Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB
USA, 1972. Allied Artists Pictures, ABC Pictures, A Feuer and Martin Production. Screenplay by Jay Presson Allen, based the musical play by Joe Masteroff, from the play I Am A Camera by John Van Druten, adapted from the stories of Christopher Isherwood. Cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth. Produced by Cy Feuer. Music by John Kander. Production Design by Rolf Zehetbauer. Costume Design by Charlotte Flemming. Film Editing by David Bretherton.
In here, ladies and gentlemen, life is beautiful, because life is a cabaret! This sensational musical hasn’t lost a single bit of its energy, rhythm or style in the thirty years since it was released. Liza Minnelli is a phenomenon as a sexy American singer in a Berlin nightclub in 1931, just as the Nazi party is rising to power in Germany.
Michael York plays a travelling British writer who comes to the city to teach English while working on his personal projects. The two of them meet when he moves in to her rooming house, and their relationship is played out against the backdrop of a changing nation.
Bob Fosse’s masterpiece features the marvelous music of John Kander and Fred Ebb, performed to perfection by Minnelli, as well as exceptional editing and gorgeous cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth. Joel Grey also steals a few scenes as the naughty Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Club where Minnelli sings, his very presence a sharp commentary on the times.
Entertaining, enjoyable and decadently thought-provoking, this film is based on the musical play which was in turn adapted from the play I Am A Camera by John Van Druten, which was inspired by the Berlin stories by Christopher Isherwood.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Liza Minnelli); Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey); Best Director (Bob Fosse); Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Adapted Screenplay
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Liza Minnelli); Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey)
Nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Berenson); Best Director (Bob Fosse); Best Screenplay; Best Song (“Mein Herr”); Best Original Song (“Money, Money”)