Making his debut as a director on this adaptation of the Broadway musical derived from Fellini's Notte di Cabiria, Fosse starts on the wrong foot by showing off with an irritating flurry of zooms, dissolves and jump-cuts. Luckily his own choreography intervenes, settling the film down and offering at least two classic anthology pieces: the superbly weary, sleazy erotica of 'Hey, Big Spender', in which a row of disillusioned taxi-dancers laconically display their wares, and the trio of bizarre fantasies ('The Rich Man's Frug') performed by a vampiric night-club dancer. For the rest, the film belongs to Shirley MacLaine, splendidly funny as the 'extremely open, honest and stupid broad' who earns a dubious living as a taxi-dancer at the Fandango Ballroom, meanwhile overflowing with innocent love for everybody and everything and being left short of the altar by a succession of men. No masterpiece, but a generally underrated musical all the same.
Cast and crew
Sammy Davis Jr