theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bob Fosse|
|Produced by||Robert Arthur|
|Screenplay by||Peter Stone|
|Story by||Neil Simon|
|Based on||Sweet Charity |
by Neil Simon
Nights of Cabiria
by Federico Fellini
Pier Paolo Pasolini
|Music by||Cy Coleman|
|Edited by||Stuart Gilmore|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$8 million|
Sweet Charity (full title: Sweet Charity: The Adventures of a Girl Who Wanted to Be Loved) is a 1969 American musical comedy-drama film directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse (in his feature directorial debut), written by Peter Stone, and featuring music by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields.
It stars Shirley MacLaine and features John McMartin, Sammy Davis Jr., Ricardo Montalbán, Chita Rivera, Barbara Bouchet, Paula Kelly and Stubby Kaye. It is based on the 1966 stage musical of the same name – which Fosse had also directed and choreographed – which in turn is based on Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli's screenplay for Fellini's film Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria, 1957). However, whereas Fellini's film concerns the romantic ups-and-downs of an ever-hopeful prostitute, the musical makes the central character a dancer-for-hire at a Times Square dance-hall.
The film has costumes by Edith Head.
Charity Hope Valentine works as a taxi dancer along with her friends, Nickie and Helene. She longs for love, but has bad luck with men, first seen when her married boyfriend, Charlie, pushes her off Gapstow Bridge in Central Park and steals her life savings of $427.
Charity meets famous movie star Vittorio Vitale, just as he breaks up with his girlfriend, Ursula. Charity has a promising, but ultimately humiliating, relationship with Vittorio that evening.
After failing to find a new job through an employment agency, Charity meets shy Oscar Lindquist in a stuck elevator. They strike up a relationship, but Charity does not reveal what she does for a living. When she finally does tell Oscar, he initially seems to accept it, but finally tells Charity that he cannot marry her.
The optimistic Charity faces her future, alone for the time being, living hopefully ever after.
An alternate ending, included on the Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray releases, picks up after Oscar leaves Charity. Oscar starts to go crazy in his apartment and, feeling suffocated, goes for a walk in the park. He sees Charity on their bridge in Central Park and thinks she is going to jump. Racing to rescue her, he trips and falls in the water. Charity jumps in after him, but can't swim so Oscar rescues her. Oscar realizes Charity is the only breath of fresh air in his life, proposes again, and she accepts. Fosse thought the ending was too corny, but filmed it anticipating that the studio would demand a happy ending. In the end, though, they agreed with Fosse and kept the original ending from the stage version.
- Shirley MacLaine as Charity
- John McMartin as Oscar
- Chita Rivera as Nickie
- Paula Kelly as Helene
- Stubby Kaye as Herman
- Barbara Bouchet as Ursula
- Ricardo Montalbán as Vittorio
- Sammy Davis Jr. as Big Daddy
- Suzanne Charny as dancer ("Rich Man's Frug")
- Alan Hewitt as Nicholsby
- Dante D'Paulo as Charlie
- Bud Vest as dancer
- Ben Vereen as dancer ("Rich Man's Frug")
- Lee Roy Reams as dancer
- Al Anti as dancer
- John Wheeler as dancer
- Leon Bing as model
- "My Personal Property" *
- "Big Spender"
- "The Pompeii Club"
- "Rich Man's Frug"
- "If My Friends Could See Me Now"
- "The Hustle"
- "There's Got to Be Something Better Than This"
- "It's a Nice Face" *
- "The Rhythm of Life"
- "Sweet Charity"
- "I'm a Brass Band"
- "I Love to Cry at Weddings"
- "Where Am I Going?"
* New song written for the film
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||13|
Awards and honors
The film received three Academy Award nominations: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Alexander Golitzen, George C. Webb, Jack D. Moore); Best Costume Design; and Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation). It received one Golden Globe nomination for Shirley MacLaine as Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
- 2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
- 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
- "Sweet Charity, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 281. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Sweet Charity (1969): review". AllMovie. 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 50
- "NY Times: Sweet Charity". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
- "Festival de Cannes: Sweet Charity". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-20.