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No one can deny that film musicals have grown exponentially in popularity over the last two decades, and they are engaging with audiences much better than many other genres. One of the film-musical classics Chicago, Rob Marshall’s 2002 production based on the 1970s play widely regarded as one of the finest musicals of the 21st century. With an all-star cast led by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere, all great actors whose careers have thrived, Chicago was triumphant in several respects, not the least of which was that it successfully captured all of the musical’s best qualities when it was adapted for the screen, which is not always the case with film adaptations.



Chicago Set in the 1920s, Roxie Hart (Zellweger) follows the story of Roxie Hart (Zellweger), a housewife and wannabe entertainer who dreams of making it in cabaret show business, just like her idol, Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones). However, after Hart is accused of murdering her lover, she is taken to prison where she meets Kelly, who was also being jailed for murdering her husband and sister when she discovered their affair. They must fight, aided by attorney Billy Flynn (Gere), to avoid eternal damnation using their newfound fame. After its release Chicago was very well received by critics and audiences alike and won numerous awards. Major recognitions include an Academy Award for Best Picture, a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film, along with its impressive cast and settings, is its musical numbers. Some of them even became true cinema classics. This article takes a look at the best music tracks in the film and ranks them from worst to best.

8th Mr Cellophane

The musical performance that introduces this ranking is “Mr. Cellophane,” sung by Amos Hart (John C. Reilly), Roxie’s husband. While not the most impressive performance in the film, it is a special place given to a character who normally goes unnoticed, believing himself to be invisible. As his performance progresses, Amos captures the audience’s attention, starting out a little shy and ending up stealing the limelight completely. At the same time, his performance changes when he discovers that the child Roxie is said to be carrying is not his, causing him to step aside. On a dimly lit and empty stage, its performance is even more powerful.

See also: Moulin Rouge: Best Musical Performances in Film, Ranking

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7 Funny honey

‘Funny Honey’ is a hit song performed by Roxie and Amos Hart, and it comes right after the woman murders her lover out of anger because he lied to her about his alleged contacts in the entertainment industry. The interesting thing about this performance is that in the middle of it all, Amos trusts his partner completely, blames himself for her crime, discovers her infidelity and gets completely angry. For her part, Roxie remains convinced that no matter how good or bad her decisions are, her husband will still support her because she believes he is head over heels in love with her.

6 We both grabbed the gun

To the main characters in Chicago is Billy Flynn, the most famous lawyer in town. His strategy for winning cases is to make his client a star, attracting local interest, the media and indirectly the money he craves. Because of this, Flynn is fully responsible for all communications and specifically asks his customers to remain silent about anything he hasn’t told them. However, Roxie, blinded by her nascent fame, decided to go against his orders, which angered him greatly. From that moment on, a parallel was drawn between the press conference and the performance of We Both Reached for the Gun, where Billy treats Roxie like a puppet, resulting in a great scene.


5 Razzle Dazzle

After one of the inmates is sentenced to be hanged, Roxie worries things may not be going as well as she hopes. However, Billy Flynn, who has never lost a case, assures her that the trial is indeed like a circus in which she is the star. Mid-conversation, an analogy is drawn between a musical performance and the actual trial, and the audience sees how he ends up being the real star, whose meticulously planned performance manages to convince the jury of his client’s innocence.

4 Nowadays / Hot Honey Rag

Nowadays / Hot Honey Rag ranks among the front runners because of the potential of the characters that play it. After a long period of animosity, Velma and Roxie discover that they cannot succeed on their own: no matter how many times they audition, they always get rejected. Therefore, Velma, who was released from prison, once again asks Roxie to join her in a duet. The latter realizes that she has already lost all the notoriety that her case has brought her and finally accepts, on the premise that they don’t have to be friends to work together and the two of them put on the best show of lives and thus launching her career in the entertainment industry on the right track.

Related: The Best Dance Movies To Get You On Your Feet

3 Anything that interests me

From the moment lawyer Billy Flynn first appeared on screen, he’s portrayed as a humble man who doesn’t care about expensive coats or diamond rings: all he cares about is love. However, as the performance of “All I Care About” unfolds and the audience sees Billy interacting with the prisoners, it can be concluded that the reality is far from what the man says. His actions show that he really only cares about money. So much so that he doesn’t even remember the names of his clients until they actually interest him.

2 Overture / And All Jazz

“Overture / All That Jazz” is extremely important to the film as it serves as an opening scene, which in itself is an important burden. However, the performance lives up to expectations, from the direction and filming to the choreography and the performances of the actors. The song is impeccably performed by Velma Kelly and does a great job of building up some of the storylines that will unfold later in the film, dealing with the situation of Velma and her sister, Roxie’s relationship with Fred and her dreams of becoming a star to be dealt with . At the same time, audiences can already get a glimpse of Velma’s personality, who despite having murdered her sister and husband minutes earlier and knowing the cops are after her, manages to put on a stunning performance without being affected be anyway.


1 Cell Block Tango

Undoubtedly, “Cell Block Tango” deserves first place in this ranking for many reasons. On the one hand, next to “All That Jazz”, it is the song with the most memories of the musical, which is performed by dancers and entertainers from all over the world in many different shows. Additionally, it is a powerful, carefully crafted performance that tells the stories behind each inmate’s incarceration. Each having their own moment to shine, and each story is beautifully crafted and performed, using the backdrop and bright red handkerchiefs to mark each murder. It remains a flawless performance of a song so catchy it has stuck in audiences’ minds to this day.

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