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4.0 out of 5 stars72
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2004
I was really quite surprised to read some of the condescending reviews about this Master Piece! Purhaps, having not seen the stage show, I do not miss the 'better sequences' that have been cut. However, watching this movie time and time again, I never bore of its electric cast that shine with such presence throughout. I can totally believe how this film has been responsible for peoples careers..as a performer I was hugely tempted on first seeing this film, to become a dancer. It is so dynamically full of life and influencial in that way... All the 'chorus line' show great potential, though you can easily distinguish between who will 'get it' at the end and who will not. 'Surprise Surprise' a classic, so full of spark and even sexual tension!!! 'I can do that' and 'The one' obviously stand out to me, but 'Nothing' is performed with great pinazz too... The one star lost because I felt it focussed too much on Cassies relationship with Zak. Overall however, a very striking and memorable production. I would highly recommend to anyone considering the stage....
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on 11 November 2003
The nightmare of dance is its speed and timing. The chorus line is a fantastic example of proffesionalism at its best and gives you great understanding of the gruelling tasks set upon old and younge dancers in this very distinguishable era. I have many times done the opening dance "I hope i get it" and the difficulty level is phenomenal. Standing ovation!! Brilliant!!
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on 15 September 2010
A Chorus Line was one of the biggest hit musicals ever with an incredibly long run on Broadway. Personally, I always thought it was a good rather than a great show. But even so, anyone who sees the film version without having first seen the show on stage could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about. Hollywood does not have a very good track record in transferring Broadway classics to the screen. The usual reasons for the lack of success - mis-casting and the wrong director - are both evident in this film.

After several false starts, the film was handed over to Dickie Attenborough, then riding high on his Gandhi success - though that would hardly seem to qualify him for directing a musical. Then we have Michael Douglas - a Hollywood star - in a show that is supposed to be about the anonymous gypsies who are Broadway dancers. Douglas plays Zach, the director/choreographer, although he never gives the slightest hint that he has any talent for either of these jobs (unlike Roy Scheider in All That Jazz). On stage, the director was primarily an off-stage voice, making only one brief appearance. In the film, he is the undeserved center of attention. Thus the whole point of the show begins to disappear.

In building up the Zach role, the emphasis on his former girlfriend Cassie is also increased. So much so that the film could easily have been re-named Zach And Cassie - the chorus line are reduced to minor supporting roles instead of being the focus of attention. Too often, the dancers' stories are interrupted and even ruined by endless cutaways to closeups of Zach and Cassie looking tortured. Not to mention the totally pointless flashbacks. And is Cassie worth all this angst? As played by Alyson Reed, the answer is, frankly, no. When she finally gets to dance, there is nothing special - no obvious star quality. The song for her big solo is changed from the original to a quite banal and forgettable piece that has no hope of being the highlight it should be. Then, to make things even worse, the show's one popular hit - What I Did For Love - is taken away from Morales and the dancers and given to Cassie. So instead of it being a song about the sacrifices that dancers are willing to make, it becomes Cassie's self-pity ditty. This, and other similar decisions, throw the entire show off balance and buries the whole point of A Chorus Line.

In the end, there is little emotional engagement for the audience. The final selection of the dancers seems rather arbitrary and could just as easily have been made at the beginning of the process. Viewed strictly on its own terms, A Chorus Line is probably an enjoyable experience for many people. But, taken in context of the original show and what it is all supposed to be about, the film version is both disappointing and mediocre.
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on 19 March 2002
For fans of the stage show, avoid this. Remember that this is not a recording of a stage performance. It was turned into a movie, and Dickie Attenborough succumbed to the old Hollywood habit of ruining stage musicals.
There is unnecessary expansion of the back story of the relationship between Zack & Cassie. The one song in the show that doesn't quite work for me, "Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love" is replaced by a new song "Surprise Surprise" that is worse! One of my favourites, "The Music and The Mirror", is also replaced! The greatest sin of all is missing the point of "What I Did For Love": by giving it to Cassie it now becomes a throwaway lost love song, instead of the summary of why we're all here. For this show, we need the music, the mirror, and the white line on a bare stage - not this film version.
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on 13 February 2001
"A Chorus Line" follows the fortunes of a multitude of dancers as they audition for a new show on Broadway. The gritty reality of the audition process to which dancers, singers and actors subject themselves is sympathetically portrayed, including some wonderful 'private moments' from some of them, detailing why they chose to become a dancer. Those from a theatrical background will find much to recognise (eg one of the first songs - "I need this job!"), but the film does not exclude those who have never experienced an audition procedure. The music is great, as is the choreography, and the film brings to living colour a show originally produced for the stage. It is one of those films that leaves you humming the music, tapping your toes, refreshed by the humanity of it all, and wanting to watch it again.
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on 2 June 2010
This film received much unjustified adverse comment when first released but has stood the test of time. I purchased this for my sister-in-law whose video of it has worn out from viewing! Well lit, well directed, well filmed but above all Superb Dancing!
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on 19 February 2010
Short & Sweet Revue
A great film well acted, danced & directed. You really get involved in the story & feel the anxiety of the dancers hoping they are going to get the job. Most importantly you want to get up & dance 2 left feet and all.
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on 29 August 2013
The case had no sleeve notes, the sound for some reason was was not that high at a normal volume, the quality of the film was not very sharp, not sure if it was a true copy. Some of the songs that I remembered were missing, I had seen the stage show only a week before so this was fresh in my head, as others have said the film alters the storyline and removes the best of Music and the Mirror and, also totally alters the context of "What I did for love" what a shame there is not a copy available of the full original Broadway soundtrack of the stage show to show those new to the show how good it really is, unfortunately the show has now closed in London, lets hope they create a proper copy for when it goes on tour for people to enjoy, well done to Amazon at promptly refunding the purchase price, back to listening to the sound only
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on 15 November 2013
I bought this as a present for my wife and was initially reluctant to watch it: "oh, is it one of those musicals where people just burst into song for no reason, no thanks"
However when i did get to sit down and watch it i was pleasantly surprised, it feels more like a play with its tight structure and focus on interaction between characters given the limited set.
There is something voyeuristic about the film, even though it is set on a stage, it is almost as if we are watching the bits the audience shouldn't see. We see the raw nature of their imperfections and insecurities that are hidden in a lavish production and are exposed by the format of rehearsal and selection.
Not a classic but a nuanced study of life on the Chorus Line.
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on 16 April 2002
This movie to me was one of the greatest influences in my dance career because it captured the energy and the love for dance that only a dancer can know. I did not see the broadway show because it will ruin the movie for me. They are two seperate performances. A great young talented cast headed by a great director is a plus.
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