Sweet Charity [1969]

After several years as the hottest musical director on Broadway, Bob Fosse made his film directorial debut with this movie version of his Broadway hit, which was based on Fellini's Nights of Cabiria. Shirley MacLaine is terrific as the proverbial hooker with the heart of gold, one who is convinced that she will find the right man if she just turns enough tricks. The Cy Coleman score is a solid one; the film is at its best when Fosse lets his cast of singer-dancers (which includes Chita Rivera, Paula Kelly, and Sammy Davis Jr.) unleash his leggy brand of choreography. While the film suffers from stylistic excesses of the period, you can see the seeds being planted for Fosse's future musical film forays in Cabaret and All That Jazz. --Marshall Fine

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