Iconic, Cult and Classic Movies
Cabaret film was a revolution in American musical drama films. To say that Cabaret movie is a great musical film is to say nothing.
Cabaret (1972) competed with none other than Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather at the 1973 Academy Awards and scooped 8 major Oscar awards.
The movie is #5 on AFI (American Film Institute) best musical films list and #68 on AFI top 100 movies list.
Cabaret Musical Film – Plot Teaser
In 1931 Berlin, young English writer befriends a cabaret performer.
They develop a romantic relationship amidst political and cultural changes that take place.
Cabaret Film - Movie Ratings
Before Cabaret movie, classic musical movies from Hollywood had a Bollywood quality to them: you could expect anyone to start singing and dancing out of nowhere. Musical drama films were very rare and rarely good.
Bob Fosse, the director of the Cabaret film, had a different idea on what Cabaret musical should be: “It’s not My Fair Lady. It’s a real story about dark times. It’s a modern nightmare with songs and dance.”
Cabaret (1972) is set in Berlin in the early 1930’s, before the Nazi Party headed by Adolf Hitler takes control in 1933. 1920’s were the “Roaring Twenties”. It was the golden age for German literature, cinema, theatre and music. Cabaret scene was vibrant and full of women dressed as men and men dressed as women. Cultural liberation was in the air – right up until 1929, when American depression echoed in Germany. The Cabaret musical film thus depicts Berlin in its last attempts to hang on to that brief moment of happiness.
It’s the subject matter that doesn’t normally draw crowds to the movie theatres. Nonetheless, the Cabaret movie musical made over $40 million on an estimated $6 million budget.
Bob Fosse wanted authenticity in everything. Except for the main cast, the actors and dancers in the Cabaret movie musical were mostly German. To create a specific atmosphere on the set of Cabaret, Liza Minnelli recalls, Bob Fosse would play famous Marlene Dietrich song from her 1929 German film before each scene.
Bob Fosse showed Geoffrey Unsworth, his cinematographer, paintings of George Grosz and Otto Dix to convey the look he was after in the Cabaret film.
Sylvia Von Harden by Otto Dix
Cafe by George Grosz
The Cabaret musical film was shot entirely on location in West Germany. Apart from the reasons of authenticity, this also allowed the director to stay far away from Hollywood and producers’ demands. Liza Minnelli recalls how Bob Fosse ripped a producer’s note in half in front of the whole cast and crew. “He got away with murder”, she said in a recent interview to Turner Classic Movie Channel.
With her role in the Cabaret musical, Liza Minnelli became an international star, sweeping the Oscar Academy Award for best actress.
With the winning formula of the Cabaret movie, Bob Fosse would direct another Oscar-winning classic of American musical drama films – All That Jazz.
One of the best musical films, Cabaret film is also among the best drama movies and one of darkest films ever made. There is a degree of violence that together with great musical numbers in the cabaret create a very realistic film about life.
A classic of musical films and one of the best comedy films. Rated no.1 on the top 100 funny movies list by American Film Institute. The funniest of Marilyn Monroe movies and arguably her best.