All That Jazz (1979)

R   |    |  Drama, Music, Musical

All That Jazz (1979) Poster

Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.

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  • Ben Vereen in All That Jazz (1979)
  • Leland Palmer in All That Jazz (1979)
  • Roy Scheider and Erzsebet Foldi in All That Jazz (1979)
  • Roy Scheider in All That Jazz (1979)
  • Roy Scheider in All That Jazz (1979)
  • Ann Reinking in All That Jazz (1979)

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27 October 1998 | mspt
| A Personal Favorite
As a theatre professional, this movie is my personal favorite. I can understand that there are some who maybe put off by the theme and tone that Fosse takes, but when looking for a snapshot of hedonism, creativity, genius, and the pre-"Phantom" American Musical Theatre, this movie is amazing. Oh, and did I mention the incredible dancing?

Shunned by reviewers because of its nastily undisguised look at such theatre luminaries as Harold Prince, Michael Bennett, Stephen Schwartz and Gwen Verdon, and film luminaries such as Dustin Hoffman, the movie has started to re-emerge as the definitive movie of musical theatre and dance. You can't help but realize this when you discover that even Paula Abdul has used the famed "Take Off With Us" dance sequence as the basis of one of her own music videos.

Not for the faint-hearted, this movie is loaded with talent, beautiful and jarring images, and even a moral. It maybe intentionally repugnant, but this was a "mea culpa" from a generously talented man who survived his hedonism and sought to warn others awary from its inevitable effects.

See it. Enjoy it. Revel in it. If you're not careful, you might even learn something from it.

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