Rent Sweet Charity (1969)

3.4 of 5 from 111 ratings
2h 28min
Rent Sweet Charity Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Director Bob Fosse broke new cinematic ground with this freewheeling, visually stunning story of a lovelorn New York dance hall hostess, Charity Hope Valentine (Shirley MacLaine), who dreams of old-fashioned romance but gives her heart to one undeserving man after another.
, , , , , , , , , , , Bud Vest, , , Al Lanti, , Leon Bing, , , Marie Bahruth
Robert Arthur
Neil Simon, Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Peter Stone
Edith Head, George C. Webb, Alexander Golitzen, Jack D. Moore, Cy Coleman
Universal Pictures
Classics, Comedy, Drama, Music & Musicals, Romance
Dancing Queens: Guide to the Musical Films That'll, Films by Genre, Introducing the Thesping Olympians, A Brief History of Film..., The Instant Expert's Guide, The Instant Expert's Guide to Federico Fellini, Top 10 European Remakes, Top Films
Release Date:
Run Time:
148 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Arabic, Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
  • Alternative Ending
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Sweet Charity: From the Stage to the Screen
  • Edith Head's Costume Design: The Art of Exaggeration
Release Date:
Run Time:
150 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1, English LPCM Stereo
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Three presentations of the film: with original overture (150 mins); without overture (149 mins); and with alternative ending (145 mins)
  • Audio commentary with film historians Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Cara Mitchell (2020)
  • The John Player Lecture with Shirley MacLaine (1971, 81 mins): archival audio recording of the celebrated actor in conversation at London's National Film Theatre
  • From Stage to Screen: A Director's Dilemma (1969, 9 mins): original promotional film featuring interview material with Bob Fosse and rare behind-the-scenes footage
  • The Art of Exaggeration (1969, 8 mins): original promotional film profiling the work of famed costume designer Edith Head
  • Interview with Sonja Haney (2020, 70 mins): audio recording of the dance assistant in conversation with Lee Gambin
  • Now and Then: Sammy Davis Jr (1968, 23 mins): archival interview featuring the actor and singer in conversation with broadcaster Bernard Braden
  • Super 8 version: original cut-down home-cinema presentation
  • Image gallery: publicity and promotional material
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray

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Reviews (4) of Sweet Charity

Excellent - Sweet Charity review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

It is excellent and Shirley MacLaine act so well in this film. The major thing I didn't like is too many close shot that you cannot see the group dance.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Terrific film but this DVD is not in the correct aspect ratio - Sweet Charity review by LE

Spoiler Alert

This DVD version moves to the proper widescreen aspect ratio(2.35:1) for some of the songs but frustratingly reverts to a bog-standard 16:9 for everything else. Very annoying. It's a great film but I hope Cinema Paradiso soon get hold of one of the newer Blu Ray versions which retain the proper aspect ratio. My advice (if you are as bothered by these sorts of things as I sadly am) is to buy the Blu Ray rather than rent this from Cinema Paradiso. It IS a great film though.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Musical Pessimism. - Sweet Charity review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

This is an adaptation of the stage musical version of Federico Fellini's 1957 Italian drama Nights of Cabiria. Fellini's film is better, but this being a musical there are compensations. Which are three great songs and a couple of dance spectaculars; these coincide for the stunning staging of Big Spender, performed by the cast.

It's a perfect star vehicle for Shirley MacLaine, who back then was was the queen of kook. She plays Charity Valentine, a taxi dancer/prostitute who passes through contemporary New York looking for love and a future but only finds heartache. It's astonishing how often she played sex workers in the sixties! There is plenty of interesting guerrilla style shooting on the streets of Manhattan.

MacLaine is funny, and touching and appealing enough and squeezes all the laughs out of Neil Simon's Broadway script. But legendary choreographer Bob Fosse's debut job as director is uneven and the film falters badly in places. Even the choreography is variable. Rich Man's Frug is stunning, but the staging of Shirley's signature song, If My Friends Could See Me Now, is a drag.

The star's performance eventually gets crowded out in a narrative told without skill or insight. MacLaine was a cinch to play the dumb optimist with a big heart, yet it was fumbled. There are moments that make it worthwhile, but Fosse wasn't yet a film director. And the 150 minute running time for such a frothy confection is crazy.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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