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Sweet Charity Details


Shirley MacLaine plays Charity Hope Valentine who, despite her job at a seedy dime-a-dance joint, is an incurable optimist. Charity never stops looking for true love and never seems to look for it in the right places. We first see her in the company of Charlie (Dante DiPaolo), a slimeball who steals her purse and pushes her into the Central Park pond. Next she stumbles into a one-night stand with Vittorio Vidal (Ricardo Montalban), an egotistical movie star; this comes to nothing when Vittorio's contrite girlfriend Ursula (Barbara Bouchet) comes calling, forcing Charity to spend the night hiding in the closet. Desperate to escape the dance hall, Charity heads to an employment agency, where a bureaucratic clerk (Alan Hewitt) informs her that she has no qualifications. Unhappily, Charity heads for the elevator, where she becomes trapped with the very shy -- and very claustrophobic -- Oscar Lindquist (John McMartin). Once they've gotten out of the stalled elevator, Charity begins dating Oscar, never telling him of her checkered past or her sordid dance-hall job. Oscar eventually finds out but assures her that it doesn't matter. However, at the engagement party held at the dance hall, Oscar's puritanical streak emerges. He walks out on Charity, leaving her alone and heartbroken once more. With the help of a group of flower children (among them Bud Cort and Kristoffer Tabori), Charity is able to pick herself up and start living "Hopefully Ever After." Sweet Charity was adapted from the 1965 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by the 1957 Fellini flick Nights of Cabiria. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:April 1, 1969


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edith Head Best Costume Design 1969 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Shirley MacLaine Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Alexander Golitzen Best Art Direction 1969 Nominee


Shirley MacLaine
as Charity
John McMartin
as Oscar
Ricardo Montalban
as Vittorio
Sammy Davis, Jr.
as Big Daddy
Paula Kelly
as Helene
Stubby Kaye
as Herman
Barbara Bouchet
as Ursula
Toni Basil
Buddy Lewis
as Appliance salesman
Lance Le Gault
Lonnie Burr
Joseph Mell
as Man on Bridge
Richard Angarola
as Maitre d'
Henry Beckman
as Cop
Nolan Leary
as Manfred
Adele Yoshioka
as Dancers in "Big Spender" Number
Tom Hatten
as Man on tandem
Lorene Yarnell
as Frog Dancer
Jerry Mann
Leon Alton
Kathryn Doby
Ben Vereen
Dante DiPaolo
as Charlie
Diki Lerner
as Man with dog on bridge
Larry Billman
Bill Harrison
as Baseball Player
Ceil Cabot
as Married woman
Dee Carroll
as Woman on tandem
Maudie Prickett
as Nurse on bridge
Chelsea Brown
Roger Til
as Greeter at Pompeii Club
Sharon Harvey
as Young Woman on Btidge
Alfred Dennis
as Waiter at Chile Hacienda
Carlton Johnson
as 'Rhythm of Life' dancer
Chet Stratton
as Waiter
Suzanne Charney
as Lead frog dancer
Herman Boden
Buddy Hart
as Baseball player
Alma Platt
as Lady with hat on bridge
Alan Hewitt
as Nicholsby
Roy Fitzell


Bob Fosse
Robert Arthur
Neil Simon
Ennio Flaiano
Peter Stone
Federico Fellini
Tullio Pinelli
Robert Surtees
Joseph E. Gershenson
Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph E. Gershenson
Composer (Music Score)
Stuart Gilmore
Alexander Golitzen
Art Director
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Ronald Pierce
Sound/Sound Designer
Bob Fosse
Bud Westmore