Trace the Oscar-winning film back far enough and you get to a grisly impetus. Before the movie, Chicago was a 1975 stage musical. Before that, a 1927 silent film, which was adapted from a 1926 play. The play found inspiration in Beulah Annan, who murdered her lover Harry Kalstedt by shooting him in the back. "Roxie Hart" must have just rolled off the tongue.