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"Cabaret" (1972) Later Tonight


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I agree...a masterpiece! This is my absolute favorite movie. It's like a tapestry. It's the most beautiful, haunting movie I've ever seen. I've seen it about 17 times over the years. Bravo, Liza Minelli! Bravo, Michael York! Bravo, Joel Gray! Bravo Bob Fosse!

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I can't stand it! Absolutely hated it!

I'd never really seen it or given it a chance (not being into much after the 1950's) but the bits I'd happen to catch on TCM occasionally made me want to avoid it. Then recently a friend was running a 16mm print and I had the opportunity to see it complete with a small audience and give it a fresh new look and really give it a chance. And I really tried. I didn't go into it saying "I know I'm not going to like this". I gave it a chance. And just absolutely hated every minute of it, starting with that first horrendous close-up of Joel Grey!

 

So, as I've often said, give me the pre-1950's on TCM!

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All a matter of preference, obviously, but you must admit, the film captured the grit and tumult of Weimar Germany as it flirted with democracy prior to the National Socialist uprising.

But the question no one thinks to ask: how did Hitler -- basically an uneducated, dysfunctional oddball totally lacking in people skills -- manage to organize a bloodthirsty pack of wolves into a political force that captured a nation...legally?

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I love the movie...it's a undeniable classic.....however, I recently got to see a bootleg video of the stage revival at Studio 54 with Neil Patrick Harris, and having never seen Cabaret performed on-stage, I have to say that the production is in need of a serious remake. Why? There's a lot....and I mean a LOT....which was either changed or simply left out from the 1972 film. It needs to be remade and done intact as it was created for the stage.

 

There's a couple of other stage-to-screen adaptions I recently got to compare, and IMHO some of them were an insult to what the original material was like.

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The movie is a lot different than the Broadway show. A lot of the score was cut (or used as background music) as well as several characters. Would love to see a remake, but I doubt it will happen..........I like the musical numbers in the film, but find most of the plot scenes boring..........

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> {quote:title=musicalnovelty wrote:}{quote}

> I can't stand it! Absolutely hated it!

 

musicalnovelty, I always like to hear why people love or hate movies. I really like *Cabaret*, both for its examination of what was going on in Weimar Republic Germany at the time it is set, but also for the song and dance routines, which I think are outstanding. All the music in this is good, not a forgettable or weak tune in the entire film.

I don't "mind" that you don't like it, if we all agreed about everything here this site would not be as fun to read as it is. But I am interested to hear "why" you did not like it -understatement: you appear to hate, loathe, and despise *Cabaret.*

It would be interesting for me to hear the reasons (I'm always happy to give the reasons why I like or dislike a film -hope you don't mind my asking.)

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Musical novelty,

 

I seem to recall when I first saw (when it was still playing in theatres), I didn't care much for it, especially Grey's makeup. But it is a film that you watch again and grow to like, especially Grey.. Well, parts, anyway...I still think the film suffers when Max comes along and the love triangle that comes from that. Keep it inside the club and it is much better.

 

p.s. -- I remember hearing a joke in some show that if it weren't for the Nazis, we wouldn't have great musicals like The Sound of Music and Cabaret.

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The movie is not one of my favorites. But it's much better than the play. All changes in the adaptation are to the film's, and the viewer's, advantage. The play contains some silly numbers, as well as some terrible ones, that were thankfully eliminated. I'll say one thing. Ol' Liza with a Z is SEXY in that movie! Holy cow!

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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}

> But what about the romance between the landlady and the Jewish boarder? That was completely cut!

 

Exactly...and the sexuality of Brian (Michael York in the movie) was very subdued/downed. In the play, it's much more overt. So is the sexuality of the Emcee at the Kit Kat Klub.

 

The movie is rather a "sanitized" version of the play.....when I saw the video of the Studio 54 revival, I started thinking that the movie is a shameful representation of the stage show. The focus of the movie seemed to shift to the relationship between Sally and Brian, either subduing or completely blocking out other characters (such as the couple you mention, who are barely even seen in the movie).

 

The original musical NEEDS to be remade either for the big screen or even television, and done correctly.

 

I'd throw in there another one that....although it's a 70's classic by now....was shamefully represented on-screen. I'm talking about GREASE, which I had the chance to see on stage before the movie came out, and looking back the film recently, it's shameful how much was changed for the film. Remake GREASE and do the stage show justice this time.

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In the video I saw of the Studio 54 revival, it was Mariette Hartley and Tom Bosley who played the landlady and the Jewish boarder. Bosley was competent singing, but Hartley was amazing....had no idea she had such a good singing voice!

 

Of course, when I think of Lotte Lenya, I always recall her as the killer lesbian Colonel Klebb in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

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FINALLY! A thread on this wonderfully unique musical! I grew up with this movie, singing it out loud in my living room, reciprocating the littedane she did to hesong, "Cabaret." ...Thank godness, I didn't have the actual outfit; my daddy would have died. Heehee!

 

Liza is extraordinary in this role! She perfected it by every stretch of the imagination!

 

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I remember walking out of the theatre during CABARET when I was a teenager when it was first released. I just didn't get it. Maybe I was just too young and and it was definitely not my kinda music in 1972 or '73. But, what a difference a few decades makes! lol .. I saw the movie again about 15 years ago and was totally mesmerized from the opening shot to the final one. This is such an incredilbe piece of movie making. Fosse (as well as Grey and Minnelli) reached his absolute peak with this film. It's all very sytlized, of course, but , once you get pulled into it's strange little world, what a helluva ride it is! I have little familiarity with the play, so all my opinion is based strictly on the movie. To this day, one of the scariest moments I've ever seen in a movie,is the "Tomorrow belongs to me" scene. Strong stuff.

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The movie is not one of my favorites. But it's much better than the play. All changes in the adaptation are to the film's, and the viewer's, advantage. The play contains some silly numbers, as well as some terrible ones, that were thankfully eliminated. I'll say one thing. Ol' Liza with a Z is SEXY in that movie! Holy cow!

 

You know I haven't seen the play on stage yet. I really wanted to, though, but I love everything on stage! I didn't know the play has some silly numbers, but I always thought those were the most fun to listen and dance to! :) Are they really that bad?

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I use superlatives when I really like a movie or an actor. I refrain when I dislike something/someone. All I have to say to get my point across is "I didn't care for it," or "it's not the kind of film I like."

 

When I read "I can't stand it! I absolutely hated every minute of it!"... Yeah, we get the idea. If you really want to emphasise your hatred you could say "It made me want to vomit! I like being nauseated so I watched every hundred-twenty-some minutes of it!"

 

In my humble opinion, I love everything about *Cabaret*. First, it was based on a series of short stories by Christopher Isherwood. He lived in Berlin in the 1930's when it was the most decadent, bohemian gay city in Europe. His character Sally Bowels is based on a real person whom he knew. Do yourself a favor and read the biography "Isherwood, A Life Revealed." (ISBN 1-4000-6249-7)

 

Then came the Broadway play I Am a Camera. Julie Harris played Sally Bowles and was awarded a Tony for Best Actress. John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote the musical score. The songs are considered among the best ever written for a musical comedy.

 

When Liza Minnelli won the starring role for the movie version, Kander and Ebb wrote a few new songs for her. Miss Minnelli earned a Best Actress Academy Award in 1972. Thirty eight years later the songs from *Cabaret* are just as popular.

 

Look at all the awards *Cabaret* won over the years in different versions. Clearly, it's no "flash in the pan!" The only musical that comes close in popularity and longevity is *Show Boat* (1927).

 

Here's what *Cabaret* has won to date:

 

1967 production

 

Tony Award for Best Musical (winner)

Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist (winner)

Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Jack Gilford, nominee)

Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Lotte Lenya, nominee)

Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Joel Grey, winner; Edward Winter, nominee)

Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Peg Murray, winner)

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design (Boris Aronson, winner)

Tony Award for Best Costume Design (Patricia Zipprodt, winner)

Tony Award for Best Choreography (Ron Field, winner)

Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Hal Prince, winner)

1987 revival

 

Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Werner Klemperer, nominee)

Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Alyson Reed and Regina Resnik, nominees)

Tony Award for Best Revival (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Joel Grey, nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical (Hal Prince, nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival (nominee)

1998 revival

 

Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (winner)

Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Alan Cumming, winner)

Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Natasha Richardson, winner)

Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ron Rifkin, winner)

Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Mary Louise Wilson, nominee)

Tony Award for Best Costume Design (nominee)

Tony Award for Best Lighting Design (nominee)

Tony Award for Best Choreography (nominee)

Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)

Tony Award for Best Orchestrations (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical (winner)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Alan Cumming, winner)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Natasha Richardson, winner)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Michele Pawk, nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design (nominee)

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design (nominee)

Theatre World Award (Alan Cumming, winner)

Astaire Award for Best Dancer (The Kit Kat Girls & Boys: Joyce Chittick, Erin Hill, Kristin Olness, Michele Pawk, Christina Pawl, Leenya Rideout, Brian Duguay, Michael O'Donnell, Fred Rose, Bill Szobody)

 

1972 Film

Academy Award for Best Director (Bob Fosse)

Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Liza Minnelli)

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey)

Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth)

Academy Award for Best Editing

Academy Award for Best Music

Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Rolf Zehetbauer, Hans J?rgen Kiebach, Herbert Strabel)

Academy Award for Best Sound

 

BTW, I saw *Cabaret* in the theater when I was in high school in 1972.

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> {quote:title=FilmAficionado wrote:}{quote}

>

> Then came the Broadway play I Am a Camera. Julie Harris played Sally Bowles and was awarded a Tony for Best Actress. John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote the musical score. The songs are considered among the best ever written for a musical comedy.

>

>

 

Julie Harris?? As in Member of the Wedding and The Haunting of Hill House??? I can't picture her int his role...

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> {quote:title=FilmAficionado wrote:}{quote}

> I > Look at all the awards *Cabaret* won over the years in different versions. Clearly, it's no "flash in the pan!" The only musical that comes close in popularity and longevity is *Show Boat* (1927).

>

>

 

What?!?!?!?!? If you love CABARET, that's certainly fine and dandy, but to make statements such as the above, as if there was anything even remotely available to back it up, is just odd. There is nothing (not cast album sales, not Broadway tickets sold, not motion picture box office receipts, not television ratings, not movie rental fees, not show licenses leased) - NOTHING to support that statement.

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This is a do-over, since my laptop had a seizure earlier, and I did want to comment on Cabaret. Having first seen Cabaret in my early twenties, and during a very bad time in my life, it happens to be my very favorite musical. It is "superlative." I can understand how someone in his teens would leave in the middle of the movie, and then watch it decades later, being "mesmerized." I have watched it several times during every decade of my life since. And the comparison with Show Boat was right on, somehow comparing vintage and heirloom, either of which would fit either movie. Cabaret is timeless in its images, its subject matter, and its music. And TCM could show it once a month, and I, along with many of you, would be very happy. Thanks, TCM, for being there. You take lots of bruising, but keep on cruising.

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> {quote:title=johnm_001 wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=FilmAficionado wrote:}{quote}

> > I > Look at all the awards *Cabaret* won over the years in different versions. Clearly, it's no "flash in the pan!" The only musical that comes close in popularity and longevity is *Show Boat* (1927).

> >

> >

>

> What?!?!?!?!? If you love CABARET, that's certainly fine and dandy, but to make statements such as the above, as if there was anything even remotely available to back it up, is just odd. There is nothing (not cast album sales, not Broadway tickets sold, not motion picture box office receipts, not television ratings, not movie rental fees, not show licenses leased) - NOTHING to support that statement.

 

OK, no sales reciepts, but here is the IBDB page. It ran for 1165 prformances first time around. That's pretty successful, I think:

 

http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=3348

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