The Cotton Club / Chaplin / Chorus Line DVD box set
Triple bill of showbiz films. 'The Cotton Club' (1984) is director Francis Ford Coppola's reconstruction of life in the famous 1920s Harlem jazz club. Richard Gere stars as Dixie Dwyer, a trumpet player who saves a gangster's life and becomes unwittingly involved in the world of organised crime. Caught between the mobsters and the musicians, Dixie rubs shoulders with the likes of dancer Sandman Williams (Gregory Hines), club owner Owney Madden (Bob Hoskins), and tough guy Frenchy Demange (Fred Gwynne), while continuing a dangerous affair with gangster's moll Vera Cicero (Diane Lane). The film merges the genres of musical and gangster film, capturing the period with detailed sets, lavish costumes, and a rich musical score. Robert Downey Jr takes the lead role in 'Chaplin' (1992), directed by Richard Attenborough. A biopic of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, the film traces his entire career from poverty-stricken childhood all the way through to final Swiss exile and lifetime Oscar recognition, with four marriages, troubles with the US government, and a phenomenally successful film career along the way. 'A Chorus Line' (1985) is Richard Attenborough's film version of the smash Broadway musical, in which dancers audition for an important new Broadway musical in front of hard-bitten director Zach (Michael Douglas). The number of hopefuls is reduced to just sixteen, and Zach asks each one to step into the spotlight to reveal their hopes and fears. Meanwhile, he has to contend with his own past when his ex-girlfriend turns up looking for a part in the show. Musical numbers include 'Dance Ten, Looks Three' and 'What I Did for Love'.