Cabaret is a 1972 musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse and star star Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey.
The film follows the story of Sally Bowles a gentleman’s club entertainer, in 1931 Weimar Republic era Berlin who has two romances while Nazis invade the country.
This film is full of song and dance, some racy, some mild. It is just as controversial now as it was then, with not only sexuality, but also racism, anti-Semitic jokes, and Nazi characters, also Sally being bisexual. It was the first musical to be given an “X” rating. Despite the controversy, it was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture.
This is probably Liza Minnelli’s most well known role and the character was absolutely perfect for her. She made her version of Sally Bowles, the most iconic one. She brought the spice, the humor and drama to the film that made it outstanding. No other actress could have played Sally as perfectly as Liza.
Michael York does a very good, not great job as Brian Roberts, the Brit that moves into the boarding house where Sally lives. He at first reveals to her that he doesn’t sleep with women, until he ends up falling for Sally. Joel Grey does fantastically as the master of ceremonies, bringing the humor, that is at times, offensive, and the drag and silliness.
Despite the offensiveness of this film, it is still wonderful and gets better every time I watch it. Every scene is done magnificently, thanks to the genius Bob Fosse. No other director could have made this film as greatly as him, because not only did he direct the picture, he choreographed it and helped write many of the songs. He wanted to shock people as well as have them singing afterwards.
This film has stood the test of time and the characters and songs are iconic. It is forever a magnificent work of art that is perfectly imperfect. 18+ 5/5