- Actors: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey, Fritz Wepper
- Directors: Bob Fosse
- Format: Dolby, PAL
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Fremantle
- DVD Release Date: 9 Sept. 2002
- Run Time: 123 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 293 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000068C3U
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,420 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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DVD Special Features:
1997 Documentary Cabaret: A Legend in the Making
1972 Documentary : The Re-creation of an Era
1997 Kit Kat Klub Memory Gallery - remimiscences from the films stars and creators
1972 Original US Theatrical Trailer
40 Pages of Production Notes and Trivia
Dolby Digital 2.0
Aspect Ratio 16:9 Letterbox
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. Theres 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
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Bob Fosse, whom I love, has done his best in Lenny and All that Jazz. Here he alternates some great scenes with some more selfsatisfied ones which, in my opinion, make the film lose his initial charm, letting a tendency to bizarre and extravaganza prevail.
Fortunately you can still see the art and provocative style of Fosse, who basically talks about the rise of Nazism seen from the artistic perspective of people from the showbiz and in a way that reflect their different sight: that of musical and entertain, like a tragic ball or a surreal funeral party, celebrating the death of joy and western civilization as violence prevails.
Worth noting the superb blu ray and visual quality
Showcasing Liza Minelli at the peak of her talents, her Oscar was richly deserved, aswell as Joel Grey's scene stealing, compelling but creepy Emcee. To compliment this, the choreography and direction are first rate.
Do to the risque nature of the plot, one may not care to watch it with Granny or the Vicar!
Despite this I soon found myself wondering how today's audience will identify with the undercurrent of the movie - of life in Berlin in 1931, during the last days of the decadent Weimar Republic and facing the increasingly ominous growth of Hitler's National Socialist party.
In the opening scenes members of the National Socialist party are harassed and occasionally kicked out of the Kit Kat Club but this attitude soon changes. Halfway through the film a boy is singing to the seated guests in a beer garden; at first it seems an innocent lyrical song about the beauties of nature but it gradually becomes the strident "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" song. When the camera finally shifts back we see the boy is actually wearing a brown Hitler youth uniform and, as he lifts his hand in the Nazi salute, nearly all the guests in the beer garden get up and voluntarily join in the singing and the saluting.
By the time we get to the finale of the film the audience of the Kit Kat Club is dominated by jack-booted members of the Nazi party.
The movie was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1973 and won a total of eight. Lisa Minnelli - at the absolute peak of her career - won the best actress award whilst Joel Grey (the decadent and brilliantly expressive Emcee at the Kit Kat Club) won the award for the best actor in a supporting role.
Watch and enjoy the movie and the songs - but remember to set the escapism of the Kit Kat Club against the violent and changing social structure that was rapidly consuming Germany. Changes that, six short years later, were to plunge the world into a global conflict.
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