Produced and released in 2002 by Miramax Films, budget of $40 million, gross of $18 million, color 35mm negative, 1.85:1 screen ratio, mono sound, 113 mins.
Marshall's film - trailer



Catherine Zeta-Jones
Belva Gaertner
Renee Zellweger
Beulah Annan
Richard Gere
William W. O'Brien


This musical film is based on the real stories of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan as reported in the Chicago Tribune by reporter Maureen Watkins in 1924. Cabaret singer Belva was arrested for the murder of Walter Law in Chicago March 12, 1924. Only a few weeks later, Mrs. Beulah Annan was arrested for the murder of her lover Harry Kalstedt April 3 while the fox trot record "Hula Lou" played on the phonograph. Watkins wrote that Beulah was the "prettiest murderess" in Chicago, and on April 6 the famous attorney William W. O'Brien announced he would represent her. The articles made Beulah a celebrity with stories on the newspaper front pages that rivaled the discovery of Bobby Franks' body May 23. The jury found Beulah not guilty on May 25. Watkins also reported the trial and acquittal of Belva, although the articles were shorter and more restrained, and both stories were quickly overwhelmed by the Leopold-Loeb case in the summer of 1924. Watkins left Chicago for New York and in 1926 wrote the play Chicago with the character Roxie Hart based on Beulah Annan. The play was successful and Cecil B. DeMille released a film version in Feb. 1928. Watkins returned to reporting the crime news, and covered the Ruth Snyder story in April and May of 1927. William Wellman directed the 1942 film Roxie Hart as a non-musical comedy with Ginger Rogers as Roxie and Adolphe Menjou as the lawyer Billy Flynn. Bob Fosse produced the musical play Chicago in 1975.


  • revised 1/26/03 by Schoenherr | Filmnotes