Sweet Charity (film)
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bob Fosse|
|Produced by||Robert Arthur|
|Screenplay by||Peter Stone|
|Story by||Neil Simon (book for musical)|
|Based on||Le Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria)|
|Music by||Cy Coleman
|Edited by||Stuart Gilmore|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Sweet Charity, full title of which is Sweet Charity: The Adventures of a Girl Who Wanted to Be Loved, is a 1969 American musical film directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, written by Neil Simon, and with music by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields.
It stars Shirley MacLaine and features John McMartin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ricardo Montalban, Chita Rivera, 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 Le Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria). However, where Fellini's black-and-white 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 is notable for its costumes by Edith Head and its dance sequences, notably "Rich Man's Frug".
Charity Hope Valentine (Shirley MacLaine) works as a taxi dancer along with her friends, Nickie (Chita Rivera) and Helene (Paula Kelly). She longs for love, but has bad luck with men, being robbed and pushed off Bow Bridge in Central Park by one ex-boyfriend. She has another humiliating encounter with Vittorio Vitale (Ricardo Montalban), a movie star.
After failing to find a new job through an employment agency, Charity meets shy Oscar Lindquist (John McMartin) 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 found on the Laserdisc and DVD versions 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 in apprehension 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 Hope Valentine
- John McMartin as Oscar Lindquist
- Ricardo Montalban as Vittorio Vitale
- Chita Rivera as Nickie
- Paula Kelly as Helene
- Stubby Kaye as Herman
- Barbara Bouchet as Ursula
- Sammy Davis, Jr. as Big Daddy Brubeck
- Suzanne Charny as "Rich Man's Frug" lead dancer
- Ben Vereen as "Rich Man's Frug" dancer
- "My Personal Property"
- "(Hey,) Big Spender"
- "The Pompeii Club"
- "Rich Man's Frug"
- "If They 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?"
According to Variety the film earned rentals of $4,025,000 in the US and Canada.
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.
- "Sweet Charity, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
- Lisanti, Tom (September 25, 2007). Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood: Seventy-Five Profiles. McFarland. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7864-3172-4. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "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.