Sweet Charity 1969 (1969) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Taxi dancer Charity continues to have Faith in the human race despite apparently endless disappointments at its hands, and Hope that she will finally meet the nice young man to romance her ... Runtime: 149 mins Release Date: 23 Sep 1969
Fosse's first film and big bomb is remarkable (by zetes)
There's just something about this movie that I love. I had seen bits and pieces of it some half a dozen times in the past couple of years. Tonight I finally sat and watched all of it. In theory it sounds like blasphemy: a musical remake of Fellini's Nights of Cabiria. But somehow first time director Bob Fosse pulls it off, and enormously well. Fosse is daring and innovative in his direction. Not just in the musical numbers, where you would expect it, but in every scene. He plays, and he's obviously having a ball. After the direction, a high percentage of the film's success is <more>
due to Shirley MacLaine, who was never better as Charity Hope Valentine. As much as I love and care for Giullieta Masina's Cabiria, I love and care for MacLaine's Charity. She's such an enormously lovable character, and MacLaine is simply brilliant. Her comic timing is impeccable. Sweet Charity also proves an interesting time capsule of late 60s New York City. In the scene cognate to the Picadilly Club in Nights of Cabiria, we visit a trendy night club where the girls where blue feathers as hats. Clips of Cleopatra the one with Claudette Colbert and an unidentifiable W.C. Fields movie play on a big screen in the background. We visit a religious ceremony for hippies who sing The Rhythm of Life. Sammy Davis Jr. is the priest! In Cabiria, a parade of young people cheer her at the end of the film. In Sweet Charity, a group of hippies, amongst them a young Bud Cort, hand out flowers in the morning, just saying good morning to everyone they meet. This movie was a huge bomb when first released. Fosse is actually really lucky they gave him another chance at direction, and then he made a film instantly recognizable as a masterpiece, Cabaret. Sweet Charity did not deserve to fail so miserably. Just the fickle fingers of fate, I guess.
MacLaine, Fosse & Fellini Make a Musical Comedy (by Kennedy63)
While "Sweet Charity" was being filmed, almost 40 years ago, Shirley MacLaine was a song and dance actress with a body and matching charm that wouldn't quit.Bob Fosse was the rising choreographer of MacLaine's and so many other dancers' dreams, in this, his first major musical.Fellini was a brilliant director.In hindsight, MacLaine's career may have been royally jump-started by "Sweet Charity." As a dance hall hooker, more or less, her character, Charity Hope Valentine, was looking for Mr. Goodbar--a man with money to marry.Her classic song, "If they <more>
could see me now," comes from this musical and as scene where she found one such guy. Nearly 2 scores later, MacLaine is still playing leading characters with the same comical charm and extraordinary talent; still singing hits like "I'm still here," in "Postcards from the Edge," and has out lasted both famous men.What I've always loved about Shirley MacLaine's characters is that even though they are supposed to be sexy, like Charity, as a dance hall hooker, she makes them into charming, funny, and innocuously cute-sexy rather than sleazy women. In fact, it's her trademark to do so. "Irma la Douce" is another fine example.Though MacLaine could have easily used her dancer's body to seduce us to the pinnacle of the stage and screen, she uses her multiple talents instead. And she is "still here!"
Bob Fosse's masterpiece and most amazing film creation, 'Sweet Charity' has to be the top of my list for musical/romance/comedy enjoyment. I have watched this film well over 50 times, and still it never tires me. Shirley MacLaine's performance as the title star, Charity Hope Valentine, is award-winning! Her genuine, lovable character really brings the film to life as you begin to know and understand her throughout it. I remember feeling immense sadness for her each time her love for another man is abused, and its films that bring emotion like that out of you that are one of <more>
the greats! The ending is truly captivating, and her faith in hope creates a fantastic feeling for the close of this wonderful movie, hopefully ever after.
Shirley MacLaine/ Giulietta Masina (by damian-fuller)
"Hey big spender" That's all I knew about Sweet Charity. A musical version of Federico Fellini's masterpiece "The Nights Of Cabiria" - I didn't think of Cabiria when I saw Charity on the screen. Shirley MacLaine's recreates and reinvents Giulietta Masina's Cabiria. That is something that very rarely works. But here in Bob Fosse's version, Cabiria has a new life, an American life, a song and dance life but just as sad. Sad but not hopeless. There is the spirit of Cabiria/Charity that will survive. Shirley MacLaine is magnificent. She manages to <more>
project that innocence that makes everything not just palatable but delicious.
Musical inspired by Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria" (by mdm-11)
This film adaptation of the Broadway hit updates the original it was based on, namely Federico Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria". "Sweet Charity" is set in the "hip" 60s, the times of "flower power" and bubble gum.Shirley MacLaine is wonderful as Charity, the "hooker with a heart of gold" who is determined to settle down with a good man and live a respectable life. Unfortunately Charity gets used and abused by most of them, until a shy, well mannered accountant offers her marriage. Thrilled about the prospects of settling down, Charity rushes <more>
to the marriage license bureau, only to have her "fiance" get cold feet after he learns of all the "other" men Charity has known . Shattered and suicidal, Charity "gets her smile back" when "flower children" ask her to be their friend. -- Like "Nights of Cabiria", this film leaves the viewer heart broken, yet with a glimmer of hope: Never give up on your dreams and one day they will come true!
An Under-appreciated Screen Musical, One of My Favorites (by evanston_dad)
Shirley MacLaine fills the formidable shoes first worn by Gwen Verdon, who created the role of Charity Hope Valentine in the stage musical on which this film is based, and makes the role her own."Sweet Charity" is nearly a one-woman show, so the success of any version depends almost entirely on its leading lady, and MacLaine delivers the goods and then some as this New York City "dance hall hostess," part broad and part waif, who wants nothing more than to just be loved but always manages to pick the wrong guy. It's to MacLaine's great credit that you don't get <more>
frustrated with Charity, despite her denseness and her willingness to be treated like a doormat. Rather, you respond to the inherent good in her, the belief against all evidence to the contrary that life can have a fairy tale ending, and which the screenplay and MacLaine's performance convey without an ounce of sentimentality. There's not a whole lot of plot; rather, the film takes you into the life of this warm character through a number of episodic segments, until finally we realize that Charity's problem is not, as she thinks, that she's not good enough for anyone, but rather that she can't find someone who's good enough for her.Bob Fosse, who directed and choreographed the stage version, takes on the same tasks here, with somewhat mixed results. The choreography is stellar, especially during the "Rich Man's Frug" number, set in a hilariously stylized version of a trendy New York night club; and during the "Rhythm of Life" number, led by Sammy Davis, Jr. as a sort of hipster preacher who leads bizarre revival meetings in parking garages. But Fosse's direction is a little less sure, and when one compares this film to his later efforts, like the nearly perfect "Cabaret" and the not as perfect but still fascinating "All That Jazz," one can see how much shakier he is here. He struggles to meld a very conventional style of film-making to his own unique cinematic style, the results being that all of the musical numbers are dazzling and energetic while all of the non-musical moments are a bit flat. He also gives in too much to trendy 1960s flourishes, so the film seems dated now.But the good in this film greatly outweighs the bad. The terrific score retains most of the major songs from the musical: "Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This," "I'm a Brass Band," and "I Love to Cry at Weddings." The title song is set to a different tune, and is an improvement over the version that appeared on stage. "My Personal Property" replaces "You Should See Yourself" as Charity's opening number -- again, an improvement. "A Very Nice Face" replaces "I'm the Bravest Individual" as the number sung by Charity when she and Oscar a hilariously spastic John McMartin are trapped in an elevator, the one song that's not as good as the original. Ricardo Montalban makes a terrific Vittorio Vitali, the virile and lusty Latin lover movie star who takes Charity back to his place only to leave her stranded in a closet all night when his girlfriend shows up unexpectedly, but his big number, "Too Many Tomorrows," is dropped. And the rubber-limbed Chita Rivera and Paula Kelly, playing Charity's fellow dance hall hostess friends and roommates, don't get their second-act number, "Baby, Dream Your Dream" in the film, but they do great work on "Big Spender" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This," which the three actresses perform on a rooftop in a scene reminiscent of "West Side Story." "Sweet Charity" came out a time when the Hollywood musical was dying, and because it was a box office bomb, I feel that it gets lumped in with other bad films from the late 60s, like "Doctor Dolittle," "Camelot," "Hello, Dolly," and "Throughly Modern Millie," but it's leaps and bounds better than any of those, and is one of the unsung musical gems from that era.Grade: A
Sure, Bob Fosse sometimes indulges in trendy late-60's stylistic touches like freeze-frames and crash-zooms. Some of the jokes by Neil Simon are corny, and Shirley MacLaine can be a little hard to take sometimes. The film also suffers from the bloated, over-produced quality that infected most 60's major studio musicals.The dull non-musical scenes are a chore to sit through, but when one of Fosse's amazing production numbers begins, Sweet Charity soars into the sublime. Fosse was quite simply a genius, and the great showcase numbers such as "Hey Big Spender" and <more>
"Rich Man's Frug" are as brilliant as any dance numbers ever put on film.Shifting configurations of dancers, contorted body poses, dance steps that are by turns awkward and graceful, a studied contrast between clustering dancers and separating dancers -- it is hard to describe the magic of the Pompeii Club sequence. I've always felt that Fosse's choreography has the same sense of space and volume as Cubist painting.Fosse's camera placement and camera movement capture an ideal "in-the-round" feeling of choreographed numbers that one cannot experience in the theater. For a first-time film director, Fosse revealed an amazing facility for the form. Usually theater directors don't take to the medium of film as quickly as Fosse did. Usually, theater directors make visually unexciting films that feel stage-bound. Not Fosse -- Sweet Charity, despite some flaws, doesn't play like a filmed stage play, it has the visual panache of Fellini and Godard.Sweet Charity was just a warm-up, Fosse's personal film school at Universal's expense, before he truly mastered the form of film-making with the classic Cabaret.
A largely overlooked Musical Gem... (by ijonesiii)
Bob Fosse's first opportunity to direct a movie was the 1969 film version of his own Broadway musical SWEET CHARITY, a musical based on the film NIGHTS OF CABERIA, with a book by Neil Simon and music by Cy Coleman and Doothy Fields. The story is best described by the film's subtitle: "The Adventures of a Girl Who Wants to be Loved". Shirley MacLaine, taking over the title role from Fosse's wife and muse, Gwen Verdon, plays Charity Hope Valentine, a pathetic thing who has worked as a taxi dancer in the Fandango Ballroom for eight years and has basically been a doormat to <more>
men all her life. As her friend Nickie Chita Rivera explains, "You run you heart like a hotel...you got men checking in and checking out all the time." The story is told in a series of amusing and touching vignettes which lead to Charity meeting the possible man of her dreams, a milquetoast named Oscar Lindquist John McMartin, reprising his Broadway role . This film died at the box office in 1969 and I'm not sure why except for the fact that this was a period when musicals just weren't being made anymore and that's a shame because the movie is extremely entertaining, thanks to the bravura performance by MacLaine as Charity and the extraordinary choreography by Bob Fosse. I can watch this movie over and over again just to watch the dance numbers. The raw sensuality of "Hey Big Spender"...the angular, disjointed and pointed moves of "Rich Man's Frug"...the Broadway exuberance of "There's Gotte be Something Better Than This", exuberantly danced by MacLaine, Rivera, and Paula Kelly...the brilliant jazzy classic Fosse moves of "Rhythm of Life"..and the pure joy of "I'm a Brass Band." All of Fosse's choreographic signatures are present here...the hats, the gloves, the turned in feet, the disjointed body parts, the expressionless dancer faces, it's all here to be watched and studied and marveled over. For dance purists and Fosse devotees, SWEET CHARITY is a must.
Sweet Charity 1969 vs. Broadway Version 2005 (by whpratt1)
Recently enjoyed the Broadway Production of "Sweet Charity", starring Christina Applegate, "Married with Children",'87 TV Series and enjoyed her great acting and dancing skills. Just recently decided to view the Hollywood version of "Sweet Charity", with Shirley MacLaine, Charity Hope Valentine ,"Bruno",'2000, who gave an outstanding performance by putting her heart and soul into the role of a Sweet, Loving Hooker. Sammy Davis, Jr., Big Daddy Brubeck ,"Tap",'89, gave an extra plus to his role and made this 1969 production a great <more>
success. I must say that both Applegate and MacLaine performances were equally outstanding and it was great seeing Christina in person on a Broadway Stage where she belongs.