Before "Chicago" became a Broadway musical and a 2002 Oscar-winning film, the story of notorious flapper Roxie Hart was a 1926 play, based on true events, by Maurine Watkins, followed by a film version. The original 1928 “Chicago” screens on Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater, presented by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, which restored the film. Actress Phyllis Haver plays the spoiled flapper who, after pumping her sugar daddy full of lead after he gives her the air, now depends on mercenary lawyer Billy Flynn for her only chance at acquittal. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Cliff Retallick for the silent portion of this program.
Also screening is “Applause” (1930), a showcase for the acting and singing talents of 29-year-old Helen Morgan in her film debut, playing a faded burlesque queen. Also making his screen debut was director Rouben Mamoulian, whose depiction of the vulgar, entertaining realities of burlesque established his reputation as an innovative film director.
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