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Cabaret [1972] [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Marisa Berenson
  • Directors: Bob Fosse
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Prism Leisure Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct. 2004
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002K10XY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,225 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem Cabaret brings 1931 Berlin to life. Outside on the street, the Nazi party is beginning to grow into a brutal political force, whilst inside at the Kit Kat Klub starry-eyed American, Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) and an impish Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey) sound the call for decadent fun. Into this heady world arrives British language teacher Brian Roberts (Michael York), who falls for Sally's charm, and soon the two of them find themselves embroiled in the turmoil and decadence of the era.

From Amazon.co.uk

Cabaret is one of those film musicals whose cultural and stylistic influence extend well beyond the cinema. It confirmed Bob Fosse's status as one of the boldest choreographers of the 20th century and gave Liza Minnelli an early peak in a film career which would never scale such heights again. Minnelli is both the film's strength--on its own merits her performance is an Oscar-winning tour de force--and weakness. The real Sally Bowles was a third-rate performer and just one of a rich gallery of characters; here, the constant allowances for Minnelli's star turns and mannerisms ultimately throw the story off balance. But the source material is impeccable: Kander and Ebb's stage show, based on the autobiographical stories of Christopher Isherwood, has long since been acknowledged a classic. The songs, augmented by some new numbers in the film, are ageless.

Joel Grey from the original Broadway production is the Emcee, the master of ceremonies who, with his Kit Kat Klub girls, provides a depraved Greek chorus satirising the rise of the Nazi regime and the lazy complacency of the 1930s Berlin cabaret-goers. The "divine decadence" tag is only part of the story, though. Cabaret still works a sinister, uncomfortable magic which sets it apart as a uniquely powerful film musical.

On the DVD: Cabaret's 30th Anniversary Special Edition is packed with extras which include a scratchy "making of" documentary from 1972 and a retrospective from 1997, the latter featuring reminiscences from the cast. There’s also the original theatrical trailer, though in the absence of the late director Fosse the lack of some kind of commentary is a disappointment. The picture itself, presented in widescreen 16:9 letterbox format with a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack, gleams as sharply, visually and aurally, as it did on its first release. --Piers Ford --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Feb. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This new transfer reproduces the original look of the film perfectly. Don't expect fine detail and stunning definition as the softness is deliberate, and the blu ray precisely captures the director and cinephotographer's intentions. The 5.1 audio remix (originally 4track) is very good too but once more don't expect spectacular sound. This upgrade is definitely recommended however as it's a definite improvement on the old DVD version and on par with the 40th Anniversary edition.
Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (30.74 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Packaging
DigiBook

Playback
Region free
6 Comments 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
Little can be said about "Cabaret" as a movie that has not already been said. It transcended the musical genre and changed it forever. It is moving, profoundly human, socially and politically aware, and also a terrific piece of entertainment that can be enjoyed over and over. I was sort of worried about the HD restoration and transfer for this blu-ray edition. It had been talked about and postponed for some 3 years now, and, knowing that it was shot with a completely intended soft look, I was afraid that it was digitally over-treated (yes, I had "Out of Africa", "Gladiator" and other Universal disasters in mind). Well, nothing of that sort, on the very contrary; the restoration and the transfer are flawless, totally respecting the soft colors, low contrast, even hue and darkness. Its understated, timeless look is all there. Everything is seen as it was originally intended to be seen, incluing the beautiful celulloid grain (yes, it is there, thanks WB). No signs of DNR or artificial compression at all, so all the small details in the negative are there; the colors are not artificially oversaturated, the contrast is not boosted, and the sound is expanded without being overdone either. A perfect restoration and transfer that totally respect the view of the director and cinematographer. It is so fresh that it feels like seeing the movie for the first time. Can't be better, honestly. I do intend to enjoy this blu ray many times in the future. Unmissable, especially if you like the movie. And if you don't..it's about time you give it another chance.
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Format: DVD
Now I know Mel Brooks might have prior claim to this title via his 1967 'musical within a film' Springtime For Hitler and The Producers, but this 1972 film directed (and choreographed) by Bob Fosse really is something very 'un-Hollywood-like', with its intimate personal story interwoven with themes of 1930s Berlin Nazis, homosexuality and high-kicking, cross-dressing musical numbers. This was, I guess, the film that really 'broke' Liza Minnelli onto the world stage and in which she drew on her family heritage to deliver a whole series of infectious Kander and Ebb songs (alongside a marvellous Joel Grey) such as Willkommen, Maybe This Time, Money and film's famous title tune.

In addition, however, Minnelli demonstrates that she is not just a compelling (and androgynous) stage performer, but that she can also act, here as the brassy, down-to-earth, ambitious and (ultimately) vulnerable, Kit Kat night-club turn, Sally Bowles. It soon becomes clear that Fosse's film is going to be far from a 'traditional' Hollywood musical as Michael York's repressed, and sexually insecure ('nil' sex life), Englishman (and teacher), Brian Roberts, arrives at Sally's door, and the era's political overtones gradually seep into proceedings (initially via background radio broadcasts), drawing viewers into this world of 'divine decadence' (Sally's adage). Fosse (and cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth) create an authentic and evocative sense of the period, with stunning night-club sequences (blacks, reds, whites), ageing communist (Lenin) street posters and a sense of greater social/sexual liberalism, all tempered by the increasingly pervasive Nazi presence.

In addition to Minnelli's endearing turn, I have never seen York as impressive (not difficult, I'll admit) as the emotionally complex Roberts.
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Format: DVD
A stunning film: Liza Minelli is truly knockout - sadly never to again have such a perfectly fitted role - and Fosse's choreography is superb - reinforced by brilliant photography, lighting, and editing. Joel Gray as Emcee matches and supports her impeccably - and their "Money" duet is just wonderful.

Loving this film, I paid to see it several times in the cinema, and have bought several versions of the DVD since - always hopeful of a proper-format screen-filler appropriate for all those fabulous shots and routines. In vain!

Why, why, why....isn't this barnstormer of a film available yet in a proper anamorphic transfer?

Is the argument that it's been out long enough that everyone who wanted this film will have already bought it? So there won't be a big enough market for a new version?

NO....! I think that all the lovers of this film would absolutely flock to buy a top-quality anamorphic transfer. But please shout that it's NEW on the cover - don't try to fool us again with any more letter-box mini-versions. No-one should be palming off these versions in 2011!!! Cameron gave us an anamorphic Titanic after the initial shoddy letterbox-version. It's time this was done for Fosse's gem!
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