1985 Certificate: pg

Synopsis

Film version of the hit Broadway musical, starring Michael Douglas as a tough director auditioning a group of hopefuls for the chorus line of a new show. With Alyson Reed.

Director

  • Richard Attenborough

Cast

  • Michael Douglas

  • Alyson Reed

Review

They should have got Bob Fosse to make this one. Instead, they hired Britain's Oscar-winning Richard Attenborough, who had never made a musical before and the result is, well, just unexciting. Attenborough takes the show that set the stage alight and, in this curiously flat version, dampens its spirit. Talented directors often miss out on the sheer adrenalin-pumping verve of a hit musical - think of John Huston and Annie - and, in the treatment here, the performances seem oddly muffled, and the success of the insipid Cassie (Alyson Reed) even less fair than in the stage show; frankly she's a bit of a pain. And, in the show's big number, What I Did for Love, the camera angles make you fear more for her safety in high heels on a high iron stairway than attentive to the lyrics of the song.