From Stage to Silver Screen: Top 15 Movie Musicals of the Last 50 Years

By Ben Rimalower
14 Sep 2013

Renée Zellweger

8. "Chicago" (2002, directed by Rob Marshall)

Inasmuch as Rob Marshall's flashy film of "Chicago" is a departure from Bob Fosse's gritty original production, its success is also a tribute to Fosse. While Fosse's original production of Chicago was somewhat overshadowed by the cultural watershed A Chorus Line, which opened the same year, Walter Bobbie's smash hit (still running!) 1996 Broadway revival stripped the piece down to its essentials, perhaps offering audiences easier access to the by-then very relatable theme of the celebrity of crime. Ironically that spare, lean version paved the way for Marshall's almost epic screen realization, which, while departing from Fosse's style aesthetically, liberally borrowed from Fosse's cinematic concepts in translating music and dance to the big screen. As Fosse himself wrote the libretto, the movie "Chicago" ends up feeling like an ecstatic celebration of Fosse himself, in all his hard-bitten show biz glory.


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