A Chorus Line (film)

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German title A chorus line
Original title A chorus line
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1985
length 113 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Richard Attenborough
script Arnold Schulman
production Cy Feuer , Ernest H. Martin , Gordon Stulberg
music Marvin Hamlisch
camera Ronnie Taylor
cut John Bloom

A Chorus Line is an American drama directed by Richard Attenborough from 1985 . The plot is based on the musical A Chorus Line . Michael Douglas plays the director and choreographer Zach, who must select eight candidates for a new Broadway production. The selection process that the dancers have to undergo is extremely tough.


Michael Douglas (1988)

A Chorus Line is about finding a cast for a planned Broadway - Musical . Zach, director and choreographer , needs four dancers for the chorus of the piece. They are to be selected from hundreds of applicants ("gypsies") who take part in a public pre-dance competition.

At the beginning the young dancers, who are all in need of a job, are given a combination of steps and given a few seconds to audition. Most are turned away or interrupted on the spot. The rest take part in another strict selection process, until finally only sixteen remain, standing on the white line that runs across the stage.

Before making the final choices, Zach requires everyone to share something about themselves so that they can judge who might be suitable for the roles in the musical: "I'll shake you up and see who you really are." For some of the dancers, the task turns into a soul striptease when they have to talk about their parents' separation or about their homosexuality .

The tension is heightened with the arrival of Cassie, a former chorus dancer who used to have a huge hit when she was asked to solo on a show. She was dating Zach but had left him because of an offer from Hollywood . She also wants to join the "line" and do a test dance for the show, which is initially rejected by Zach due to her ability, as this does not suit the level of the group. When she doesn't give in, however, she is accepted into the group of the last sixteen.

After the final examination, on the basis of which eight of the remaining sixteen dancers have to be selected for the performance, Zach lets half of them step forward, who are immediately happy to have won the selection process. In fact, Zach chose the other eight, and in the final scene you can see all of the finalists (including those who were not taken over).


Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times on December 20, 1985 that the film showed the " hard " life of dancers who auditioned " hundreds of times " for " a handful of roles " . He could not satisfy the " purists " who would expect a true film version of the original. Ebert asked if the last scene meant the " inhumanity " of Zach's character.


The film won an Oscar in 1986 in the categories of Best Editing ( John Bloom ), Best Song ( Surprise, Surprise by Marvin Hamlisch and Ed Kleban) and Best Sound ( Donald O. Mitchell , Michael Minkler , Gerry Humphreys , Christopher Newman ) nominated.

Director Richard Attenborough and the film for Best Picture, Comedy or Musical were nominated for a 1986 Golden Globe Award . Film editor John Bloom and the sound designers were nominated for the BAFTA Award in 1986. In 1987, the film was nominated for the Award of the Japanese Academy for Best Foreign Language Film .


The film was shot in two theater buildings in Manhattan , New York City . It grossed approximately $ 4.8 million in US cinemas .


  1. ^ Review by Roger Ebert
  2. Filming locations for A Chorus Line
  3. ^ Business Data for A Chorus Line

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