Cabaret

Cabaret

4.8 16
Director: Bob Fosse

Cast: Bob Fosse, Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Originally a 1966 Broadway musical, this groundbreaking Bob Fosse musical was in turn based on Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin, previously dramatized for stage and screen as I Am a Camera with Julie Harris as Sally Bowles. Fosse uses the decadent and vulgar cabaret as a mirror image of German society sliding toward the Nazis, and this intertwining ofSee more details below

  • Checkmark AFI's Top 100 Movies  Shop Now

Overview

Originally a 1966 Broadway musical, this groundbreaking Bob Fosse musical was in turn based on Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin, previously dramatized for stage and screen as I Am a Camera with Julie Harris as Sally Bowles. Fosse uses the decadent and vulgar cabaret as a mirror image of German society sliding toward the Nazis, and this intertwining of entertainment with social history marked a new step forward for the movie musical. Michael York plays a British writer who comes to Berlin in the early 1930s in hopes of becoming a teacher. He makes the acquaintance of flamboyant American entertainer Sally Bowles, played by Liza Minnelli. Sally works at the Kit Kat Klub, a George Grosz-like Berlin cabaret where each night the smirking, androgynous Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey) introduces a jazz-driven "girlie show" to his debauched audience. Virtually all the film's musical numbers are staged within the confines of the Kit Kat Klub, and each song comments on the plot and on Germany's "progression" from hedonism to Hitlerism. Most of the Broadway score by John Kander and Fred Ebb was retained, with the welcome addition of "The Money Song." Although it lost Best Picture to The Godfather, Cabaret won eight Oscars, including awards to Minnelli, Grey, and Fosse. A heavily expurgated 88-minute version of Cabaret has been prepared for commercial TV presentations, regarded by many as dramatically inferior to the full cut.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
Cabaret, one of the last Hollywood musicals to enjoy both critical and commercial success, took the genre in an unexpected direction with its explicit subject matter and realistic feel. The decadence and turmoil of prewar Berlin is documented through the eyes of an English writer (Michael York) and his friends, among them free-spirited American nightclub performer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli). With a powerhouse voice and a streak of self-delusion, Minnelli's Sally is a sad, vulnerable little pixie playing at sexy sophistication in a desperate quest for love. Joel Grey, in his celebrated turn as the emcee, corrupts as he entertains with enigmatic malevolence. The picture won eight Academy Awards, including best actress for Minnelli, best supporting actor for Grey, best art direction, and best director for Bob Fosse (who also nabbed Tony and Emmy awards that year). The musical numbers twitch, slither, and grind with Fosse's signature style -- from the twisted naughtiness of "Two Ladies" to the showstopping hits "Willkommen" and "Cabaret." At turns romantic, hilarious, and tragic, Cabaret is that all-too-rare commodity: an intelligent adult musical.
All Movie Guide
Less a traditional musical than a drama featuring musical numbers, Cabaret is a beautiful, disturbing evocation of life in Germany during Hitler's rise to power. Using the Kit Kat Club's expertly choreographed routines to reflect the changes in German society, director Bob Fosse effectively shows us a glittering, illusory world, whose insular decadence starkly contrasts with the encroaching horror of reality. Sally Bowles exists at the heart of the turmoil, a conductor for the unrestrained, buoyant energy that both electrifies the club and stands to be threatened by what is going on in the world outside of it. Brash, shamelessly sexual, and bearing a self-assurance of enviable proportions, she is a perfectly flawed heroine, one of the most fully realized women incarnated on the page, stage, and screen. Liza Minnelli portrays her with the energy and blissful abandon that the character requires, turning in one of the best performances of her career. The sight of her performing in the Kit Kat Club, clad in a bowler, boots, and little else and making novel use of a chair, remains one of the screen's most iconic images. The focus on the relationships of the film's main characters, most notably that of Sally and Brian (played with gentle, almost poetic befuddlement by Michael York), perfectly juxtaposes the turbulence of private lives and public events. Sally's promiscuity, Brian's bisexuality, Maximilian's casual use of both characters, and the eventual acceptance of platonic friendship mirror the fortunes of a time and mentality whose mantra of pleasure would soon be forced to give way to one of pain. The best and most terrifying evocation of past debauchery and present "progression" towards a new, fascist ideal, is of course the Emcee. As played by an unforgettable Joel Grey, he occupies an existence somewhere between human and phantom, a cunning apparition who serves as a reminder of carnal delight and ideological oppression. Like the Emcee, Cabaret shows us both delight and oppression, providing a nuanced portrait of an era where the former was rapidly being eclipsed by the latter.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2013
UPC:
0883929265992
Original Release:
1972
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:04:00
Sales rank:
692

Special Features

Commentary by Stephen Tropiano; Featurette Cabaret: The Musical That Changed Musicals; Vintage Featurettes Cabaret: A Legend in the Making and The Recreation of an Era

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Liza Minnelli Sally Bowles
Michael York Brian Roberts
Joel Grey Master of Ceremonies
Helmut Griem Maximilian von Heune
Marisa Berenson Natalia Landauer
Fritz Wepper Fritz
Kathryn Doby Actor
George Hartmann Willi
Sigrid Von Richtofen Fraulein Maur
Estrongo Nachama Cantor
Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel Fraulein Schneider
Ricky Renee Elke
Gerd Vespermann Bobby
Helen Vita Fraulein Kost
Ralf Wolter Herr Ludwig

Technical Credits
Bob Fosse Director,Choreography
Jay Presson Allen Screenwriter
David Bretherton Editor
Ralph Burns Musical Direction/Supervision
Fred Ebb Songwriter
Cy Feuer Producer
Charlotte Flemming Costumes/Costume Designer
Douglas Green Asst. Director
David Hildyard Sound/Sound Designer
John Kander Score Composer
Hans Jurgen Kiebach Art Director
Herbert Strabel Set Decoration/Design
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer
Hugh Wheeler Screenwriter
Rolf Zehetbauer Art Director

Read More

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cabaret
1. Scene 1 [9:32]
2. Scene 2 [10:56]
3. Scene 3 [10:08]
4. Scene 4 [8:57]
5. Scene 5 [10:38]
6. Scene 6 [9:57]
7. Scene 7 [9:24]
8. Scene 8 [11:41]
9. Scene 9 [6:25]
10. Scene 10 [1:51]
11. Scene 11 [4:00]
12. Scene 12 [7:28]
13. Scene 13 [8:20]

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >