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Not quite a cabaret,
This review is from: I Am a Camera [DVD]  (DVD)
I am a Camera is the original of the later adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's classic drama of the decadent 1920s into 1930s Germany, and takes itself seriously. Whereas Cabaret lightens the tone, but effectively uses the awful development of Nazism as a backdrop to the vagaries of Sally Bowles' blighted cabaret career, I am a Camera is heavier, and focuses on Sally and her relationship with the Englishman (Laurence Harvey) rather than the wider context which pervades the better film of Cabaret.
Julie Harris is very good as Sally and far outshines Laurence Harvey playing Isherwood, as the author of the original autobiographical story. Harvey seems uncomfortable in this role and plays it with a wooden spoon. However, he is amply compensated for by Harris, and the film, while dreary compared to its remake as a musical, is nevertheless well worth seeing. It is probably a more accurate picture of the seedy cabaret life of the time, which the
later Cabaret in some ways, romanticises.