Since it release nearly a half century back Cabaret remains the last great American musical (Singing' in the Rain and West Side Story were made previous). As relevant now as it was then, carrying a tune and warning of creeping fascism, it's staying power is not only in its message but the bite of the music and two of the most memorable musical performances in film history with Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles and Joel Grey as the "Emcee."
University student Brian Roberts ( Michael York) freshly arrived in Berlin (Weimar Germany 1931) to complete his studies makes the acquaintance of Kit Kat Club performer Sally Bowles who shows him the ropes. Taken back by her brash personality at first he eventually warms to Sally and they become involved, he more serious than her. Together they encounter and share new friends but Brian comes to the realization that Sally is not about to give up a life of "divine decadence." Meanwhile in the streets, the parks, the clubs the Nazi Party and its brand of thuggery is becoming more prevalent.
Outside of a pace slowing subplot regarding two older students Robert is tutoring Cabaret is flawless film making in nearly every area with Minelli excelling in three (acting, singing, dancing) requirements and Grey's mischievously haunting master of ceremonies delivering a character for the ages. Director Bob Fosse working in a confined space smaller than a broadway stage for his musical numbers, the color muted by club smoke, delivers one excellently edited solid number after the next without betraying the mood with slick, flashy choreography on a stage the size of an aircraft carrier that lesser musicals depend on. Instead it maintains the funk of people dancing on a volcano in search of distraction from the impending doom they face. Musicals by nature are usually optimistic and upbeat. Sober Cabaret goes against the grain and succeeds beyond expectation as one of the finest musicals in film history.
Action / Drama / Musical
Action / Drama / Musical
Cambridge University student Brian Roberts arrives in Berlin in 1931 to complete his German studies. Without much money, he plans on making a living teaching English while living in an inexpensive rooming house, where he befriends another of the tenants, American Sally Bowles. She is outwardly a flamboyant, perpetually happy person who works as a singer at the decadent Kit Kat Klub, a cabaret styled venue. Sally's outward façade is matched by that of the Klub, overseen by the omnipresent Master of Ceremonies. Sally draws Brian into her world, and initially wants him to be one of her many lovers, until she learns that he is a homosexual, albeit a celibate one. Among their other friends are his students, the poor Fritz Wendel, who wants to be a gigolo to live a comfortable life, and the straight-laced and beautiful Natalia Landauer, a Jewish heiress. Fritz initially sees Natalia as his money ticket, but eventually falls for her. However Natalia is suspect of his motives and cannot ...
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April 11, 2016 at 09:17 PM