A Chorus Line (1985)
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Movie InfoBroadway's celebratory musical about rejection makes it to the screen in a fizzless adaptation by Richard Attenborough that misses the whole point of the Broadway show -- i.e. the dancing and the dancers. Instead, the dancers become a limp Greek chorus for the dead love affair between a choreographer, Zach (a pre-Gordon Gekko Michael Douglas) and his old flame, Cassie (Alyson Reed) the star dancer. Zach is holding try-outs for a new Broadway musical and, as armies of dancers are brought on stage to audition for Zach, he sits in the darkened recesses of the theater, puffing on a cigarette, as he winnows out hopeful dancers who want to become part of the chorus line for Zach's new show. Finally, Zach has reduced the dancers to 16 men and women, and he asks each of them to step to the footlights and tell him about their lives and their dreams. But backstage, while the dancers are confessing their pasts to Zach, Zach's past walks through the stage door. Cassie, Zach's ex-lover, whom Zach met, courted and broke up with in the theatrical environs, has returned. Once a big star, Cassie has returned to the theater -- not to see Zach but to audition for Zach's musical. She needs the work. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for A Chorus Line
'A Chorus Line' will certainly give people who think they want a career in dance some idea of whether they're up to the challenge. And the rest of the audience will never look at a musical chorus line the same way.
Misconceived and poorly executed by director Richard (Gandhi) Attenborough, who turns the Broadway smash hit musical into a total bore.
They should've just left it on Broadway
A Chorus Line vividly conveys the anxiety and hopefulness of dancers trying out for a Broadway musical
"astonishingly, it throws out just about everything that made the show a classic"
They did the best they could ... which (unfortunately) isn't all that great.
Something about this high-kickin,' ways-of-the-world broadway musical just doesn't translate well to the screen. And unless you're a Broadway actor or a wannabe Broadway actor, don't expect to enjoy it...or even understand it.
Audience Reviews for A Chorus Line
I recently saw a 30 minute excerpt of the play at a community theater conference. This got my wife and I interested in watching the DVD. Unfortunately, some songs were added in the movie that were not in the stage musical and some songs were excluded from the movie that were in the stage musical. This all came together to mean that the audience doesn't get a chance to know all of the core group of auditioning dancers as well here as in the stage version and that the emotional impact seemed diminished. I ended up thinking that the 30 minute excerpt with some of the highlights of the show was a better piece of entertainment than this two hour movie.
That being said, I did like Michael Douglas's performance. The drama happening between the director, the choreographer, and the returning star is something I missed in the excerpt I saw. I missed the song from the stage production though where the director asks the performers what they would do if they couldn't dance. The way the camera captures the dance numbers, the often used mirrors, the backstage areas, and the dark shadows of the house where the director sits made the movie visually interesting especially since I love theater. I only really fell in love with three of the musical numbers here in the movie, so that's not a very large percentage. Overall a disappointment.
Good fun, lovable characters, fantastic dance. Cop out of a story, but hey it's Broadway. Worth the watch.
P. S. The DVD box looks like shit.
Really, really, REALLY cheesy. I also wasn't a fan of how they switched some of the songs to fit in their bad '80s versions with disgusting synthesizers. The dancing is great though, and Michael Douglas fits right in despite not having a song to sing. I have to point out though, doesn't the Larry character look like Tim Curry?? A Chorus Line has its moments, but it's really ruined by the 80s. Pity.More
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