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A Chorus Line

  • Drama
  • Music
  • 1985
  • Richard Attenborough
  • 117 mins
  • PG

Summary

Screen version of the long-running musical, starring Michael Douglas. A group of young and not-so-young hopefuls arrive at a Broadway theatre to audition for a big new show. Their hopes, lives and futures depend on their performances.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

The highly successful Broadway show on which this is based was so relentlessly theatrical in all senses - the auditions that comprise the narrative took place on the stage itself, with the director located at the back of the stalls - that it was generally considered impossible, and certainly imprudent, to film. In fact, numerous directors, including the show's brilliant originator Michael Bennett, failed to find a way to transfer its dynamic intensity to the big screen. Richard Attenborough had already succeeded with a similar work, Oh! What a Lovely War, creating a truly cinematic musical from a resolutely theatrical piece. Unfortunately, A Chorus Line resisted him. The strength of the show remains, but, by incorporating flashbacks and, crucially, substituting songs and choreography, the original is undermined, not enhanced. Nevertheless, since this is effectively a record of one of the greatest works of musical theatre, there is much of merit, especially Alyson Reed, who's touching as key dancer Cassie, and ex-Dallas regular Audrey Landers, who does well by one of the great showstoppers. Particularly noteworthy, too, is the talented contribution of British editor John Bloom, while Michael Douglas puts in a sharp performance as the show's producer.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
ZachMichael Douglas (1)
CassieAlyson Reed
LarryTerrence Mann
MarkMichael Blevins
MoralesYamil Borges
SheilaVicki Frederick
ValAudrey Landers
ConnieJan Gan Boyd
KimSharon Brown
RichieGregg Burge
PaulCameron English
AlTony Fields
KristineNicole Fosse
BebeMichelle Johnston
MaggiePam Klinger
JudyJanet Jones

Crew

rolename
DirectorRichard Attenborough

Details

Theatrical distributor
Rank Film Dists Ltd
Released on
1986-01-10
Languages
English
Guidance
Contains some swearing.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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