a girl named Charity Hope Valentine how to just desperate to fall in love with a man. The story begins with her man Charlie, she tells him and how much he should love her, but ends up pushing her in a river and stealing her bag with all her money. She leaves drenched and upset, but doesn't know what to do anymore. She works at a dance hall where she gets paid to dance with men, but she wants to leave this place and go else where. But then she out one night and bumps into a Hollywood star, Vittorio Vidal and his very attractive, blonde girlfriend Ursula Marsh. She then runaways and Vidal invites Charity inside and it is a huge room filled with big performances and celebrities. She then dances with Vidal and she accidently steps on his toe, but faints half way through dancing and she asks him to take her back to his apartment! But then Ursula comes back - no successful love for Charity. But she looks for a job and meets the man who is then her soon-to-be husband, Oscar Lindquist, he invites her on a date, to a Christian church which turns out almost to be like a carnival with Daddy Brubeck singing 'The rhythm of life'. But then Oscar notices Charity's tattoo with her ex-boyfriend's name on it! Will he change his mind? or realise that Charlie's all in the past? Will Charity be in love after all or be unhappy and single?
- Big Spender
- If they could see me now
- The Rhythm of life
- Sweet Charity
- There's gotta be something better than this
- Rich Man's frug
- My Personal property
- It's a nice face
- I'm a brass band
- I love to cry at weddings
- Where am I going?
Charity Hope Valentine : Shirley MacLaine
Oscar Lindquist : John McMartin
Nickie : Chita Rivera
Helene : Paula Kelly
Herman : Stubby Kaye
Ursula : Barbra Brouchet
Vittorio Vidal : Ricardo Moltalban
Big Daddy Brubeck : Sammy Davis JR.
certificate : PG
director : Bob Fosse
runtime : 149 minutes
Personally, I don't really like this film as it is too long and there are parts in the film which seem to drag on and I nearly fell asleep! But the choregraphy (which was also done by Bob Fosse) is actually amazing and he is just amazing at what he does. But the songs are good like Big Spender and the Rhythm of life. But I would have given this film a better rating if it was a bit shorter and maybe had the less important parts cut out. So I'm going to give this film three out of five stars
Charity Hope Valentine is works in a New York dance hall, she is always looking on the bright side of life and thinks she is about to be married. She is in for a disappointment though when her boyfriend pushes her off a bridge and takes all her savings. She still thinks she will find love and better her life though. Charity gets a nice surprise when she s invited by a famous actor to a night club and ends up back at his house but things don't go to plan and she spends the night in the closet.
Despite these set backs she is still looking for love and decides she is going to try and better herself with a proper job but when she goes to the employment agency she is told there is nothing for her as she cannot do anything, slightly disheartened she leaves but on the way down in the life it breaks down leaving her with claustrophobic Oscar Lindquist. When the lift finally gets going Oscar asks Charity on a date and she reluctantly accepts.
Things start to go well for them but as Charity has lied about her job will she get the happy ending she always wants or will this just be another disaster to add to her list?
This film only came to my attention a few days ago when hubby showed me a clip of Sammy Davies Jr. singing a song which I am quite fond of and then he told me it was actually from this film so I set about looking for the DVD. Luckily I was easily able to find it and not having any idea what the story was about I did not know what to expect. The film is a musical but this did not put me off and I have to say I did quite enjoy it despite sitting for over an hour waiting for the song I like! I did however think that at times the storyline did get a little far fetched when Charity was daydreaming and singing songs as she would suddenly appear in costume and start doing very silly dances but this can be overlooked as the storyline was very light hearted and quite funny at times.
Shirley MacLaine plays the lead role of Charity Hope Valentine and have to say she did an amazing job with the character. I loved her from the very start of the film and was easily able to warm to her and feel so may different emotions for her throughout the film. She worked well with the character of Oscar and I did find the chemistry between the two very genuine. Oscar was played by John McMartain and he too played a great part. I loved how shy and quiet he was when we first met him to how Charity got him to open up and enjoy more of his life. I did find I was willing their relationship to work and dreading when Charity had to tell the truth about where she worked.
There were a whole load of supporting actors and actresses in the film and I loved the women who worked at the dance hall with Charity, they were a good mixed bunch and they all had good, lively and strong personalities which did make for some entertaining parts.
The film was set in New York in the late 60's and this was very apparent right from the start of the film. The clothing was as I expected it to be from this era and the sets and scenery was all true to this period as well. I did notice how a lot of the film was shot on a film set and not on location and this was so much more noticeable as the film sets were so clean and when the film did go on location the streets and building were so much darker and dirtier. I also noticed how we got a few bad back drops in the film but I did overlook this as the film is very old and when this first came out it would have been using the latest technology and these effects would have looked excellent.
The film, is a musical and the songs really were good. The vocals from Shirley MacLaine were very good and so too were all the other singers. I loved how they were not exceptional singers but average as this made them much more believable and genuine and not as if they were trying too hard as this would have made their characters and role less believable. I did sit waiting for Big daddy to come on screen as this is the role which Sammy Davies Jr played as the song Rhythm of Life is one I really do like and I am always hearing it on the radio but never before have I been able to see how the original came about. I loved how it was used for a church and the congregation who also sang were very funny, it was so apparent that they were all smoking pot just from the big wide eyes they all had! This for me was the highlight of the film.
The running time of this film was a shock to me as it is a massive 2 hours and 28 minutes and I did think this was way too long. I don't think anything would have been lost from the overall storyline is a good 30 minutes would have been removed as towards the end of the film I was starting to loose interest and getting bored. The certificate is a PG and I do agree with this. The DVD can be bought on Amazon for around the £4 mark.
The DVD which I have does have some bonus features which include:-
Sweet Charity: From the Stage to the Screen
Edith Head's Costume Design: the Art of Exaggeration
As neither me or hubby are fans of bonus features we have not taken the time to watch these so I am not able to comment on them.
Overall I do recommend this film as taking everything into account it has a good story, good acting, excellent song and dance routines and I just though Sammy Davies Jr was fantastic, just don't let the running time put you off.