Roxie Hart

ROXIE HART. 1942

Director: William A. Wellman

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Ginger Rogers has great comic presence in this farcical tale of a would-be show-girl who gets the chance to promote herself by pretending to be guilty of murder in order to get free publicity & show off her considerable charms in the courtroom.

She's not worried her flashy but inept attorney (Adolphe Menjou) will fail to get her off & she'll be sent up for the crime she didn't commit, because she only has to bring forth the one real witness to the crime to clear her name. When that witness unexpectedly dies of cardiac arrest, however, it looks like she might actually get the death penalty.

Based on the stage play Chicago & remade as the inexplicably much-awarded musical fiasco of the same name, the two films barely resemble each other except in broadest outline. Although there's a song or two & a dance or two Roxie Hart is much less a musical than the redone Chicago. The leading man, George Montgomery, really sucks, & is upstaged at every turn even by bit roles by familiar comics & character actors like Nigel Bruce, Phil Silvers, Spring Byington, William "Fred Mertz" Frawley, & several others.

Very likely this would've been a greater vehicle for Ginger if there'd been more choreography & singing. As it stands, it's kind of an okay to pretty-good little charmer, less worthwhile for the story than for the winning talent running around inside it.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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