Cabaret Reviews

  • Oct 10, 2020

    It has a well produced style to it but I just hate musicals. To be fair the songs are better than some musicals and there's always the handy fast forward button once you've got through the first verse snd chorus to help speed the film along. The trouble is that the main storyline is a bit wet. The Nazi backdrop gives the film a bit of edge but the film lacks a defining scene that pulls everything together, it just kind of ebbs away in the end. Anti climatic is the best description for this cabaret show.

    It has a well produced style to it but I just hate musicals. To be fair the songs are better than some musicals and there's always the handy fast forward button once you've got through the first verse snd chorus to help speed the film along. The trouble is that the main storyline is a bit wet. The Nazi backdrop gives the film a bit of edge but the film lacks a defining scene that pulls everything together, it just kind of ebbs away in the end. Anti climatic is the best description for this cabaret show.

  • Jul 17, 2020

    Powerful musical well preformed.

    Powerful musical well preformed.

  • May 23, 2020

    This is the best musical EVER!

    This is the best musical EVER!

  • May 13, 2020

    In a pivotal moment during the latter part of the film, Fritz Wepper's Fritz Wendel, reminiscing about the precarious bourgeois joys of Weimar Berlin, reflects on "the parties—ah, the parties," he repeats with a slightly somber tone. Unwittingly, perhaps, this echo gives voice to a symbolic symbiosis and ideological continuum between, on the one hand, parties in the sense of social gatherings for personal ends and parties in the sense of social organizations for political ends, on the other. Elsewhere in the film, with rapid edits intercutting between the stage and the street, Fosse illustrates the relationship of bodily violence—how else to describe the contortions of the dancers?—gaudy decadence, and exuberant obscenity that connects the two parties, the entertaining and the institutional. The implication is the overbearing, overdetermined tautology that «the party is the party», exalted to the extent that either is exclusive, the vulgarism of the one undergirding the civic acceptability of the other, like a jester to a king (or an effete emcee to a chauvinist führer). In contrast to the puritanism of America (where the film was originally rated X on account of its frank queer themes), nowhere is this coincidence of seeming opposites clearer than with the Nazis, the vulgarity of the Volk matched only by the rigidity of the Reich. The movie stages the inherent ideological contradiction in perhaps its most famous and effective scene, as an idyllic country air sung by a handsome Hitlerjunge slowly yet effortlessly and practically organically transforms into a raucous military march—showing how, in its own perverse way, the party swings both ways.

    In a pivotal moment during the latter part of the film, Fritz Wepper's Fritz Wendel, reminiscing about the precarious bourgeois joys of Weimar Berlin, reflects on "the parties—ah, the parties," he repeats with a slightly somber tone. Unwittingly, perhaps, this echo gives voice to a symbolic symbiosis and ideological continuum between, on the one hand, parties in the sense of social gatherings for personal ends and parties in the sense of social organizations for political ends, on the other. Elsewhere in the film, with rapid edits intercutting between the stage and the street, Fosse illustrates the relationship of bodily violence—how else to describe the contortions of the dancers?—gaudy decadence, and exuberant obscenity that connects the two parties, the entertaining and the institutional. The implication is the overbearing, overdetermined tautology that «the party is the party», exalted to the extent that either is exclusive, the vulgarism of the one undergirding the civic acceptability of the other, like a jester to a king (or an effete emcee to a chauvinist führer). In contrast to the puritanism of America (where the film was originally rated X on account of its frank queer themes), nowhere is this coincidence of seeming opposites clearer than with the Nazis, the vulgarity of the Volk matched only by the rigidity of the Reich. The movie stages the inherent ideological contradiction in perhaps its most famous and effective scene, as an idyllic country air sung by a handsome Hitlerjunge slowly yet effortlessly and practically organically transforms into a raucous military march—showing how, in its own perverse way, the party swings both ways.

  • Apr 13, 2020

    Unforgettably good. Everything from the music to the acting, to the message, to the lighting, to ambient, it needs to settle its tone here and there but... Overall what a beautiful pass time this classic is.

    Unforgettably good. Everything from the music to the acting, to the message, to the lighting, to ambient, it needs to settle its tone here and there but... Overall what a beautiful pass time this classic is.

  • Mar 07, 2020

    While much of it seems dated and old hat by today's standards, some elements of Cabaret are still as timeless as ever. The dancing, the showmanship, the performances, the depiction of a once carefree and bohemian city slowly sliding into an era of oppression and brutality. Liza Minelli is the acting standout, capable of both infectious wonderment and a powerful lust for life, while also capturing the characters lowest moments with absolute sincerity. Joel Grey is also excellent, giving us some of the biggest and brightest facial expressions ever caught on film, and represents many of the jolliest scenes in the film. It takes a likeable love story, turns it into a love triangle, and frames all of it against a backdrop of escalating tension and racial prejudice. The film slows down considerably when it gets into the 2nd half, and its feels like many important scenes have been cut out, meaning plot threads, such as the aforementioned love triangle, end with little to no resolution. The same is true of the editing, with numerous scenes cutting away like the editor chopped the film at the wrong place. But these issues aside, Cabaret is still a film I'd recommend to anyone interested in musicals or the time period. It's fun, brilliantly acted and made with obvious passion. See it if you get the chance.

    While much of it seems dated and old hat by today's standards, some elements of Cabaret are still as timeless as ever. The dancing, the showmanship, the performances, the depiction of a once carefree and bohemian city slowly sliding into an era of oppression and brutality. Liza Minelli is the acting standout, capable of both infectious wonderment and a powerful lust for life, while also capturing the characters lowest moments with absolute sincerity. Joel Grey is also excellent, giving us some of the biggest and brightest facial expressions ever caught on film, and represents many of the jolliest scenes in the film. It takes a likeable love story, turns it into a love triangle, and frames all of it against a backdrop of escalating tension and racial prejudice. The film slows down considerably when it gets into the 2nd half, and its feels like many important scenes have been cut out, meaning plot threads, such as the aforementioned love triangle, end with little to no resolution. The same is true of the editing, with numerous scenes cutting away like the editor chopped the film at the wrong place. But these issues aside, Cabaret is still a film I'd recommend to anyone interested in musicals or the time period. It's fun, brilliantly acted and made with obvious passion. See it if you get the chance.

  • Oct 24, 2019

    What looks like a fun 70s musical quickly reveals itself to be a deeper, more fascinating, and even unsettling film. The music's still fun though.

    What looks like a fun 70s musical quickly reveals itself to be a deeper, more fascinating, and even unsettling film. The music's still fun though.

  • Sep 26, 2019

    I see the appeal for the most part but it definitely wasn't made for me. Decent songs though

    I see the appeal for the most part but it definitely wasn't made for me. Decent songs though

  • Sep 23, 2019

    "SCREW MAXIMILIAN!" "...... I do." "..... so do I." It's early 1930s Berlin as the Nazis begin to take over Germany as American Kit Kat Club cabaret singer Sally Bowles meets a lodger, an English language teacher, that will be staying in the same building as her. She falls in love with him but soon discovers he's gay.... and eventually finds out he's bisexual. This is quite a movie. Almost TOO much to handle in one sitting it's so different. It's such a jarring movie to watch that I got confused at certain points and it's all because of it's killer style. And the style of this musical is.... it's not exactly a musical. Bob Fosse and company took out all the "book songs", the songs where characters sing to EACH OTHER and only left in the songs sung in the actual Kit Kat Club. So what this means is all of the musical numbers are 100% diegetic. Nobody breaks into the song in the middle of a dialog scene, the dialog scenes are dialog scenes. Michael York who plays Brian... doesn't sing a note in the movie. The only characters who do sing are played by Liza Minelli and Joel Grey and they only sing in the Kit Kat Club. So basically this is a musical for people who hate musicals. And that's really what it was in 1972. Movie audiences hated musicals by the time they got out of the 60s. Movies were about realism and not escapism anymore. Which is weird when you think about it. In the 50s movies were all about escapism and yet times were good. Times got bad in the 60s and 70s and audiences don't want to escape anymore.... doesn't exactly make sense to me but it's what happened. And so Bob Fosse made a musical that HAS loads of lavish Broadway-style musical numbers and yet it comes off as a totally realistic movie. And THAT would probably be why he won the Oscar for Best Director for this movie among other reasons. And while I would have voted for Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather that year... I understand the voters' decisions. Liza Minelli is incredible in this. She has a dual role essentially. She has this dramatic side of Sally, the dialog scenes, this love triangle she's in with a German aristocrat and Brian.... but she also has to have the musical side as the cabaret singer... and she does both brilliantly. And of course that's why SHE won an Oscar for this movie. It's great watching Wizard of Oz for the first time with Judy Garland and then seeing her daughter in another iconic musical with Cabaret. They're both amazing performers. Joel Grey won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing the Emcee of the Kit Kat Club and... beat out all 3 nominees from The Godfather... he beat Sonny! And of course I wouldn't have voted for him in place of someone from The Godfather... but he was pretty damn good. Unlike Sally we never see this guy OUT of this club so he's always in musical mode. And his character singing these songs is such a great contrast to the dramatic side of the movie. You have these moments where the songs reflect the times in the story and it's this genius moment where the Nazism on one side of the movie comes together with the lavish musical side and it adds up to something pretty wicked. Like this bit where we have the girls of the Kit Kat club doing this number in lingerie... and suddenly we see the Emcee is in drag among them. And they're wearing this bowler hats and towards the end of the number they all bend the edges of the hats and they look like that Nazi style helmet and they all start goosestepping across the stage. That's something you don't see in every musical. All of the songs by Kander and Ebb are great, it's tough to get Mein Herr out of my head after this movie. There's one song, maybe Kander and Ebb did it I'm not sure.  But we have this scene like a picnic in the German countryside.  And this guy starts singing what seems like a sweet song about youth and how tomorrow belongs to him.... and we pan down and we see his has a brown shirt and a swastika.  And then the people start singing along.  And it's clear this isn't a sweet song, this is a song about the Nazis trying to take over the world.  Now that was a brilliant and disturbing scene.  And the movie ends with this note that while the story's over... I mean... it's the early days of Nazi Germany so... the world is about to hit a cataclysm. Again... not the note you expect a movie musical to end on. Bob Fosse trying to make a musical for an edgier 1970s movie audience ended up succeeding admirably. That style where all of the songs are given a cinematic context that doesn't come off as phony is a style I wish EVERY musical found a way to use. The LACK of this kind of edge is why I thought Oliver! sucked ass most of the time. It's why Chicago is a personal favorite of mine. Totally using the Fosse cinematic language, in that movie the musical scenes are done as fantasy/dream scenes, which are brilliantly done. Like I said it's a lot to take in in one sitting but Cabaret is a hell of a movie.

    "SCREW MAXIMILIAN!" "...... I do." "..... so do I." It's early 1930s Berlin as the Nazis begin to take over Germany as American Kit Kat Club cabaret singer Sally Bowles meets a lodger, an English language teacher, that will be staying in the same building as her. She falls in love with him but soon discovers he's gay.... and eventually finds out he's bisexual. This is quite a movie. Almost TOO much to handle in one sitting it's so different. It's such a jarring movie to watch that I got confused at certain points and it's all because of it's killer style. And the style of this musical is.... it's not exactly a musical. Bob Fosse and company took out all the "book songs", the songs where characters sing to EACH OTHER and only left in the songs sung in the actual Kit Kat Club. So what this means is all of the musical numbers are 100% diegetic. Nobody breaks into the song in the middle of a dialog scene, the dialog scenes are dialog scenes. Michael York who plays Brian... doesn't sing a note in the movie. The only characters who do sing are played by Liza Minelli and Joel Grey and they only sing in the Kit Kat Club. So basically this is a musical for people who hate musicals. And that's really what it was in 1972. Movie audiences hated musicals by the time they got out of the 60s. Movies were about realism and not escapism anymore. Which is weird when you think about it. In the 50s movies were all about escapism and yet times were good. Times got bad in the 60s and 70s and audiences don't want to escape anymore.... doesn't exactly make sense to me but it's what happened. And so Bob Fosse made a musical that HAS loads of lavish Broadway-style musical numbers and yet it comes off as a totally realistic movie. And THAT would probably be why he won the Oscar for Best Director for this movie among other reasons. And while I would have voted for Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather that year... I understand the voters' decisions. Liza Minelli is incredible in this. She has a dual role essentially. She has this dramatic side of Sally, the dialog scenes, this love triangle she's in with a German aristocrat and Brian.... but she also has to have the musical side as the cabaret singer... and she does both brilliantly. And of course that's why SHE won an Oscar for this movie. It's great watching Wizard of Oz for the first time with Judy Garland and then seeing her daughter in another iconic musical with Cabaret. They're both amazing performers. Joel Grey won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing the Emcee of the Kit Kat Club and... beat out all 3 nominees from The Godfather... he beat Sonny! And of course I wouldn't have voted for him in place of someone from The Godfather... but he was pretty damn good. Unlike Sally we never see this guy OUT of this club so he's always in musical mode. And his character singing these songs is such a great contrast to the dramatic side of the movie. You have these moments where the songs reflect the times in the story and it's this genius moment where the Nazism on one side of the movie comes together with the lavish musical side and it adds up to something pretty wicked. Like this bit where we have the girls of the Kit Kat club doing this number in lingerie... and suddenly we see the Emcee is in drag among them. And they're wearing this bowler hats and towards the end of the number they all bend the edges of the hats and they look like that Nazi style helmet and they all start goosestepping across the stage. That's something you don't see in every musical. All of the songs by Kander and Ebb are great, it's tough to get Mein Herr out of my head after this movie. There's one song, maybe Kander and Ebb did it I'm not sure.  But we have this scene like a picnic in the German countryside.  And this guy starts singing what seems like a sweet song about youth and how tomorrow belongs to him.... and we pan down and we see his has a brown shirt and a swastika.  And then the people start singing along.  And it's clear this isn't a sweet song, this is a song about the Nazis trying to take over the world.  Now that was a brilliant and disturbing scene.  And the movie ends with this note that while the story's over... I mean... it's the early days of Nazi Germany so... the world is about to hit a cataclysm. Again... not the note you expect a movie musical to end on. Bob Fosse trying to make a musical for an edgier 1970s movie audience ended up succeeding admirably. That style where all of the songs are given a cinematic context that doesn't come off as phony is a style I wish EVERY musical found a way to use. The LACK of this kind of edge is why I thought Oliver! sucked ass most of the time. It's why Chicago is a personal favorite of mine. Totally using the Fosse cinematic language, in that movie the musical scenes are done as fantasy/dream scenes, which are brilliantly done. Like I said it's a lot to take in in one sitting but Cabaret is a hell of a movie.

  • Aug 12, 2019

    Liza Minelli absolutely ruined this movie. Now don't get me wrong, Minelli was a talented performer in her time. But the Oscar for this perfomance?! She was completely miscast, and Liza did Liza, not Sally Bowles. Watching her try to act in this movie is painful. Sure, she sings the songs fine, but it's as if she didn't read the script or get the depth of this story. She doesn't serve the story or the character in the least bit. The musical number "Cabaret" was the worst part. Sally sees her entire world crumbling around her, and there's Liza, dancing and singing like she doesn't have a care in the world, and mugging it for the audience...ughhh. Sally needs to have more depth than a 24 year old Liza Minelli did. I'm shocked at how many positive and glowing reviews there are, but I suspect that comes from her having won the Oscar, so she must have been great right? (insert eye roll here)

    Liza Minelli absolutely ruined this movie. Now don't get me wrong, Minelli was a talented performer in her time. But the Oscar for this perfomance?! She was completely miscast, and Liza did Liza, not Sally Bowles. Watching her try to act in this movie is painful. Sure, she sings the songs fine, but it's as if she didn't read the script or get the depth of this story. She doesn't serve the story or the character in the least bit. The musical number "Cabaret" was the worst part. Sally sees her entire world crumbling around her, and there's Liza, dancing and singing like she doesn't have a care in the world, and mugging it for the audience...ughhh. Sally needs to have more depth than a 24 year old Liza Minelli did. I'm shocked at how many positive and glowing reviews there are, but I suspect that comes from her having won the Oscar, so she must have been great right? (insert eye roll here)