This photo provides an aerial view of Chicago, the place where the film (and the play and the book of the same name) takes place. Image online, courtesy Chicago History Museum.
It was 1924. The Great War - "The War to End All Wars" - was over. Five years before, men were dying in European trenches, but "The Roaring Twenties" had ushered in a new era. It was time for fun. For music and radio. For fashion and celebrity.
The music people loved most, at the time, was jazz. Flappers (girls with short skirts and wavy, bobbed hair) tossed out their mother’s staidfashions, danced "The Charleston," and generally drove their parents crazy. Vaudeville acts were at the height of their popularity. And ... there was a new form of entertainment - talking movies - about to emerge (in 1927) with Al Jolson starring in the world’s first talkie: The Jazz Singer.
Life was good. Illiteracy in America had reached a new low of 6%. There were 387,000 miles of paved roads in the country, although it took about thirteen days to travel between New York and California. Women were changing their appearance, starting to drive cars and already living longer, on average, than men: 54.6 compared to 53.6 years.
No one had a clue the stock market would crash at the end of the decade, ushering in "The Great Depression." And no soldier who fought in World War I could have imagined that confessed killers would walk away from courtroom trials - acquitted by all-male juries - just because the defendant was a celebrity.
Original Release Date: January, 2003
Updated July, 2012
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Bos, Carole "Chicago: The Movie" AwesomeStories.com. Date of access
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