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Chicago (1927 film): Wikis


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Directed by Frank Urson
Produced by Cecil B. DeMille
Written by Maurine Dallas Watkins (play)
Lenore J. Coffee
Starring Phyllis Haver
Julia Faye
Victor Varconi
May Robson
Cinematography J. Peverell Marley
Editing by Anne Bauchens
Distributed by Pathé Exchange
Release date(s) December 27, 1927 (1927-12-27)
Running time 118 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English titles
Budget $1,500
Followed by Roxie Hart

Chicago is a 1927 comedy-drama silent film produced by Cecil B. DeMille and directed by Frank Urson.



Drawn from the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins which was in turn based on the true story of Beulah Annan, fictionalized as Roxie Hart (Phyllis Haver), and her spectacular murder of her boyfriend. The silent film adds considerably to the material in Watkins' play, some additions based on the original murder, and some to Hollywood considerations. The murder, which occurs in a very brief vignette before the play begins, is fleshed out considerably. Also, Roxie's husband Amos Hart (played by Victor Varconi) has a much more sympathetic and active role in the film than he does either in the play or in the subsequent musical. The ending is more cruel to Roxie, in keeping with Hollywood values of not allowing criminals to profit too much from their crimes (although she DOES get away with murder). The film was long difficult to see, but a recent print was made available from the UCLA Film and Television Archive, enabling the film to play at festivals and historic theaters around the country. This has greatly improved the reputation of the film.


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