Roxie Hart

Roxie Hart

5.0 1
Director: William Wellman

Cast: Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, George Montgomery


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Thanks to the success of Rob Marshall's Chicago, the inspiration for that film, William Wellman's Roxie Hart, was finally made available to the public on DVD. Starring Ginger Rogers, the movie is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby…  See more details below


Thanks to the success of Rob Marshall's Chicago, the inspiration for that film, William Wellman's Roxie Hart, was finally made available to the public on DVD. Starring Ginger Rogers, the movie is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital Stereo, and Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but this reasonably priced title should be worthwhile to any fan of Chicago or Rogers.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
The second screen version of Maurine Watkins' play (the first, Chicago, was released in 1927) and the inspiration for the Bob Fosse musical and its Oscar-winning 2002 film is a snappy little comedy. Producer/writer Nunnally Johnson cleverly begins the story in the present day, with veteran reporter Homer Howard (George Montgomery) recalling the good old days, 15 years before, when Chicago was a wide-open "city of opportunity," replete with charismatic gangsters like Al Capone and sensational trials like the one involving an aspiring dancer, her boyfriend, and her jealous husband. A bartender (William Frawley) eggs him on to tell the story of Roxie, and in another clever touch, the barkeep shows up in the flashback in a key role. Ginger Rogers gives a one-note performance, though an enjoyable one at that, as the gum-chewing Roxie, and Adolphe Menjou, as her mouthpiece, Billy Flynn, rumples his hair and suit for the trial until he looks like John Barrymore. Rogers does get to dance twice, once in a jailhouse number accompanied by a gang of reporters (including Spring Byington as Sunshine Mary), and again in a solo number on the jail's iron steps to impress the smitten Homer. There are other pleasures, including Phil Silvers as Babe, who orchestrates his fellow tabloid photographers as they frequently interrupt the trial to take posed photos (which the judge always seems to sneak into) and the reactions of Roxie's farmer parents to her arrest (Pa: "They're gonna hang Roxie." Ma: "What did I tell you?"). Director William Wellman keeps things moving along, though there are still some dry patches, and the ending, forced by the Production Code, is a limp joke. For the record, Roxie has two jailhouse rivals, though neither of them are as strong as the musical Chicago's Velma Kelly.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ginger Rogers Roxie Hart
Adolphe Menjou Billy Flynn
George Montgomery Homer Howard
Lynne Overman Jake Callahan
Nigel Bruce E. Clay Benham
Phil Silvers Babe
Sara Allgood Mrs. Morton
William Frawley O'Malley
Spring Byington Mary Sunshine
Ted North Stuart Chapman
Helene Reynolds Velma Wall
George Chandler Amos Hart
Charles D. Brown Charles E. Murdock
Morris Ankrum Martin S. Harrison
George Lessey Judge
Iris Adrian Two-Gun Gertie
Milton Parsons Announcer
Billy Wayne Court Clerk
Charles Williams Photographer
Leon Belasco Waiter
Lee Shumway Policeman
Larry Lawson Reporter
Harry Carter Reporter
Pat O'Malley Policeman
Bob Perry Prisoner's Bailiff
Jeff Corey Orderly
Jack Norton Producer
Leonard Kibrick Newsboy
Frank Orth Idler
Alec Craig Idler
Edward Clark Idlers
Frank Darien Finnegan
James Pierce Policeman
Arthur Aylesworth Mr. Wadsworth
Margaret Seddon Mrs. Wadsworth
Stanley Blystone Policeman
Mary Treen Secretary
Philip Morris Policeman

Technical Credits
William Wellman Director
James B. Clark Editor
Richard Day Art Director
Wiard Ihnen Art Director
Nunnally Johnson Producer,Screenwriter
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Hermes Pan Choreography
Guy Pearce Makeup
Ad Schaumer Asst. Director
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Gwen Wakeling Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. A Roscoe .38 an Alibi [1:44]
2. Broken-Hearted [3:08]
3. Here's the Story...and Confession [3:04]
4. A Pretty Murderess [2:28]
5. A Lying Coquette [2:12]
6. How Lucky Can a Girl Be? [2:53]
7. Building an Image [1:03]
8. Queen of the Jailhouse [2:19]
9. For a Price [2:02]
10. Contriving a Defense [2:25]
11. Every Last Detail [2:33]
12. Blackbottom Jazz [4:03]
13. Chicago Can Competition [:24]
14. Hit it While it's Hot! [2:39]
15. Motherhood Equals Freedom [2:30]
16. "Justice, Chicago Style" [2:33]
17. Roxie in the Hot Seat [6:38]
18. Summing Up Roxie [:51]
19. We the Jury... [8:52]
20. Now That's a Dame! [4:43]

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Roxie Hart 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Never has a girl with so little class done so much damage. When a 1920s has-been showgirl's husband shoots a `burglar¿ in her apartment, 'Roxie Hart' (Ginger Rogers) decides to take the wrap. Why? Good business...and because, outside of 15 minutes in the pen, she becomes the biggest little murderess in old Chicago. Newspaper men court her, the tabloids report her every move, journalists become her best friend and greatest sympathizers. What¿s a girl to do but lap it all up in stride and bask in the glory of infamous notoriety? Based on a true story played strictly for laughs - the bawdy, gaudy and luscious Roxy kicks up her high-stepping heels in one of the most publicized trials of the last century. There's much to admire here, not the least of which is Rogers outstanding performance that proves her talents were far more extensive than performing as one half of the most successful dance team in film history; Astaire & Rogers. Adolph Menjou costars as Roxy's ubiquitous attorney. Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! This one's a winner. Despite a few scenes that lay claim to considerable film grain and mis-registration (resulting in some minor pesky halos) this DVD is minted from a remarkably clean camera negative. The gray scale is wonderfully realized, with rich, deep, solid blacks. Occasionally the contrast level appears a tad on the low side but only occasionally. For the most part what you get is a genuinely impressive looking transfer that clearly has been the benefactor of some major digital restoration. The audio has been re-channeled to stereo with predictable dated characteristics. A couple of trailers that illustrate just how awful this DVD might have looked if the good people at Fox hadn't worked some digital magic on this restored print, sum up the extra features on this disc. So get ready to shoot it out with 'Roxie Hart' on DVD! Highly recommended.