After her husband shoots a burglar in their apartment, Roxie Hart (Ginger Rogers) is talked into pretending she did it by a newsman and a theatrical agent who promise to sign her for a vaudeville tour. Realizing she'll bec... more »ome a household name overnight, Roxie agrees and becomes the center of an outrageous trial.« less
Mindy H. from GREENSBURG, IN Reviewed on 6/8/2010...
Chicago-the early edition. I loved the sassiness of Roxie Hart, how she played to the media. The story has been told many times but I've always loved this story. Not quite the big production of Chicago-but every enjoyable in it's own right. Always loved the ending.
A star vehicle for Ginger Rogers
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 04/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most people these days will want to see this film in order to compare it to the musical CHICAGO. ROXIE HART was the film adaptation of a previous stage hit CHICAGO, which introduced to the world the character Roxie Hart and her attorney Billy Flynn. I think it would be a shame if that was the only reason people watched this. Ginger Rogers turned in one of the half dozen best performances of her career in the title role (though in 1942 I think she was better in Billy Wilder's film debut as a director, in THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR). For those who only know her from her musicals paired with Fred Astaire, this film could be a surprise. Ginger had actually managed by 1942 a number of excellent non-musical comedic roles. It is ironic to compare this film with the 2002 musical version, and realize that the nonmusical version starred a musical star, while the musical starred a nonmusical actress (though Renee Zellweger acquitted herself very well indeed). Adolph Menjou is great as Billy Flynn. Menjou is sometimes today remembered more for his nonscreen activities than his acting. He cooperated with the House Un-American Activities Committee in the forties in ferreting out "communists" in Hollywood, which has placed him historically in a rather poor light. He is also remembered for being one of the best dressed men of the 20th century, appearing regularly at the top of lists of the best dressed men in the world for years. He was a star of the silent screen, but while he made a number of very good films in the sound era (including a tremendous role as a corrupt French officer in the great Stanley Kubrick anti-war film PATHS OF GLORY), his success was haphazard.This is a very satisfying film, and one can enjoy it either on its own merits or by comparing it with the recent Oscar-winning musical and Tony-winning stage musical. Either way, it is a film that the more recent versions shouldn't make us forget."
Ginger Rogers is simply great!
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 08/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We all know about the 2002 Academy Award Winning Musical "Chicago", starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger, but not too many people knew that this story had been filmed before as plain comedy in 1942.
Ginger Rogers does an excellent job portraying the rather vulgar & low-brow, but very appealing Roxie Hart, who is being judged for shooting a man, something she, in fact, didn't do...but, which oddly enough, she must pretend she did, in order to gain public notoriety & "stardom", in the late `20s Chicago!
She has to convince a Jury (integrated by men-only) to acquit her not-guilty, the poor young thing! (Rogers), helpless, shy, "demure", ...she just had to fight for "her honor"....and in the process she (hilariously) displays (in front of the Jury) many-a-smile and lots of "legs" (and batting eyelashes too!), to obtain it!!
Adolphe Menjou is excellent as her attorney, the "best in town", guiding her through all kind of schemes to gain both the acquittal and the press-coverage she so desperately needs to show "her talents" and become a "public name"...BTW, you have to watch Rogers dance the blackbottom!
George Montgomery is good as a young reporter who falls for Roxie, and the rest of the cast is filled with great character actors like Lynne Overman, Nigel Bruce, Spring Byington, William Frawley, Sara Allgood, Phil Silvers,...all of whom give expert and flawless performances.
The story was filmed before as a silent in 1927, as "Chicago", with Phyllis Haver as Roxie Hart.
Fox's DVD edition is great, giving us a great, sharp, crisp (in glorious Black & white) copy of the film. "
laddie5 | 05/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the same play as the current hit musical "Chicago," this outstanding movie has much of the same dialogue and a surprising amount of the same pungent satire (Adophe Menjou IS Johnnie Cochran). The movie's chief asset is Ginger Rogers, who gives the greatest performance of her career. She's fearless enough to play Roxie as a vain, selfish knucklehead and skillful enough to somehow make her sympathetic. Plus she does two wonderful solo dances that demonstrate once and for all that she had absolutely no need of her ex-partner... whatshisname. And, finally, those legs... wow. The movie has slight flaws: Roxie has been made innocent of murder (maybe) and a fairly icky framing device has been added. And, of course, the Kander and Ebb songs are missed. Nonetheless, this is a great, great movie -- hard, fast, and hilarious."
Different but lots of fun
eclectictastes | Columbus, OH USA | 04/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this out of curiousity after becoming a fan of Chicago the movie. It's fun to compare and contrast the modern version against this Ginger Rogers vehicle. Check out familiar characters (such as the prison matron "Mrs." Morton and Mary Sunshine) new characters (the reporter who has a crucial role in the end) and even missing characters (no Velma Kelley.)This 1942 film has the title character as a woman on trial for shooting a man who is strongly implied to be her lover. Unlike the Roxie Hart in Chicago, this Roxie is innocent and only on trial for publicity to bolster her show business career. Rogers is a lot of fun and chews the scenery as the gum snapping Roxie. In retrospect, it seems a natural that this story became a musical. Aside from a brief tap dance sequence, it's too bad Rogers couldn't show off her musical talents here.Make note to watch for the totally different but funny ending."
Kiss, Kiss and Bang, Bang! Roxie Hart is on her way!
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 03/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Never has a girl with so little done so much. When a 1920s has-been showgirl's husband shoots a burglar in her apartment, "Roxie Hart" (Ginger Rogers) decides to take the wrap. Why? Good business...and because outside of 15 minutes in the pen she becomes the biggest little murderess in old Chicago. Based on a true story, but this time played strictly for laughs, the bawdy, gaudy and luscious Roxy kicks up her high-stepping heels into one of the most publicized trials of the last century. There's much to admire in the story and Rogers is outstanding as the vixen turned hot property. Adolph Menjou costars as Roxy's ubiquitous attorney. TRANSFER: Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! This one's a winner. Despite a few scenes that lay claim to considerable film grain and minor mis-registration (resulting in some minor pesky halos) this DVD is minted from a remarkably clean camera negative. The gray scale is wonderfully realized, with rich, deep, solid blacks. Occasionally the contrast level appears a tad on the low side but only occasionally. For the most part what you get is a genuinely impressive looking transfer. The audio has been rechanneled to stereo with predictable dated characteristics. EXTRAS: A couple of trailers that illustrate just how awful this DVD might have looked if the good people at Fox hadn't worked some digital magic on this restored print.BOTTOM LINE: Get ready to shoot it out with "Roxie Hart" on DVD!"