The movie is based on the Kander and Ebb Broadway musical, Chicago, which was based on the Maurine Watkins play, Chicago, which was in turn based on the stories of two Jazz-era killers, Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.
The film follows a similar plot to William Wellman’s 1942 film Roxie Hart, starring Ginger Rogers as Roxie and Adolphe Menjou as Billy Flynn. However, the only singing or dancing were performances by Rogers.
The film was to have been the next movie project for legendary stage and film choreographer and director Bob Fosse, who directed and choreographed the original Broadway production. Although he died before the film was made, the influence of his distinctive jazz choreography style can be detected throughout the film. In particular, the parallels to Cabaret are numerous and distinct. He is thanked in the movie’s credits.
Both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zelwegger are fantastic in this film, Jones went on to win best Supporting Actress Oscar. Amazingly, even though this was a musical, Only one song from the film was nominated for Best Song of the year, however it lost to Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” from the film 8Mile.
A comeback for the film industry, the Musical was said to be on it’s way back after Chicago’s win and great acceptance, unfortunately though there really has not been any good musicals put to film other than Chicago and Moulin Rouge, since. A