Basis for the hit 2002 movie “Chicago.” This is a must see comedy. Ginger Rogers is at the top of her game as accused murderess Roxie Hart.
It’s 1942. Reporter Homer Howard (George Montgomery) is in a bar with a new reporter. He’s moaning that murder isn’t what it used to be. He gets the player piano going and starts to think back fifteen years to the case of Roxie Hart. The bartender O’Malley (William “Fred Mertz” Frawley) wants to hear the story.
Flashback to 1927.
Finnegan the janitor hears gunfire from the Hart’s apartment and calls the cops. The dead man was a sleazy booking agent. To protect Roxie her husband Amos signs a confession saying he shot a burglar. Case closed. Hold on….
The cops think Rosie is on the roof and go to look for her. She comes in through the window and reporter Jake Callahan is waiting. They get into a tussle and he locks her in the closet. He and the dead man’s business partner E. Clay Benham (Nigel “Dr.Watson” Bruce) convince her to confess to the murder. They say a pretty woman has never hung in Chicago and the publicity is worth a least a million bucks. She knows Amos is guilty but can’t resist. She confesses and is arrested.
Photographer Babe (Phil Silvers) takes lots of pictures of her before she’s taken to jail. Roxie has her own way in jail. She wears what she wants and food is sent over from top hotels and restaurants. Reporters, including new at the game Homer are allowed in. Also there is columnist Mary Sunshine (Spring Byington). Amos isn’t allowed in. Roxie has hired flamboyant attorney Billy Flynn (Adolphe Menjou). The press conference turns into a dance party and even Babe puts his camera down and joins in. Homer is smitten with Roxie and it looks like she returns the favor.
Everything is going her way. Then…Two-Gun Gertie (Iris Adrian) is arrested. Roxie is losing all her publicity. To get public attention back she pretends to be pregnant. It works. Flynn gets Amos to divorce her. Roxie doesn’t care because she’s way over him anyway.
Now it’s time for the trial. This is one of the funniest trial sequences ever and makes this a movie not to be missed.