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Chicago [VHS] [2003]

Renée Zellweger , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Rob Marshall    Suitable for 12 years and over   VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Taye Diggs, Cliff Saunders
  • Directors: Rob Marshall
  • Writers: Bill Condon, Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb, Maurine Dallas Watkins
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Craig Zadan, Don Carmody
  • Format: Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Buena Vista
  • VHS Release Date: 4 Aug 2003
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KGC1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,375 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Adapted from the long-running stage version, this big-screen Chicago is a non-stop singing and dancing extravaganza that may well herald the welcome revival of the film musical. When the part-time lover of wannabe star Roxie (Renee Zellweger) is murdered, she is banged up with Chicago's most famous singing murderess, Velma (Catherine Zeta-Jones). They compete for the attention of the best lawyer in town, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere). Drawn to the special angle of Roxie's case (the sweetest killer to hit Chicago), Flynn offers her a taste of stardom and her daydreams of singing on stage are juxtaposed with the action.

Chicago has transferred well to film, seamlessly merging Dennis Potter-esque dream sequences with the action. Though the stage show uses sets sparingly, here the look has been heavily influenced by the only successful musical of recent times, Moulin Rouge, with heavy velvets and drapery offering a rich feel to the murky underworld of 1920s Chicago clubs. The hot question is: can the movie stars cut it as performers? Surprisingly, it is Zellweger who looks most comfortable in the part, regardless of her awkward dancing. Zeta-Jones is just that little bit too butch to be believable as a flapper girl, despite her stage school roots, and lacks a certain panache. But one thing is in her favour: she's believable as the ultimate starlet bitch. Gere does not fare much better, with his tap-dancing sequence littered with cutaways (mercifully his dancing and singing is kept to a minimum). The real show-stealer is Queen Latifah, whose matron of the cells is perfect and her singing spot-on. More than anything else, though, this film will whet your appetite to see the original on the West End stage. --Nikki Disney

Product Description

Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones star in this Oscar-winning big screen adaptation of the popular Broadway show. In 1920s Chicago nightclub singer Velma Kelly (Zeta Jones) and aspiring starlet Roxie Hart (Zellweger) are both arrested on the same night for committing two different murders. Placed in jail together, both women accept the advice of lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) and soon begin using their present circumstances to further their quest for wealth and fame.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT WILL RAZZLE-DAZZLE YOU... 28 Sep 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
This is a fantastic musical. From the beautifully designed sets, to the period costumes, to the show-stopping song and dance numbers, it will simply razzle-dazzle the viewer. The director and his singing and dancing troupe of stars simply pull out all the stops in this brilliantly executed musical.

The film, which provides a cynical and satirical look at fame and fortune, centers in nineteen twenties Chicago around two murderesses, Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger). Velma, who together with her sister, was a dance hall success, killed her husband and her sister when she caught them together en flagrante delicto. True to the maxim, however, that the show must go on, she goes on stage immediately after dispatching the two lovers, where she is promptly arrested.
Roxie Hart, an admirer of Velma Kelly, is married to Amos Hart (John C. Reilly), a good-hearted, regular Joe, but she longs for tabloid fame and fortune. She begins to have an affair with a man who promises that he could get her a stage gig only to find that he lied just to get her in bed. So, she ends up killing him. Her long suffering husband stands by his little woman as she is trundled off to jail to await trial. There she meets her idol, Velma Kelly, who finds her hero-worship annoying.
In the jail, Matron "Mama" Morton (Queen Latifah) reigns supreme over the inmates, accepting bribes for favors. Velma Kelly, represented by star defense attorney Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), is in tabloid heaven. Roxie Hart, longing to be in tabloid heaven as well, gets her husband to retain Billy Flynn on her behalf. Before she knows it, she, too, is in tabloid heaven, playing the media like a violin.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hey, what do you mean hanging?" 23 Mar 2005
Format:DVD
I have never been a big fan of musicals, and there is only a couple that I consider great movies, like "All That Jazz" and "Cabaret". I have to say that even though "Chicago" is not at the exact same level as these two movies, it is good enough to leave a lasting impression. The music is very good and entertaining, the performances of Catherine Zetta-Jones and Renee Zellweger are inspiring, and the story is interesting.
The film starts by jumping right into the action, with amazing music - what a great song is "All that Jazz" - and with Velma Kelly (Zetta-Jones) walking into her dressing room, hiding a gun and washing the blood from her hands. That same night, Roxie Hart (Zellweger) is among the audience watching Velma and dreaming of being like her. She even witnesses when the police comes to take Velma away for the murder of her cheating husband and her sister, who was the object of his affection.
Meanwhile, Roxie is acting on her dreams, and to get there she is sleeping with a man she believes has connections in the show business world and can help her become a star. When she finds out that he was lying, and his "connections" were just a scam to get into her pants, she kills him by shooting him point blank. The husband tries to save her, but is not successful in his attempt, and does not try hard after he figures out what was going on between the deceased and his wife; thus, Roxie ends up in the same prison as Velma.
Enters Billy Flynn (Gere), the slick lawyer that has a reputation for being able to get anyone off the hook, no matter how gruesome the crime or how abundant the evidence. He is Roxie's last chance, so she has to engage in a competition with Velma to see which case he handles first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-quality product of excellent musical 28 Sep 2009
Format:Blu-ray
I like this musical and movie very much, and the blue-ray version is of extremely high quality.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very, very good ; but not inspired 28 April 2007
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this set, with the substantial extra material, a lot of which is very interesting, particularly the extended version of particular numbers, in which you get some ides of how they were prepared and rehearsed. It's an excellent show anyway, with a lovely, quick paced seedy atmosphere, and it is very, very professionally done. Why not 5 stars? Well, I enjoy the work of Renee Zelwegger, Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Gere - they are all very skilled, very professional and very, very good, and their performances give a lot of pleasure, but I never feel that any one of them is a died-in-the-wool vaudeville performer, a true music hall artiste. At its worst (and this impression is only very occasional) it just seems a little too much like hard work. It is a very carping criticism, but whereas, say, Liza Minelli in 'Cabaret' seemed born to the role, these three are more like fine professionals who won it at audition and have done a fine, conscientious job. But no-one should hesitate from buying the set. It does pretty good justice to a very good show and is very good value for money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true diamond indeed. 19 Aug 2014
By Steve
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The description and even the box say Region A, but it played fine on my Region B player. The picture and sound quality of the Blu-ray are top notch, and is a new remaster compared to the Region B disc.

The new extras are pretty extensive, and interesting if you're into musical theatre, but made me smile all the way through thanks to director Rob Marshall's ill-advised fake tan that makes him look like he's escaped from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

The only thing that's a shame is that the older extras (including the deleted song "Class") are on the included DVD rather than the Blu-ray, and some people might have a little trouble playing the Region 1 DVD. Even then, I'd suggest that purists watch it rather than the Region 2 DVD, because the PAL transfer process involves speeding up the audio which is sacrilege for a musical.

All in all, a very impressive definitive edition of my all-time favourite movie musical, which is only slightly marred by minor problems. I got it at a really good price (cheaper than the slightly inferior UK Blu-ray) and was delighted with it.
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