Sweet Charity

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"Love is what it's all about!"
  • G
  • 1969
  • 2 hr 29 min
  • 6.9  (6,600)
  • 53

Sweet Charity is a 1969 American musical comedy-drama film directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. It is based on the 1966 Broadway musical of the same name which was also directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. The film stars Shirley MacLaine as Charity Hope Valentine, a dance hall hostess who always gives her heart to the wrong man.

The film opens with Charity getting stuck in Central Park pond during her date with her boyfriend Charlie (John McMartin), a movie star who does not want to be seen with a dance hall hostess. The incident causes Charity to reflect on her life and relationships with men. She decides to break up with Charlie and start fresh.

Charity works at the Fandango Ballroom, a dance hall where she performs with other dancers for the entertainment of men. She dreams of finding true love, leaving the dance hall and starting a new life. She meets Oscar Lindquist (John McMartin), a shy and nerdy accountant, whom she believes could be her ticket out of the dance hall. She tries to impress him by pretending to be an intellectual and telling him about art and culture, but he becomes overwhelmed and runs away.

Charity then meets Vittorio Vidal (Ricardo Montalban), a famous Italian movie star, who takes her to his luxurious apartment for the night. She spends the night with him, hoping that he will fall in love with her and take her away from her life at the dance hall. However, Vittorio does not take her seriously and tells her that he is married.

Afterwards, Charity meets Helene (Paula Kelly) and Nickie (Chita Rivera), who are dancers at the Fandango Ballroom. Nickie warns her that she is too naive and that she needs to be more practical if she wants to survive. Charity listens to their advice and starts to work harder, hoping to impress her boss Herman (Stubby Kaye) and get a promotion to a higher-paying job.

Charity's luck changes when she meets Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck (Ricardo Montalban), a rich and kind-hearted man who falls in love with her. Daddy proposes to her, and Charity says yes. However, she realizes that she does not love him and that he is not the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. She breaks off the engagement and decides to start over again.

In the final scene, Charity is back at the Fandango Ballroom, but this time she is happy and content with her life. She dances with the other girls, and they all sing the song "If My Friends Could See Me Now", celebrating their freedom and independence.

Sweet Charity is a classic musical that has won the hearts of audiences for decades. It features memorable songs like "Big Spender", "The Rhythm of Life" and "If They Could See Me Now", and showcases the brilliant choreography of Bob Fosse. Shirley MacLaine delivers an outstanding performance as Charity, a woman who is looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. John McMartin and Ricardo Montalban also give great performances as her love interests. Sweet Charity is an entertaining movie that is sure to make you laugh, cry, and sing along.

Sweet Charity
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (6,600)
  • Metascore