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But it is the message of the film which is so sad. The plot revolves around a woman in prison, arrested for murdering her lover, and is explicated through the means of jazz nightclub dance routines and songs. Thus life is seen as either a prison or a performance. This becomes a vehicle for nihilistic postmodernism set to music. There is no truth, there are no values or justice in this life. Courtroom decisions turn on the style and theatre of the witnesses. Anyone who is loyal or loving is an idiot to be manipulated. Life is to be lived by 'razzle-dazzle', in other words by lies and deceit. And finally as the two female stars get together in a last dance routine we find that not only do relationships mean nothing, but the audience are applauding guns and murder.

John Benton

A nasty piece of work

CHICAGO Director: Rob Marshall Cert. 12A

This is one of those films which after you have seen you wish you had not. The certification gives no clue to the offensive raunchiness and cynicism which pervade the whole thing.