Shirley MacLaine is Charity Hope Valentine a dance hall girl who always seems to get the short end of everything or as she puts it… the fickle finger of fate…
But she never loses faith that she will meet the right guy to take her away from her dreadful life. Based on Federico Fellini’s sublime Nights of Cabiria 1957 starring Giulietta Masina.
The lush colors and masterful photography by Robert Surtees (The Graduate 1967, The Last Picture Show 1971) create a visual kaleidoscope, surrounded by the incredible choreography by Bob Fosse who also directed the film. With memorable music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.
Sweet Charity is a musical dream dressed up in Edith Head’s stunning and stand-out fashions.
The film also stars the wonderful Paula Kelly as Helene, and Chita Rivera as Nickie… the dance numbers are just too smokin’, and there’s a particular mod party dance sequence that is probably the closest thing for me to dropping acid… phantasmagorically chic…
Nickie (Chita Rivera) to Charity-“You know what your problem is… You run your heart like a hotel… You got guys checking in and out all the time.”
One of the best moments of the film: Enter Sammy Davis Jr and The Rhythm of Life!
May the fickle finger of fate never find you! Your EverLovin’ MonsterGirl
Though I appreciate Paulette Goddard’s work in the 1949 version, the re-filming of Anna Lucasta in 1958 again written and scripted by Phillip Yordan with an all black cast is powerful good. Arnold Laven’s direction brings to life a more visually potent assemblage of splendid characters. I go through little bursts of adoration and nostalgia, a while ago it was for Paul Williams… lately I’ve been loving Sammy Davis Jr. Both he and the sensuous depth of Eartha Kitt create an atmosphere of volatile romanticism.
The story is an engaging and moral tale about young Anna (Eartha Kitt) who is rejected by her sanctimonious father Joe played to the hilt by Rex Ingram (God’s Little Acre 1958, Desire in the Dust 1960) While the rest of the family wants Anna to come home, her self-righteous father can’t resist demonizing his daughter, with an underlying incestuous desire that he is battling. She takes the road of the fallen woman and becomes a good time gal who meets Danny (Sammy Davis Jr.) a cab driving sailor who is as smooth as silk and as fiery as molten lead. Here they are in a surreal sequence that showcases the versatile beauty and ease both performers possess- set against the stirring Elmer Bernstein modern jazz score!
Who can make the sunshine? Sammy Davis Jr can!… Cheers Your Everlovin’ Joey