Chicago Movie Comparison

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Chicago is an excellent performance to study when writing about issues such as gender, race, class and sexuality. Although there has been many versions such as the Broadway musical, Frank Urson’s 1927 film and, of course, the original text by Maurine Watkins, for this essay, I am going to be focusing on Rob Marshall’s 2002 film adaptation. It is important to know that this version is based on Bob Fosse’s 1975 Broadway adaptation. Fosse himself struggled with the temptation of pills, alcohol and women, which may have influenced his version of Chicago, “On the surface, it seems like Fosse lived his life as if he were constantly and intentionally pirouetting himself to death — with the help of Dexedrine, Seconal, alcohol, overwork, and an endless…show more content…
A time in which women were desperately fighting for their rights, African-Americans were moving north to avoid the newly founded segregation laws in the south and crime was seen with less severity and more as a form of entertainment, "Gin and guns—either one is bad enough, but together they get you in a dickens of a mess, don't they." (Gaertner, 1924). I am going to discuss how Chicago, the film shares both differences and similarities to the city of Chicago through the lens of gender, race, class and sexuality, with relevant historical context. I have structured this paper into 5 parts, I will firstly give an insight into the film Chicago and some context of the time it was set. I will then discuss gender and sexuality in Chicago, both the film and the city itself in the 1920’s. Secondly I will talk about the influence race had on this period in time. Next, I will briefly discuss class in Chicago. Throughout this paper I will discuss my personal views as well as giving genuine facts and…show more content…
These adaptations, however, are not originals and stem from on source. Maurine Watkins was a reporter around the time that Chicago is set, during her time as a reporter there were two cases of women murderesses, Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan. One of the cases was that of Beulah Annan’s on which Watkins reported, “On 3 April 1924, in the married couple’s bedroom, Annan shot Kalstedt in the back. According to her initial story, they had been drinking wine Kalstedt had brought over and got into an argument. There was a gun on the bed and both reached for it, but Beulah got it first and shot Kalstedt while he was putting on his coat and hat. She then sat drinking cocktails and playing a foxtrot record, Hula Lou, over and over for about four hours as she sat watching Kalstedt die. She then called her husband to say she had killed a man who had “tried to make love” to her.” (Watkins, 1924). Annan is quite obviously the inspiration for the character Roxie Hart, played by Renee Zellweger. Roxie’s character follows the same story by shooting dead a man she was having an affair with after he threatened to leave, she even sings a number called ‘We Both Reached for the Gun’. Watkins also reported on the case of Belva Gaertner, “On 11 March 1924, Belva Gaertner allegedly shot and killed her lover Walter Law, a married man with one child. Law was found sprawled in the front seat of Gaertner’s car with a bottle of gin and

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