Silent Movie: CHICAGO
Starting at 7:30PM
Silent Movie with LIVE musical accompaniment
Stephen Horne - piano
Martin Pyne - percussion
Seventy-five years before Bob Fosse’s Oscar-winning musical version of Maurine Watkins successful stage play, Cecil B DeMille’s production company made this saucy silent film version.
Phyllis Haver is hugely entertaining as the brazen Roxie Hart “Chicago’s most beautiful murderess” – a woman so pathologically shallow she sees notoriety for a murder rap as an opportunity to secure her fortune. Egged on by her crooked lawyer (“they’ll be naming babies after you”) Roxie neglects her long-suffering loyal husband and sets about milking her celebrity status for all she’s worth.
The sequence in the prison is an absolute delight – particularly the rivalry between Roxie and fellow murderess Velma (played by DeMille’s mistress), as are the climactic courtroom scenes.
A cracking, satire on fame and the media, this fun-filled tale of adultery, murder and sin (so sinful that DeMille – known for his Biblical epics – was at pains to keep his name off the credits) is as fresh and relevant as ever.
1927. 118 minutes