Cabaret: Music on Film
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(Music On Filments). In 1973, Cabaret walked away with eight Academy Awards, including gold statues for director Bob Fosse and for its stars, Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. Based on the long-running Broadway musical, with a memorable score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cabaret is a landmark film that broke new cinematic ground by revolutionizing the Hollywood musical through its treatment of adult themes and art house sensibility. With an introduction by Joel Grey, the book chronicles the history of Cabaret, from Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories to the stage and film versions of John van Druten's play I Am a Camera, through the adaptation of the hit Broadway musical for the big screen. Readers will get an insider's look into the making of the film, the creative talent in front of the camera and behind the scenes, and why this divinely decadent musical continues to captivate audiences.
described above, with the exception of the “Tiller Girls.” A rough cut of the film was finally assembled and shown to Kander and Ebb, who were told beforehand that what they were seeing was not finished and to expect missing sounds and black lines across the screen. Ebb admitted that he tried, but he couldn’t get past the roughness, and it wasn’t until he had seen the final version a few times that he really started to appreciate Fosse’s work. One of the people who attended an early screening
made.” “Not only one of the best musicals of any year, but one of the best movies of all time!” Some respondents went as far as to say that Cabaret was superior to other recent movie musicals, such as The Boy Friend (1971) and Fiddler on the Roof (1971). “What did you like most about Cabaret?” The number one response was “Liza,” with “Joel Grey” coming in a close second, followed by “Michael York.” Many people accurately predicted that both Liza and Grey would win Academy Awards for their
cultural climate no doubt attracted Isherwood to the city, yet there is another reason he called it home for three years. “Berlin meant boys,” Isherwood candidly admitted thirty-five years later in his 1976 memoir, Christopher and His Kind, in which he revealed that he returned to Berlin after a short visit because of the sexually available young men he discovered behind the “heavy leather curtain door” of a gay bar called the Cozy Corner. Isherwood claimed that like many upper-class homosexuals,
badly, without any expression,” Christopher observed, “her hands hanging down at her sides—yet her performance was, in its own way, effective because of her startling appearance and her air of not caring a curse what people thought of her.” Thirty-five years later, Sally’s lack of talent would be a point of contention when it came to casting the role in the stage and film versions of Cabaret. In the novel, Christopher and Sally become fast friends, and once they reach a mutual understanding that
camera eye” and criticized for his cameralike emotional detachment from his characters. The phrase was immortalized by playwright John Van Druten, who chose it for the title of his 1951 stage adaptation of The Berlin Stories. Like Isherwood, Van Druten was an English expatriate who enjoyed a successful career in the London theater before moving to New York, where he wrote such Broadway hits as I Remember Mama (1941) and The Voice of the Turtle (1943). His decision to adapt Isherwood’s stories