All That Jazz


2h 3m 1979
All That Jazz

Brief Synopsis

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

Film Details

Also Known As
Empieza el espectáculo, Que le spectacle commence, Showtime
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1979
Premiere Information
not available
Country
United States
Location
New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m
Sound
Dolby
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Joe Gideon is a hedonistoc workaholic who knocks back a daily dose of amphetamines to juggle a new Broadway production while editing his new movie, not to mention ex-wife Audrey, steady girlfriend Kate, a young daughter, and various conquests. Joe cannot, however, avoid intimations of mortality from white-clad vision Angelique that lead him to look back at his life as he heads for a near-inevitable coronary.

Crew

Robert Alan Aurthur

Producer

Robert Alan Aurthur

Screenplay

George Benson

Song Performer

Glen Berger

Sound

Irving Berlin

Song

Nancy Bird

Technical Advisor

Grace Blake

Production Coordinator

Stan Bochner

Sound Editor

Gary Brink

Set Decorator

Shelton Brooks

Song

B Bryant

Song

F Bryant

Song

Fern Buchner

Makeup

Ralph Burns

Music

Ralph Burns

Music Arranger

Joan Cameron

Assistant Editor

James A Contner

Camera Operator

Henry Creamer

Song

Serge Diakonoff

Other

Dick Dibona

Photography

Kathryn Doby

Choreographer

Jay Dranch

Sound Editor

Herbert Edwards

Song

Howard Feuer

Casting

Jules Fisher

Other

Jeremy Fitzer

Casting

Gene Foote

Choreographer

Bob Fosse

Screenplay

Bob Fosse

Choreographer

Bill Garroni

Photography

Phil Gips

Titles

Anthony Gittelson

Production Assistant

Wolfgang Glattes

Associate Producer

Wolfgang Glattes

Assistant Director

Wolfgang Glattes

Unit Manager

Romaine Greene

Hair

Arnold Gross

Music Arranger

Bernard Hajdenberg

Sound Editor

Alan Heim

Editor

Billy Higgins

Song

John E Hutchinson

Technical Advisor

Peter Ilardi

Sound

Jerry Jaffe

Production Assistant

Bert Kalmar

Song

Turner Layton

Song

Stan Lebowsky

Music Supervisor

Stan Lebowsky

Song

Jerry Leiber

Song

Lynn Lewis Lovett

Script Supervisor

Barry Mann

Song

Daniel Melnick

Executive Producer

Ethel Merman

Song Performer

Richard Mingalone

Camera Operator

Marty Nallan

Key Grip

Chris Newman

Sound

Harry Nilsson

Song

Harry Nilsson

Song Performer

Benton W Overstreet

Song

Emily Paine

Assistant Editor

Eugene Powell

Scenic Artist

Felix Powell

Song

George H Powell

Song

Sanford Rackow

Sound Editor

Jimmy Raitt

Props

David Ray

Associate Editor

Joe Ray

Assistant Director

David Rogow

Production Assistant

Philip Rosenberg

Production Designer

Giuseppe Rotunno

Other

Giuseppe Rotunno

Director Of Photography

Harry Ruby

Song

Carole Bayer Sager

Song

Maurice Schell

Sound Editor

Ted Snyder

Song

Edward Stewart

Set Decorator

Mike Stoller

Song

Fred Tobias

Song

Jeffrey Townsend

Production Assistant

Michael Tronick

Sound Editor

Erich Trostl

Other

Lynne Twentyman

Script Supervisor

Kenneth Utt

Production Manager

Kenneth Utt

Associate Producer

Robin Utt

Production Assistant

Richard Vorisek

Sound

Tony Walton

Other

Cynthia Weil

Song

Josh Weiner

Photography

Albert Wolsky

Costume Designer

Susan Zwerman

Location Coordinator

Film Details

Also Known As
Empieza el espectáculo, Que le spectacle commence, Showtime
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1979
Premiere Information
not available
Country
United States
Location
New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m
Sound
Dolby
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1979

Best Costume Design

1979
Albert Wolsky

Best Editing

1979
Alan Heim

Best Score

1979

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1979
Roy Scheider

Best Cinematography

1979

Best Director

1979
Bob Fosse

Best Picture

1979

Best Writing, Screenplay

1980
Bob Fosse

Articles

All That Jazz: Special Music Edition - Bob Fosse's All That Jazz - The Special Music Edition on DVD


From the 1930s through the 1960s, musicals were one of Hollywood's favorite genres. The best of them were bouncy, tuneful, and fun. And almost all of them, from 42nd Street to The Sound of Music, were comedies that softened the dark sides of their stories-if there were any dark sides-with jokes, gags, and happy endings.

Bob Fosse's spectacular All That Jazz, now available on DVD in a "Special Music Edition" from 20th Century Fox, belongs to the modernist breed of musicals (e.g., Cabaret, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera) that have too much darkness to be called true comedies at all. If you're a traditionalist who thinks a musical should trade in light-hearted laughs, you won't be pleased with Fosse's tragicomic portrait of a show-business genius burning himself out with addictions to everything from alcohol and cigarettes to speed, sex, and work, work, work. The story has a fair share of funny moments, but even these have a fever-dream ferocity about them. Love it or hate it, you've never seen a musical-or any kind of movie-quite like it.

The main character, choreographer and filmmaker Joe Gideon, is based directly on Fosse himself-so directly that you can spot Fosse's home address on the Dexadrine bottle Joe picks up every day to jump-start his morning. Joe is hard at work on a new Broadway show, auditioning dancers and dreaming up new production numbers. At the same time he's editing his new movie, obviously based on Fosse's own 1974 biopic about comedian Lenny Bruce, and trying to stay on good terms with his exwife and young daughter.

He's also cruising for a walloping heart attack, but no amount of pleading by his friends can get him to smoke a single Camel less or relax his work-hard-play-hard habits for a moment. When disaster inevitably strikes, he even turns his hospital room into a party zone. Can he keep this up forever? Probably not--which may be why he's started looking back over his life, trading memories and might-have-beens in his dressing room with Angelique, an alluring angel of death.

Many critics accused Fosse of shameless self-indulgence in All That Jazz, complaining that the movie's countless similarities to his own well-publicized experiences amount to navel-gazing narcissism. Fosse's actual death in 1987, from the same sort of heart attack that bushwhacks Joe, seemed to prove their point. But what these pundits missed was the huge amount of severe self-criticism Fosse built into the picture. As likable as he is, Joe is also a wildly irresponsible guy who's wrecked his marriage by cheating and undermined his health by abusing every substance in sight. Even his work is suffering from his recklessness. The dialogue for his new show is so awful he can't bear listening to it, and his producers wouldn't mind if his failing heart put him clean out of the business, since they're afraid his sexy routines will scare off family audiences. Self-indulgent or not, Fosse's autobiographical movie is anything but flattering.

Although its content is rooted in Fosse's life during the early 1970s, when he was staging Chicago for Broadway and editing Lenny at the same time, the style of All That Jazz is plainly inspired by Federico Fellini's towering 1963 masterpiece , about a director struggling to escape the filmmaking equivalent of writer's block. Fosse even hired cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno to shootAll That Jazz. Just as leaps freely between reality and fantasy, Fosse's film embeds its copious flights of imagination in hyperactive dances that interweave with the story as Joe conducts training sessions and rehearsals. Realistic elements fade altogether when Joe's body kicks up a last lethal protest against his rotten health habits. The movie's final half hour, labeled a "hospital hallucination," is a free-flowing stream of song-and-dance delirium packed with his fantasies and fears. The ending is exactly what you would have expected, but it packs a strong emotional punch all the same.

Before he appeared in All That Jazz, star Roy Scheider was best known for action pictures like The French Connection and Jaws, and many Hollywood insiders were surprised when Fosse chose him. It doesn't take much close analysis of the movie to tell that Scheider is no dancer. But he manages to fake his way through the modest choreography Fosse designed for him, and his acting in the dramatic scenes is excellent, making Joe steadily sympathetic without downplaying his zillions of character flaws. Scheider also looks exactly right, although he sports more hair than Fosse, who covered his baldness with the hats that became one of his trademarks. The first-rate supporting cast includes Fosse protégé Ann Reinking as Joe's girlfriend, Erzsebet Foldi as his daughter, Jessica Lange as the dark angel, Ben Vereen as an over-the-top entertainer, Cliff Gorman as the actor playing Lenny Bruce-great casting, since Gorman played Bruce in Lenny on the Broadway stage--and Leland Palmer as Joe's former wife, based on the great dancer Gwen Verdon, who was married to Fosse in real life.

It's appropriate that the "Special Music Edition" of All That Jazz comes complete with a Fosse-style top hat and gloves, fun to have even though they're cheesier than the genuine articles. Among the DVD extras are two useless shorts extolling Fosse's greatness, a sing-along version of the song "Take Off With Us," a special menu for accessing the film's musical numbers, and a commentary track by film editor Alan Heim, who says surprisingly little about his Oscar-winning film editing, but does explain how hard it was to avoid showing the bottoms of the dancers' feet-one of Fosse's rules, since he hated the dirt that accumulated there.

Fosse was a superb choreographer-see The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees! for great examples of his brilliance-and a daring filmmaker, with Lenny and the jolting Star 80 to his credit. His death at 60 years old cut short an amazing career. But according to All That Jazz, it was a death at least partly of his own doing.

For more information about All That Jazz: Special Music Edition, visit Fox Home Entertainment To order All That Jazz: Special Music Edition, go to TCM Shopping.

by David Sterritt
All That Jazz: Special Music Edition - Bob Fosse's All That Jazz - The Special Music Edition On Dvd

All That Jazz: Special Music Edition - Bob Fosse's All That Jazz - The Special Music Edition on DVD

From the 1930s through the 1960s, musicals were one of Hollywood's favorite genres. The best of them were bouncy, tuneful, and fun. And almost all of them, from 42nd Street to The Sound of Music, were comedies that softened the dark sides of their stories-if there were any dark sides-with jokes, gags, and happy endings. Bob Fosse's spectacular All That Jazz, now available on DVD in a "Special Music Edition" from 20th Century Fox, belongs to the modernist breed of musicals (e.g., Cabaret, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera) that have too much darkness to be called true comedies at all. If you're a traditionalist who thinks a musical should trade in light-hearted laughs, you won't be pleased with Fosse's tragicomic portrait of a show-business genius burning himself out with addictions to everything from alcohol and cigarettes to speed, sex, and work, work, work. The story has a fair share of funny moments, but even these have a fever-dream ferocity about them. Love it or hate it, you've never seen a musical-or any kind of movie-quite like it. The main character, choreographer and filmmaker Joe Gideon, is based directly on Fosse himself-so directly that you can spot Fosse's home address on the Dexadrine bottle Joe picks up every day to jump-start his morning. Joe is hard at work on a new Broadway show, auditioning dancers and dreaming up new production numbers. At the same time he's editing his new movie, obviously based on Fosse's own 1974 biopic about comedian Lenny Bruce, and trying to stay on good terms with his exwife and young daughter. He's also cruising for a walloping heart attack, but no amount of pleading by his friends can get him to smoke a single Camel less or relax his work-hard-play-hard habits for a moment. When disaster inevitably strikes, he even turns his hospital room into a party zone. Can he keep this up forever? Probably not--which may be why he's started looking back over his life, trading memories and might-have-beens in his dressing room with Angelique, an alluring angel of death. Many critics accused Fosse of shameless self-indulgence in All That Jazz, complaining that the movie's countless similarities to his own well-publicized experiences amount to navel-gazing narcissism. Fosse's actual death in 1987, from the same sort of heart attack that bushwhacks Joe, seemed to prove their point. But what these pundits missed was the huge amount of severe self-criticism Fosse built into the picture. As likable as he is, Joe is also a wildly irresponsible guy who's wrecked his marriage by cheating and undermined his health by abusing every substance in sight. Even his work is suffering from his recklessness. The dialogue for his new show is so awful he can't bear listening to it, and his producers wouldn't mind if his failing heart put him clean out of the business, since they're afraid his sexy routines will scare off family audiences. Self-indulgent or not, Fosse's autobiographical movie is anything but flattering. Although its content is rooted in Fosse's life during the early 1970s, when he was staging Chicago for Broadway and editing Lenny at the same time, the style of All That Jazz is plainly inspired by Federico Fellini's towering 1963 masterpiece 8½, about a director struggling to escape the filmmaking equivalent of writer's block. Fosse even hired 8½ cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno to shootAll That Jazz. Just as 8½ leaps freely between reality and fantasy, Fosse's film embeds its copious flights of imagination in hyperactive dances that interweave with the story as Joe conducts training sessions and rehearsals. Realistic elements fade altogether when Joe's body kicks up a last lethal protest against his rotten health habits. The movie's final half hour, labeled a "hospital hallucination," is a free-flowing stream of song-and-dance delirium packed with his fantasies and fears. The ending is exactly what you would have expected, but it packs a strong emotional punch all the same. Before he appeared in All That Jazz, star Roy Scheider was best known for action pictures like The French Connection and Jaws, and many Hollywood insiders were surprised when Fosse chose him. It doesn't take much close analysis of the movie to tell that Scheider is no dancer. But he manages to fake his way through the modest choreography Fosse designed for him, and his acting in the dramatic scenes is excellent, making Joe steadily sympathetic without downplaying his zillions of character flaws. Scheider also looks exactly right, although he sports more hair than Fosse, who covered his baldness with the hats that became one of his trademarks. The first-rate supporting cast includes Fosse protégé Ann Reinking as Joe's girlfriend, Erzsebet Foldi as his daughter, Jessica Lange as the dark angel, Ben Vereen as an over-the-top entertainer, Cliff Gorman as the actor playing Lenny Bruce-great casting, since Gorman played Bruce in Lenny on the Broadway stage--and Leland Palmer as Joe's former wife, based on the great dancer Gwen Verdon, who was married to Fosse in real life. It's appropriate that the "Special Music Edition" of All That Jazz comes complete with a Fosse-style top hat and gloves, fun to have even though they're cheesier than the genuine articles. Among the DVD extras are two useless shorts extolling Fosse's greatness, a sing-along version of the song "Take Off With Us," a special menu for accessing the film's musical numbers, and a commentary track by film editor Alan Heim, who says surprisingly little about his Oscar-winning film editing, but does explain how hard it was to avoid showing the bottoms of the dancers' feet-one of Fosse's rules, since he hated the dirt that accumulated there. Fosse was a superb choreographer-see The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees! for great examples of his brilliance-and a daring filmmaker, with Lenny and the jolting Star 80 to his credit. His death at 60 years old cut short an amazing career. But according to All That Jazz, it was a death at least partly of his own doing. For more information about All That Jazz: Special Music Edition, visit Fox Home Entertainment To order All That Jazz: Special Music Edition, go to TCM Shopping. by David Sterritt

Quotes

To be on the wire is life. The rest is waiting.
- Joe Gideon
It's showtime, folks.
- Joe Gideon
Do you believe in love?
- Angelique
I believe in saying, "I love you."
- Joe Gideon
Katy, I try to give you everything I can give.
- Joe Gideon
Oh, you give all right - presents, clothes. I just wish you weren't so generous with your cock.
- Kate Jagger
Well, you're right. I'm terrible. I know I'm terrible. I look at the mirror and I'm ashamed. Maybe I should quit. I just can't seem to do anything right.
- Victoria
Listen. I can't make you a great dancer. I don't even know if I can make you a good dancer. But, if you keep trying and don't quit, I know I can make you a better dancer. I'd like very much to do that. Stay?
- Joe Gideon
Are you going to keep yelling at me?
- Victoria
Probably.
- Joe Gideon

Trivia

Fictionalizes Bob Fosse's own experiences working on the musical "Chicago" (which, of course, features a song entitled "All That Jazz").

Many of the characters in the film are based on real life characters from the New York theater world. Aside from 'Roy Schnider' 's character being based on Bob Fosse, Leland Palmer's character was based on his wife/frequent star Gwen Verdon. John Lithgow's character was also based somewhat on the New York theater director Harold Prince. 'Ann Renking' , was more or less playing herself. Jules Fisher, the lighting designer on many of Fosse's shows, and later the producer of his show "Dancin'", makes an appearance as a lighting designer in the scene with John Lithgow.

Richard Dreyfuss was originally cast in the role of Joe Gideon but left the production during the rehearsal stage.

Ann Reinking, who played a part based on herself, had to audition several times before she was cast.

The part played by Cliff Gorman was based on Dustin Hoffman.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States December 1979

Released in United States Winter December 1, 1979

Re-released in United States on Video March 21, 1995

Released in United States 2014

Selected in 2001 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Released in United States December 1979

Released in United States Winter December 1, 1979

Re-released in United States on Video March 21, 1995

Released in United States 2014 (World Cinema)