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CABARET
February 12, 2018  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

 
Bob Fosse’s choreography for this 1972 film version of the famous musical, itself based on the semi-autobiographical prewar Berlin stories by Christopher Isherwood, is fabulous. Fosse’s work as film director, though, is even more superb, and he manages, in this version of the story, to make every musical number feel totally of the moment. Liza Minnelli became a star, and icon, as American-in-Germany lounge singer Sally Bowles, a hot mess of a central character, and Joel Grey earned just as many accolades as the seedy cabaret’s master of ceremonies. Michael York is the naïve visitor to Berlin who gets drawn into Sally’s web, and he’s good too – but watch not only how Fosse treats and photographs these three characters, but how he frames and propels each musical number. TCM’s “31 Days of Oscar” is saluting Best Director winners tonight in prime time, and leading off with Cabaret, and Fosse’s Oscar-winning triumph, is an excellent move. And it isn’t the film’s only Oscar, by the way. Cabaret earned eight in all, including Academy Awards for Minnelli, for Grey, and outstanding editing and cinematography – each of them richly deserved.
 
 
 
 
 
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