13 user 17 critic

Chicago (1927)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 23 December 1927 (USA)
A wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart, kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her.


Frank Urson


Maurine Dallas Watkins (play), Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Cast overview:
Phyllis Haver ... Roxie Hart
Victor Varconi ... Amos Hart
Virginia Bradford ... Katie
Robert Edeson ... William Flynn
Eugene Pallette ... Rodney Casley
Warner Richmond ... Asst. District Attorney
T. Roy Barnes ... Reporter
Clarence Burton Clarence Burton ... Police sergeant
Julia Faye ... Velma
May Robson ... Mrs. Morton - Matron
Viola Louie Viola Louie ... Two Gun Rosie
Learn more

More Like This 

Roxie Hart (1942)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Roxie Hart signs a murder confession in order to attract publicity for her dancing career as dames don't swing in Cook County. Will everything go as planned?

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, George Montgomery
Chicago (2019)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Two death-row murderesses develop a fierce rivalry while competing for publicity, celebrity, and a sleazy lawyer's attention.

Directors: Reed Meschefske, Marilyn Barnes, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Madison Vollmer, Faye Heneghan, Andy Bornman
Underworld (1927)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson
Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent
The Patsy (1928)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An awkward teenager hopelessly in love with her elder sister's boyfriend tries to make him notice her.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Marion Davies, Orville Caldwell, Marie Dressler
The Freshman (1925)
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nerdy college student will do anything to become popular on campus.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict
Lonesome (1928)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two lonely people in the big city meet and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park, only to lose each other in the crowd after spending a great day together. Will they ever see each other again?

Director: Pál Fejös
Stars: Barbara Kent, Glenn Tryon, Fay Holderness
Bare Knees (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young married woman in a small town is visited by her sister, a single "flapper" who causes a scandal in town with her bobbed hair and short skirts. She attracts the attentions of some of... See full summary »

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Virginia Lee Corbin, Donald Keith, Jane Winton
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A bitter clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Pat O'Brien, Mary Brian
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An Irish girl comes to America disguised as a boy to claim a fortune left to her brother who has died.

Director: Sidney Olcott
Stars: Marion Davies, Stephen Carr, J.M. Kerrigan




Based on a true crime story, the movie is about a wild jazz-loving and boozing wife Roxie Hart who kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her, and how she finagles her way out being convicted. Remade once as a movie, and as a Broadway musical. Written by Jonah Falcon <jonahnynla@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From obscurity she suddenly became a newspaper headliner as "the most beautiful murderess." (Print Ad- Philadelphia Inquirer, ((Philadelphia, Penna.)) 8 April 1928) See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Not Rated

Did You Know?


Presented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival to a sellout house of 1400 at the Castro Theatre on Saturday December 2, 2006. See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

User Reviews

A Sharp, Snappy Satire
22 April 2015 | by CJBx7See all my reviews

CHICAGO (1927) is the story of Roxie Hart (Phyllis Haver), a bored young housewife who kills her lover during an argument. She convinces her doting husband Amos (Victor Varconi) that she killed the man in self- defense. Amos goes to great lengths to save her from the noose, hiring oily lawyer William Flynn (Robert Edeson). Meanwhile, a slick reporter (T Roy Barnes) plays up her beauty and "innocence", making her into a nationwide celebrity. Direction is credited to Frank Urson, but in actuality Cecil B DeMille directed the majority of the film.

CHICAGO is an adaptation of a play by author Maurine Watkins, which was inspired by Watkins' own articles about the trial of real-life murderess Beulah Annan. The film is tight and well crafted. In particular, it's a sharp and merciless satire on unearned celebrity, societal double standards, and the hedonistic 1920s lifestyle. There are many laugh-out- loud hilarious scenes, including a scene where Flynn coaches Roxie on how to appear during his closing statement to the jury, and a scene of the photographer posing Roxie shortly after the murder takes place. Many scenes use exaggeration to make points about media sensationalism and lawyers' appeals to emotion, rather than truth, in order to exonerate their guilty clients. The humor is balanced by the dramatic portrayal of Amos' efforts to save his undeserving wife from the noose. Amos is the moral center of the movie, a decent man who is so in love with his wife that he is willing to break the law to save her, yet struggles with her murderous deed and self-centered, callous attitude.

The acting in CHICAGO is nothing less than excellent. Phyllis Haver makes a great lead, portraying the many facets of Roxie Hart's character skillfully. She shows equal comedic and dramatic ability. One could argue that Roxie is a sociopath, able to turn on the charm and the waterworks at will in order to get her way, but fundamentally lacking a conscience. Haver's portrayal of Roxie is perfect. I had never heard of Victor Varconi before, but he played Amos with great skill, sensitivity and restraint, turning in a very believable performance. The rest of the cast does fine work as well.

Visually, CHICAGO is top-notch, with skillful editing, fluid camera work, and meaningful use of visual cues. One instance of this is a shot of a crowd walking heedlessly on a newspaper with Roxie on the front page once her 15 minutes of fame are up. The visual style of the film points the way forward to the classic Hollywood style of the 1930s and 40s. This film came out the same year as landmark movies like SUNRISE, WINGS, and METROPOLIS, and even though it is not as celebrated as those visual marvels, in its way it's just as accomplished.

SUMMARY: CHICAGO is a skillful blend of satire and drama that boasts a razor-sharp script, excellent performances, and highly accomplished direction. The message of the movie has just as much resonance now as it did in its time. A classic! SCORE: 10/10.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

23 December 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicago See more »


Box Office


$264,397 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed