Sweet Charity (1969) (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder

3 Stars

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63 Comments

  1. MacmaninSB

    The movie really does not hold up well at all.

    I've lost count of the many times I've seen Sweet Charity since I first saw the original Roadshow presentation at the St. Francis theatre in San Francisco in 1969. Enjoyed Shirley MacLaine's superb performance, the thrilling Bob Fosse choreography, the Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields songs, the poignant narrative etc. Now you've told me it does not hold up well at all. Oh dear, why didn't someone tell me? I had no idea. Thanks for that information. Now, I know.

  2. Ronald Epstein

    We are still a long way from street date so I expect that price to come down even more.

    However, the fact that is is a 2-disc set won't help much.

    I think it's going to come down some more too, but it's a film title that I can wait to buy during one of Kino's sales.

  3. Robert Crawford

    Come on guys, all opinions are welcome on this forum. If you don't agree with a film opinion then counter with your opinion. If you think it's a trolling post then ignore it and don't respond to it.

    I did ignore it although I am intrigued that someone who had posted only three times in nearly seven years felt the need to make that point.

  4. Robert Crawford

    Hence, my other point in that post.

    Well I got trolled too in another thread in a different forum but I'm not wasting my time in a smack battle.

    I could always hit the Report button if need be.

    As for Sweet Charity (1969) itself, I already have my order in using the link of course.

  5. Ronald Epstein

    We are still a long way from street date so I expect that price to come down even more.

    However, the fact that is is a 2-disc set won't help much.

    Or wait for one of those fantastic Kino sales.

  6. I have a somewhat counter-opinion about this one but please bear with me till the end of the story because I've realized it's indicative of WHO we are as part of HTF culture (I think.)

    SWEET CHARITY is one of those movies I periodically put on over the years but realize I never really watch the ENTIRE thing and I sort of skip around to the parts I love.

    A friend of mine and I were planning to watch FOSSE/VERDON as a team and HE had only previously seen PAJAMA GAME and CABARET. I determined we should probably watch DAMN YANKEES, SWEET CHARITY and ALL THAT JAZZ prior to the series so that it all made sense to him. YANKEES and JAZZ went over like gangbusters, but watching CHARITY all the way through I found a complete and utter slog. It felt endless and with so many production numbers that by the time "I'm a Brass Band" came on I thought I would go out of my mind. I stammered and explained that I usually only watch the parts of the movie I want to see and that I'm partial to and that it has been a long time since I've watched the whole thing with context and I'm sorry that the whole is less than the sum of its parts and blah blah blah.

    He (who is all about streaming and makes fun of me for having so much physical media) says "Well, at least that's one that's so bad you won't need to buy the blu-ray."

    I looked at him like he had two heads and said, "What are you talking about? OF COURSE I'M BUYING THE BLU-RAY!!" 🙂

  7. Will – there are several musicals that I’ve either seen so many times or find then a little boring in the script that I just skip to the musical numbers and sometimes watch the numbers two or three times back to back, Sweet Charity is one of those and I have the Blu-Ray on order too.

  8. I love the film of Sweet Charity from beginning to end. What it does very well for me is create its own world believably, despite being over the top in some cases. I got the French blu, and watching it projected in a dark room I felt like I was there with real people.

    One scene that really gets me is when Charity goes to the job interview. Shirley plays that so well. I am sure we have all had a moment in our lives when we suddenly realized we were out of our depth, and that stunned feeling of disappointment. Again, IMO Shirley plays that so believably.

  9. KPmusmag

    I love the film of Sweet Charity from beginning to end. What it does very well for me is create its own world believably, despite being over the top in some cases. I got the French blu, and watching it projected in a dark room I felt like I was there with real people.

    One scene that really gets me is when Charity goes to the job interview. Shirley plays that so well. I am sure we have all had a moment in our lives when we suddenly realized we were out of our depth, and that stunned feeling of disappointment. Again, IMO Shirley plays that so believably.

    And that scene was written for the movie. It is not in the Broadway musical and I agree that it is a great scene!

  10. I've waited far too long for "Sweet Charity" to arrive on BD;
    let alone as a 4K restoration, 2 Discs and an essay from our beloved Julie Kirgo;
    so I'll be darned if I'm gonna wait an extra couple of months, just to see if I can save 3 more bucks.
    "Chow me down, baby", it's a Day One deal.:)

  11. KPmusmag

    I love the film of Sweet Charity from beginning to end. What it does very well for me is create its own world believably, despite being over the top in some cases. I got the French blu, and watching it projected in a dark room I felt like I was there with real people.

    One scene that really gets me is when Charity goes to the job interview. Shirley plays that so well. I am sure we have all had a moment in our lives when we suddenly realized we were out of our depth, and that stunned feeling of disappointment. Again, IMO Shirley plays that so believably.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Love every scene and frame of the film, and the job interview scene is heartbreaking. I think Shirley is as great in Sweet Charity as she is in The Apartment.

  12. KPmusmag

    […]One scene that really gets me is when Charity goes to the job interview. Shirley plays that so well. I am sure we have all had a moment in our lives when we suddenly realized we were out of our depth, and that stunned feeling of disappointment. Again, IMO Shirley plays that so believably.

    JohnMor

    I agree wholeheartedly. Love every scene and frame of the film, and the job interview scene is heartbreaking. I think Shirley is as great in Sweet Charity as she is in The Apartment.

    I'm not coat tail grabbing, here, but I couldn't agree more. I found the interview scene to be painfully vulnerable, raw and multi-layered; as it was the epicenter of Charity's trap and tragedy in a life, to which even her dreams could not rescue her from. Now, with that said, between her dancing and the rest of her performance throughout, this interview scene should've cinched it for Shirley MacLaine to receive an Oscar nomination.

  13. PMF

    I found the interview scene to be painfully vulnerable, raw and multi-layered; as it was the epicenter of Charity's trap and tragedy in a life, to which even her dreams could not rescue her from. Now, with that said, between her dancing and the rest of her performance throughout, this interview scene should've cinched it for Shirley MacLaine to receive an Oscar nomination.

    Sweet Charity received three Oscar nominations:

    ART DIRECTION
    COSTUME DESIGN
    MUSIC (Score of a Musical Picture–original or adaptation)

    The Actress nominations that year were: (to include Shirley, which one would you eliminate?)
    Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
    Liza Minnelli, The Sterile Cuckoo
    Jean Simmons, The Happy Ending
    Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    Shirley MacLaine's always been one of my favorite actresses. I've been thinking of getting the UK release of her brief TV series, Shirley's World.

  14. MartinP.

    Sweet Charity received three Oscar nominations:

    ART DIRECTION
    COSTUME DESIGN
    MUSIC (Score of a Musical Picture–original or adaptation)

    The Actress nominations that year were: (to include Shirley, which one would you eliminate?)
    Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
    Liza Minnelli, The Sterile Cuckoo
    Jean Simmons, The Happy Ending
    Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    Shirley MacLaine's always been one of my favorite actresses. I've been thinking of getting the UK release of her brief TV series, Shirley's World.

    Not Fonda, not Simmons, not Smith; and Minnelli has that telephone scene…

  15. MartinP.

    […]The Actress nominations that year were: (to include Shirley, which one would you eliminate?)
    Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
    Liza Minnelli, The Sterile Cuckoo
    Jean Simmons, The Happy Ending
    Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
    […]

    Impossible to eliminate any one single actress from above;
    so I would've opted to eliminate all five to make certain that Shirley got the edge.;)
    No doubts, though, this is one of the tightest, most deserved roster of Best Actress nominees ever.:thumbs-up-smiley:
    Perhaps they should've released "Sweet Charity" in the following year and had eliminated Ali MacGraw for Love Story.:D
    FILE UNDER: Snubbed means never having to say you're sorry.:lol:

  16. PMF

    Impossible to eliminate any of the above.
    One of the tightest, most deserved roster of Best Actress nominees ever.
    But, since you asked, I would've released "Sweet Charity" in the following year and had eliminated Ali MacGraw for Love Story.:D
    FILE UNDER: Snubbed means never having to say you're sorry.:roll:

    I would eliminate Love Story from History. Period.

  17. MartinP.

    Sweet Charity received three Oscar nominations:

    ART DIRECTION
    COSTUME DESIGN
    MUSIC (Score of a Musical Picture–original or adaptation)

    The Actress nominations that year were: (to include Shirley, which one would you eliminate?)
    Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
    Liza Minnelli, The Sterile Cuckoo
    Jean Simmons, The Happy Ending
    Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    Shirley MacLaine's always been one of my favorite actresses. I've been thinking of getting the UK release of her brief TV series, Shirley's World.

    Yes I have a soft spot in me soul for Shirley MacLaine as well. If you’re interested in what a young Shirley was like, check out Artists & Models (1955), available online.

    Compare that with her performance 34 years later in Steel Magnolias (1989). I’m still LMAO over Shirley’s locker room scene from that film.

  18. Kyrsten Brad

    Yes I have a soft spot in me soul for Shirley MacLaine as well. If you’re interested in what a young Shirley was like, check out Artists & Models (1955), available online.

    Thanks, Brad…I love the "Bat Lady," LOL! Around three years ago a friend and I watched Artists & Models and I thought it was a hoot. And a year later AMPAS had a screening of it at their Goldwyn Theatre, so I decided to go see it on the big screen with a full house!

  19. bujaki

    I would eliminate Love Story from History. Period.

    "There's gotta be something better than this…" Heh!

    The interesting thing about Love Story that I read once is that Erich Segal supposedly had written it as a screenplay and shopped it around a long time and no one wanted it, so he adapted it into a book. The book took off big time and then they all wanted it.

  20. I also skip scenes in 'Sweet Charity', just like Will. But hell, after watching a movie 20 times or more, it makes sense to switch to one's favourite musical scenes. I do that in the Fred and Ginger movies too, and in 'South Pacific' and 'Carousel' … that's what chapters are for. Life's getting shorter and I need to see more and more favourite things!
    At least, thanks to a cataract removal last week, everything's more vibrant. Next one in July. And the third in December. Maybe I'll be able to watch two movies at once.

  21. AnthonyClarke

    I also skip scenes in 'Sweet Charity', just like Will. But hell, after watching a movie 20 times or more, it makes sense to switch to one's favourite musical scenes. I do that in the Fred and Ginger movies too, and in 'South Pacific' and 'Carousel' … that's what chapters are for. Life's getting shorter and I need to see more and more favourite things!
    At least, thanks to a cataract removal last week, everything's more vibrant. Next one in July. And the third in December. Maybe I'll be able to watch two movies at once.

    Drei augen?

  22. MartinP.

    Sweet Charity received three Oscar nominations:

    The Actress nominations that year were: (to include Shirley, which one would you eliminate?)
    Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
    Liza Minnelli, The Sterile Cuckoo
    Jean Simmons, The Happy Ending
    Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

    Honestly? All except Jane Fonda (who should have won). My own five nominees would have been:

    Jacqueline Bisset The Grasshopper
    Claire Bloom Three Into Two Won't Go
    Jane Fonda They Shoot Horses Don't They?
    Shirley MacLaine Sweet Charity
    Barbra Streisand Hello Dolly

  23. KPmusmag

    One scene that really gets me is when Charity goes to the job interview. Shirley plays that so well. I am sure we have all had a moment in our lives when we suddenly realized we were out of our depth, and that stunned feeling of disappointment. Again, IMO Shirley plays that so believably.

    In my opinion, her very best scene in the whole movie. I got a huge lump in my throat the first time I saw it, and it affects me the same way every time I see it.

  24. MartinP.

    Sweet Charity received three Oscar nominations:

    ART DIRECTION
    COSTUME DESIGN
    MUSIC (Score of a Musical Picture–original or adaptation)

    The Actress nominations that year were: (to include Shirley, which one would you eliminate?)
    Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
    Liza Minnelli, The Sterile Cuckoo
    Jean Simmons, The Happy Ending
    Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    Shirley MacLaine's always been one of my favorite actresses. I've been thinking of getting the UK release of her brief TV series, Shirley's World.

    I would eliminate either Simmons or Minnelli that year. I think both performances are somewhat overrated. Good, but just not on par with the other nominees that year.

  25. Sat in behind Shirley MacLaine at the Walter Kerr Theatre tonight for the performance of Hadestown. Got one of those still pixie smiles when we were evaluating another theatergoer’s dress. A lovely lady.

  26. ahollis

    Sat in behind Shirley MacLaine at the Walter Kerr Theatre tonight for the performance of Hadestown. Got one of those still pixie smiles when we were evaluating another theatergoer’s dress. A lovely lady.

    So cool.
    BTW, you should've slipped her a piece of paper with some HTF info on it, so she could've found this thread.
    I bet Ms. MacLaine would be tickled pink to learn that 50 years later she's still currently in contention for a 1969 Oscar nomination
    Regardless, ahollis, I'd rather be the recipient of just one of those "pixie smiles" over having 3840 pixels any day of the week.:cool:

  27. Dear Kino Lorber,

    I would like to be the first to do a review on your upcoming 4K restoration of "Sweet Charity". Of course, with all the supplemental materials included I should need to take extra time and good care with these set of discs, to which your staff has prepared. Therefore, I would like to recommend that KL send me a single copy of "Sweet Charity" well in advance of the street date; maybe within this first week of July; in order for me to do my meticulous best within my research, prose and professionalism.

    Sincerely,
    PMF;)

  28. PMF

    Dear Kino Lorber,

    I would like to be the first to do a review on your upcoming 4K restoration of "Sweet Charity". Of course, with all the supplemental materials included I should need to take extra time and good care with these set of discs, to which your staff has prepared. Therefore, I would like to recommend that KL send me a single copy of "Sweet Charity" well in advance of the street date; maybe within this first week of July; in order for me to do my meticulous best within my research, prose and professionalism.

    Sincerely,
    PMF:)

    NOTE: If anyone can think of a more creative way of coaxing a copy of "Charity" from Kino, prior to its tortuously long wait of August 20th, then please let me know. Darn it, maybe I should've offered to pay for the shipping, as well.:roll:

    So what you're saying is you've gotta have a gimmick 😉 !

  29. This is a fun movie with great dancing, great music, great numbers, great costumes. I saw it when I was very little when it first came out. There is a funny story that someone overheard a man say to his wife during intermission: “Barbra Streisand is so good in this!” His wife says, “That’s not Barbra Streisand. She did Funny Girl.” The man said, “I thought this was Funny Girl.”

  30. Several years ago, I was performing in a play at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati. While I was backstage before the show, I came out of the dressing room and ran into a group of people who were there for a discussion of Women's Rights in one of the other auditoriums. A voice said, "Excuse me? Can I ask you a question?"

    I turned around and came face-to-face with Shirley MacLaine.

    "Who is the Representative in Congress in this district?"

    I swear to you by all that is holy that I knew the answer. In that moment, however, I was so surprised and starstruck that the name was nowhere to be found in my brain.

    "I… uh… It's… Oh, crap. I can't remember," I stammered.

    She smiled and said, "That's ok. Break a leg." With that, she and her handlers walked down the hall.

    I've been kicking myself ever since for feeling like such an idiot in front of her. Still, the fact that Shirley MacLaine told me to "Break a leg" is something that I can always look back upon fondly.

  31. AnthonyClarke

    I also skip scenes in 'Sweet Charity', just like Will. But hell, after watching a movie 20 times or more, it makes sense to switch to one's favourite musical scenes. I do that in the Fred and Ginger movies too, and in 'South Pacific' and 'Carousel' … that's what chapters are for. Life's getting shorter and I need to see more and more favourite things!
    At least, thanks to a cataract removal last week, everything's more vibrant. Next one in July. And the third in December. Maybe I'll be able to watch two movies at once.

    How many eyes do you have??!!

  32. I am going to say something that nobody has ever said before and will never say after me. I know this and accept it.

    I prefer SC to Nights of Cabiria.

    The encounter with the movie star which is such a great part of this movie is thrown away in Cabiria. And Oscar threatens to kill her if she doesn’t give him her life savings? Too nasty. Really it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. Also the end is so much better. Yes the hippies are a bit silly but at least MacLaine doesn’t end the film smiling from what I remember. She gets on with her life. And the music underscoring that whole scene to the end is gorgeous.

    MacLaine gives a great performance in this film. Too bad if got roadshow backlash. And thank goodness it was made just in time otherwise who knows what Fosse would have those dance hall girls doing. There were advantages to censorship.

  33. roxy1927

    I am going to say something that nobody has ever said before and will never say after me. I know this and accept it.

    I prefer SC to Nights of Cabiria.

    You’re not alone. I, too, prefer Charity over Cabiria. It’s not that I don’t appreciate Cabiria, and Masina is absolutely marvelous, but I relate more to the sweeter, musicalized version and characters. Although, don’t get me started on the loathsome alternate “happy” ending.

  34. Yes I appreciate it as well. But Charity really does have its wrenching scenes. The scene of her being interviewed for a job, Montalban getting rid of her after goddess Bouchet comes(that sheets line is great) in and the ending is so much better. The look on Maclaine's face when she realizes what's happening with McMartin(at least he isn't total homicidal scum like the Oscar in Cabiria which makes that 'happy' ending phony to me) and she sees everything turning to ash in front of her eyes was alone worthy of an Oscar nomination.

    And the Rich Man's Frug has the finest collection of Fosse dancers rehearsed to within an inch of their lives caught on film which is really something.

  35. Ah, yes, it's August 1st and we've turned the corner.
    Indeed, August will truly be a charitable month as I've decided not to wait for the reviews.
    I'll chance it on the Pre-Order sale price that Kino is now offering;
    which comes with that possibility of receiving it in the mail before the street date.
    Surprises can be fun, so who could resist?

  36. I am about 1 hour away from home, but the doorbell camera has let me see that the Amazon “Sweet Charity” package is delivered. It also lets me see that it has been put vertically sticking out of the mailbox. It almost should have a sign saying ATTENTION PORCH PIRATES! I hope it’s there 5 hours from now when we get home.

  37. TJPC

    I am about 1 hour away from home, but the doorbell camera has let me see that the Amazon “Sweet Charity” package is delivered. It also lets me see that it has been put vertically sticking out of the mailbox. It almost should have a sign saying ATTENTION PORCH PIRATES! I hope it’s there 5 hours from now when we get home.

    Wow, three weeks before the street date. Is that some kind of record for consumers?

  38. Ethan Riley

    Are you sure that's what's in that package?

    Yes. It was in a large mail envelope with the Blu ray up one end. I was not concerned because it was not supposed to arrive until August 7 th

  39. I pre-ordered this as soon as it was listed. About 2 weeks ago Amazon.ca sent me an e-mail suggesting I cancel the order because they were having trouble getting them. I looked at the Amazon.com price and saw they were about the same so decided to cancel .ca and re-order from .com.

    I went through the steps to cancel, but because I had ordered Sweet Charity with This Island Earth to get free shipping and had already received TIE, they would not let me. I decided to leave things the way they were.

    About one week ago I received notice that SC would arrive between August 7 and August 20th (or some such). It arrived today (August 1)!

  40. TJPC

    I pre-ordered this as soon as it was listed. About 2 weeks ago Amazon.ca sent me an e-mail suggesting I cancel the order because they were having trouble getting them. I looked at the Amazon.com price and saw they were about the same so decided to cancel .ca and re-order from .com.

    I went through the steps to cancel, but because I had ordered Sweet Charity with This Island Earth to get free shipping and had already received TIE, they would not let me. I decided to leave things the way they were.

    About one week ago I received notice that SC would arrive between August 7 and August 20th (or some such). It arrived today (August 1)!

    There’s a Rod Stewart song in this story somewhere:

  41. TJPC

    Good idea, but I play these as I get them, but it’s been an expensive summer. Alita, Shazam, Charlie Chase vol.1 and several others are ahead of it.

    Well, I guess you're not much help to the rest of us regarding how Sweet Charity looks and sounds then.:)

    I hope some others are receiving their disc early so we can read their opinions of this BD release.

  42. I probably should have put my entries for SC under the thread called “Amazon Finally Pissed Me Off”, because that was basically my point.

    I will try to move up my viewing after I cut my 5’ lawn that grew while we were away!:)

  43. TJPC

    […]I will try to move up my viewing after I cut my 5’ lawn that grew while we were away!:)

    The lawn can wait.
    Our appetites have been whetted.
    Please…just sample one song or scene.
    O Canada, do have mercy. It's all we ask.:)

  44. Ok!
    Watching disc one now, with the road show version. The only extras on this disc are two making of very short “shorts” in ST which are not restored, and a list of trailers for Shirley McClain.

    The image appears to be pristine so far. Shirley is about to sing “If You Could See Me Now”. I am noticing more montages and freeze frames that I remember from my viewing at the Capitol theatre in Windsor Ontario during its first run (probably with 10 other people in that giant theatre!) and several times afterward. I am also seeing other bits and pieces I don’t remember. Perhaps there are scenes cut out later, or after all this time I just don’t remember.

    There are some sound anomalies that I think have always been there. It too is basically pristine, but it is very obvious when dialogue turns to music. They are talking in the streets of New York, when Shirley starts to sing. Immediately you think, well here we are with a full orchestra in a recording studio.

    I think basically if you love the movie, you will be happy with this release.

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