The Broadway Bound Blogathon 2019 – A Chorus Line (1985)

This is my 1st of 3 reviews for The Broadway Bound Blogathon  2019 being hosted by Rebecca of Taking Up Room.

Tnx for letting me partake Rebecca!


“I couldn’t catch a ball if it had Elmer’s Glue on it. And wouldn’t my father have to be this big ex-football hero. Well, he was so humiliated, he didn’t know what to tell his friends, so he told them all I had Polio. On Father’s Day, I used to limp for him. ” – Bobby

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A group of dancers auditioning for the role of a lifetime, must debate their lives in front of the director with hopes that they will be among the names called to take part in the stage production..

My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about when it came out 24 years ago and despite the hype of it being an adaptation of the hit stage production, I never had much of a desire to watch it.

This was actually the first choice for me when I initially heard of this blogathon.

The overall premise is quite an interesting one, but I think that it is the kind of story that works much better on stage than on the screen.

The choice to use unknown actors and actresses in the main roles was a great one since it allows us to see them in their role as anonymous dancers in the field of thousands while still being able to slightly retain their unique identities as they are slowly developed before our eyes due to their conversations with the director.

The music of this film is ok, but none of the songs really stood out among the others.

Overall, this film feels as if something crucial is missing and that may be due to the fact that most of the shots in the film are wide shots that help with the character and story development on a more epic scale.

Michael Douglas’ choice to join this film as the director is a strange one since the character is kept at a distance as he probes the new potential actors about their lives in order for us to get to know and understand the life that these people in this profession choose to live.

This is an enjoyable film due to its message about life and despite it being far from perfect, it was still quite interesting to finally see.

Bottom Line – Great idea that works well here, yet probably worked even better on stage. The choice to cast unknown actors and actresses for the roles of the auditioning actors works quite well since we want them to remain as anonymous as possible while still retaining their unique identities.  The music is ok, and there are a few catchy tunes yet overall, something feels missing along the way that would help endear it even more especially due to the overuse of wide shots.  I’m still a bit confused as to why Douglas was willing to take such a job as a director that helps move the various stories of the protagonists along.  Glad I finally got to see this despite it being far from perfect.  Recommended

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The original Broadway production opened at the Shubert Theater in New York City on July 25, 1975, won the 1976 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Book and Score and ran for six thousand one hundred thirty-seven performances, setting a record. That record was broken by “Cats”, which ran for seven thousand four hundred eighty-five performances. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)


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5 thoughts on “The Broadway Bound Blogathon 2019 – A Chorus Line (1985)

  1. Pingback: Broadway Bound 2019: Day Three – Taking Up Room

  2. I feel the film version of A Chorus Line was a disappointment but not the disaster it has sometimes been labelled. Dropping one of the highlights (The Music and The Mirror) sequence really impacted upon the success of the film. I think that Richard Attenbourgh was a fine director but he missed the mark here in bringing one of the great stage musicals to the screen.


  3. Your point about too many wide shots is very interesting, and I believe you about them detracting from the movie. On the other hand, I wonder if it drives home the idea that the chorus line is always about the group instead of the individual. But that’s just me–I’ll have to see the film. Thanks for this great review!


  4. Great review Rob! I saw this film a few years ago and, despite it not being rated very high, I fairly enjoyed it. No, it’s not perfect but it’s a very watchable film and I LOVED some of the songs, especially At the Ballet and One (the final). I also loved the energy of the dancers. But I agree with you that this might work better on stage than on screen.


  5. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1985 | MovieRob

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